Multivesicular body morphogenesis

Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2012:28:337-62. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-092910-154152. Epub 2012 Jul 20.


Multivesicular bodies (MVBs) are unique organelles in the endocytic pathway that contain vesicles in their lumen. Sorting and incorporation of material into such vesicles is a critical cellular process that has been intensely studied following discovery of the ESCRT (endosomal sorting complex required for transport) machinery just more than a decade ago. In this review, we summarize current understanding of the cellular functions of MVBs and how the ESCRT machinery contributes to MVB morphogenesis. We also highlight the importance of MVBs and ESCRTs in human health. We identify critical areas in which further mechanistic and spatiotemporal studies in living cells will advance this exciting area of research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Communicable Diseases / metabolism
  • Communicable Diseases / pathology
  • Cytokinesis
  • Endocytosis
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport / metabolism
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport / physiology
  • Humans
  • Multivesicular Bodies / metabolism
  • Multivesicular Bodies / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Nervous System Diseases / metabolism
  • Nervous System Diseases / pathology
  • Protein Interaction Maps
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / physiology
  • Virus Release


  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins