Building endocytic pits without clathrin

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2015 May;16(5):311-21. doi: 10.1038/nrm3968. Epub 2015 Apr 10.


How endocytic pits are built in clathrin- and caveolin-independent endocytosis still remains poorly understood. Recent insight suggests that different forms of clathrin-independent endocytosis might involve the actin-driven focusing of membrane constituents, the lectin-glycosphingolipid-dependent construction of endocytic nanoenvironments, and Bin-Amphiphysin-Rvs (BAR) domain proteins serving as scaffolding modules. We discuss the need for different types of internalization processes in the context of diverse cellular functions, the existence of clathrin-independent mechanisms of cargo recruitment and membrane bending from a biological and physical perspective, and finally propose a generic scheme for the formation of clathrin-independent endocytic pits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Clathrin / metabolism
  • Endocytosis*
  • Humans
  • Lectins / metabolism
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways


  • Actins
  • Clathrin
  • Lectins