NECAPs are negative regulators of the AP2 clathrin adaptor complex

Elife. 2018 Jan 18;7:e32242. doi: 10.7554/eLife.32242.


Eukaryotic cells internalize transmembrane receptors via clathrin-mediated endocytosis, but it remains unclear how the machinery underpinning this process is regulated. We recently discovered that membrane-associated muniscin proteins such as FCHo and SGIP initiate endocytosis by converting the AP2 clathrin adaptor complex to an open, active conformation that is then phosphorylated (Hollopeter et al., 2014). Here we report that loss of ncap-1, the sole C. elegans gene encoding an adaptiN Ear-binding Coat-Associated Protein (NECAP), bypasses the requirement for FCHO-1. Biochemical analyses reveal AP2 accumulates in an open, phosphorylated state in ncap-1 mutant worms, suggesting NECAPs promote the closed, inactive conformation of AP2. Consistent with this model, NECAPs preferentially bind open and phosphorylated forms of AP2 in vitro and localize with constitutively open AP2 mutants in vivo. NECAPs do not associate with phosphorylation-defective AP2 mutants, implying that phosphorylation precedes NECAP recruitment. We propose NECAPs function late in endocytosis to inactivate AP2.

Keywords: AP2; C. elegans; FCHo; NECAP; cell biology; clathrin adaptor complex; endocytosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Protein Complex 2 / metabolism*
  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endocytosis*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Expression Regulation*


  • Adaptor Protein Complex 2
  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • NCAP-1 protein, C elegans