Coated pits, coated vesicles, and receptor-mediated endocytosis

Nature. 1979 Jun 21;279(5715):679-85. doi: 10.1038/279679a0.


Proteins and peptides can enter cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis, a coupled process by which selected extracellular proteins or peptides are first bound to specific cell surface receptors and then rapidly internalised by the cell. Internalisation follows clustering of the receptors in specialised regions of the cell surface called coated pits that invaginate to form intracellular coated vesicles. It is now recognised that receptor-mediated endocytosis has a fundamental role in the growth, nutrition and differentiation of animal cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / physiology*
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / physiology
  • Endocytosis*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Receptors, Drug / genetics
  • Receptors, Drug / physiology*


  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Receptors, Drug