The cellular functions of clathrin

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2006 Aug;63(16):1823-32. doi: 10.1007/s00018-005-5587-0.


Membranes and proteins are moved around the cell in small vesicles. A protein coat aids the budding of such vesicles from donor membranes. The major type of coat used by the cell is composed of clathrin, a three-legged protein that can form lattice-like coats on membranes destined for trafficking. In this review, I outline what we know about clathrin and discuss some recent advances in understanding the basic biology of this fascinating molecule, which include building a molecular model of a clathrin lattice and discovery of a new function for clathrin that occurs during mitosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Clathrin / chemistry
  • Clathrin / genetics
  • Clathrin / physiology*
  • Clathrin-Coated Vesicles / physiology
  • Dynamins / physiology
  • Endocytosis
  • Humans
  • Mitosis
  • Protein Conformation


  • Clathrin
  • Dynamins