Endosomal and non-endosomal functions of ESCRT proteins

Trends Cell Biol. 2006 Jun;16(6):317-26. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2006.04.004. Epub 2006 May 22.


The three endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRTs) are integral to the degradation of endocytosed membrane proteins and multivesicular body (MVB) biogenesis. Here, we review evidence that ESCRTs have evolved as a specialized machinery for the degradative sorting of ubiquitinated membrane proteins and we highlight recent studies that have shed light on the mechanisms by which these complexes mediate protein sorting, MVB biogenesis, tumour suppression and viral budding. We also discuss evidence that some ESCRT subunits have evolved additional functions that are unrelated to membrane trafficking.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport
  • Endosomes / physiology*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Multiprotein Complexes / physiology
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Protein Transport / physiology
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Transport Vesicles / metabolism
  • Transport Vesicles / physiology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / physiology
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / physiology*
  • Virus Physiological Phenomena


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tsg101 protein
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Ubiquitin
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins