The clathrin adaptor complex AP-2 mediates endocytosis of brassinosteroid insensitive1 in Arabidopsis

Plant Cell. 2013 Aug;25(8):2986-97. doi: 10.1105/tpc.113.114058. Epub 2013 Aug 23.


Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) regulates many aspects of plant development, including hormone signaling and responses to environmental stresses. Despite the importance of this process, the machinery that regulates CME in plants is largely unknown. In mammals, the heterotetrameric adaptor protein complex-2 (AP-2) is required for the formation of clathrin-coated vesicles at the plasma membrane (PM). Although the existence of AP-2 has been predicted in Arabidopsis thaliana, the biochemistry and functionality of the complex is still uncharacterized. Here, we identified all the subunits of the Arabidopsis AP-2 by tandem affinity purification and found that one of the large AP-2 subunits, AP2A1, localized at the PM and interacted with clathrin. Furthermore, endocytosis of the leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase, brassinosteroid insensitive1 (BRI1), was shown to depend on AP-2. Knockdown of the two Arabidopsis AP2A genes or overexpression of a dominant-negative version of the medium AP-2 subunit, AP2M, impaired BRI1 endocytosis and enhanced the brassinosteroid signaling. Our data reveal that the CME machinery in Arabidopsis is evolutionarily conserved and that AP-2 functions in receptor-mediated endocytosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Protein Complex 2 / isolation & purification
  • Adaptor Protein Complex 2 / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / cytology*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Clathrin / metabolism*
  • Endocytosis*
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport
  • Signal Transduction


  • Adaptor Protein Complex 2
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Clathrin
  • Protein Kinases
  • BRI1 protein, Arabidopsis