Endocytosis has been the Cinderella of membrane trafficking studies in filamentous fungi until recent work involving genetically tractable models has boosted interest in the field. Endocytic internalization predominates in the hyphal tips, spatially coupled to secretion. Early endosomes (EEs) show characteristic long-distance motility, riding on microtubule motors. The fungal tip contains a region baptised the 'dynein loading zone' where acropetally moving endosomes reaching the tip shift from a kinesin to dynein, reversing the direction of their movement. Multivesicular body biogenesis starts from these motile EEs. Maturation of EEs into late endosomes and vacuoles appears to be essential. The similarities between fungal and mammalian endocytic trafficking suggest that conditional mutant genetic screens would yield valuable information.
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