Forty Years of Clathrin-coated Vesicles

Traffic. 2015 Dec;16(12):1210-38. doi: 10.1111/tra.12335. Epub 2015 Nov 6.


The purification of coated vesicles and the discovery of clathrin by Barbara Pearse in 1975 was a landmark in cell biology. Over the past 40 years, work from many labs has uncovered the molecular details of clathrin and its associated proteins, including how they assemble into a coated vesicle and how they select cargo. Unexpected connections have been found with signalling, development, neuronal transmission, infection, immunity and genetic disorders. But there are still a number of unanswered questions, including how clathrin-mediated trafficking is regulated and how the machinery evolved.

Keywords: adaptin; adaptor; dynamin; endocytosis; sorting signals; trans-Golgi network.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Biology / history*
  • Clathrin* / chemistry
  • Clathrin* / history
  • Clathrin* / metabolism
  • Clathrin-Coated Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Coated Pits, Cell-Membrane / metabolism
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Transport


  • Clathrin