It is now about 20 years since we first wrote reviews about clathrin-independent endocytosis. The challenge at the time was to convince the reader about its existence. Then the suggestion came up that caveolae might be responsible for the uptake. However, clearly this could not be the case since a large fraction of the clathrin-independent uptake is dynamin-independent. Today, two decades later, the field has developed considerably. New techniques have enabled a detailed analysis of several clathrin-independent endocytic mechanisms, and caveolae have been found to be mostly stable structures having several functions of their own. This article aims at providing a brief update on the importance of clathrin-independent endocytic mechanisms, how the processes are regulated differentially, for instance on the poles of polarized cells, and the challenges in studying them.
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