The endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRTs) regulate protein trafficking from endosomes to lysosomes. Recent studies have shown that ESCRTs are involved in various cellular processes, including membrane scission, microRNA function, viral budding, and the autophagy pathway in many tissues, including the nervous system. Indeed, dysfunctional ESCRTs are associated with neurodegeneration. However, it remains largely elusive how ESCRTs act in post-mitotic neurons, a highly specialized cell type that requires dynamic changes in neuronal structures and signaling for proper function. This review focuses on our current understandings of the functions of ESCRTs in neuronal morphology, synaptic plasticity, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Keywords: ESCRTs; autophagy; dendrites; endocytosis; lysosome; neurodegenerative diseases.