The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT), originally identified for its role in endosomal protein sorting and biogenesis of multivesicular endosomes (MVEs), has proven to be a versatile machinery for involution and scission of narrow membrane invaginations filled with cytosol. Budding of enveloped viruses and cytokinetic abscission were early described functions for the ESCRT machinery, and recently a number of new ESCRT functions have emerged. These include cytokinetic abscission checkpoint control, plasma membrane repair, exovesicle release, quality control of nuclear pore complexes, neuron pruning, and sealing of the newly formed nuclear envelope. Here we review these novel ESCRT mechanisms and discuss similarities and differences between the various ESCRT-dependent activities.
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