Endocytosis in plants has an essential role not only for basic cellular functions but also for growth and development, hormonal signaling and communication with the environment including nutrient delivery, toxin avoidance, and pathogen defense. The major endocytic mechanism in plants depends on the coat protein clathrin. It starts by clathrin-coated vesicle formation at the plasma membrane, where specific cargoes are recognized and packaged for internalization. Recently, genetic, biochemical and advanced microscopy studies provided initial insights into mechanisms and roles of clathrin-mediated endocytosis in plants. Here we summarize the present state of knowledge and compare mechanisms of clathrin-mediated endocytosis in plants with animal and yeast paradigms as well as review plant-specific regulations and roles of this process.
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