Ubiquitin binding in endocytosis--how tight should it be and where does it happen?

Traffic. 2006 Mar;7(3):258-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0854.2006.00393.x.


Ubiquitin is an important tag in membrane transport. From studies in yeast, monoubiquitin has been considered sufficient to elicit uptake of cell surface transporters and receptors into endosomes. Two articles in the current issue of Traffic (Hawryluk et al. and Barriere et al.) indicate that stronger binding is required to retain and concentrate cargo in endocytic microdomains of the plasma membrane. High avidity interactions can be obtained by tandemly arrayed ubiquitin interaction motifs (UIM), in proteins such as the endocytic adaptors epsin and Eps15, interacting with polyubiquitin or by UIM-containing proteins binding several ubiquitins brought together through oligomerization of receptors. A controversial issue has been where such interactions take place. One view is that the association of epsin with ubiquitinated cargo is negatively regulated by its interaction with clathrin (Chen H and De Camilli P. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2005;102:2766-2771). This contention is now challenged by the articles of Hawryluk et al. and Barriere et al. Hawryluk et al. demonstrate that epsin and Eps15 consistently co-localize with clathrin but never with caveolin.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport / metabolism
  • Clathrin / metabolism
  • Endocytosis / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport
  • Clathrin
  • Ubiquitin
  • epsin