The emerging shape of the ESCRT machinery

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2007 May;8(5):355-68. doi: 10.1038/nrm2162.


The past two years have seen an explosion in the structural understanding of the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery that facilitates the trafficking of ubiquitylated proteins from endosomes to lysosomes via multivesicular bodies (MVBs). A common organization of all ESCRTs is a rigid core attached to flexibly connected modules that recognize other components of the MVB pathway. Several previously unsuspected key links between multiple ESCRT subunits, phospholipids and ubiquitin have now been elucidated, which, together with the detailed morphological analyses of ESCRT-depletion phenotypes, provide new insights into the mechanism of MVB biogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clathrin-Coated Vesicles / metabolism
  • Clathrin-Coated Vesicles / physiology
  • Endosomes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Membranes / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Molecular
  • Multiprotein Complexes / chemistry
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism
  • Multiprotein Complexes / physiology
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Protein Structure, Quaternary
  • Protein Transport
  • Signal Transduction
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / chemistry
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / physiology*


  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Ubiquitin
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins