Molecular mechanisms of COPII vesicle formation

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2007 Aug;18(4):424-34. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2007.06.007. Epub 2007 Jul 7.


The first step in protein secretion from eukaryotic cells is mediated by COPII vesicles, known for the cytoplasmic coat proteins that are the minimal machinery required to generate these small transport carriers. The five COPII coat components coordinate to create a vesicle by locally generating membrane curvature and populating the incipient bud with the appropriate cargo. This review describes the molecular details of how the COPII coat sculpts vesicles from the endoplasmic reticulum and highlights some unresolved questions regarding the regulation of this process in the complex environment of the eukaryotic cell.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COP-Coated Vesicles / chemistry*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / metabolism


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins