Membrane budding and scission by the ESCRT machinery: it's all in the neck

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Aug;11(8):556-66. doi: 10.1038/nrm2937. Epub 2010 Jun 30.


The endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRTs) catalyse one of the most unusual membrane remodelling events in cell biology. ESCRT-I and ESCRT-II direct membrane budding away from the cytosol by stabilizing bud necks without coating the buds and without being consumed in the buds. ESCRT-III cleaves the bud necks from their cytosolic faces. ESCRT-III-mediated membrane neck cleavage is crucial for many processes, including the biogenesis of multivesicular bodies, viral budding, cytokinesis and, probably, autophagy. Recent studies of ultrastructures induced by ESCRT-III overexpression in cells and the in vitro reconstitution of the budding and scission reactions have led to breakthroughs in understanding these remarkable membrane reactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Cytokinesis
  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport / chemistry
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport / metabolism*
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Molecular
  • Multivesicular Bodies / metabolism*
  • Multivesicular Bodies / ultrastructure
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / ultrastructure
  • Virus Release


  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport