Mechanisms of clathrin-mediated endocytosis

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2018 May;19(5):313-326. doi: 10.1038/nrm.2017.132. Epub 2018 Feb 7.


Clathrin-mediated endocytosis is a key process in vesicular trafficking that transports a wide range of cargo molecules from the cell surface to the interior. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis was first described over 5 decades ago. Since its discovery, over 50 proteins have been shown to be part of the molecular machinery that generates the clathrin-coated endocytic vesicles. These proteins and the different steps of the endocytic process that they mediate have been studied in detail. However, we still lack a good understanding of how all these different components work together in a highly coordinated manner to drive vesicle formation. Nevertheless, studies in recent years have provided several important insights into how endocytic vesicles are built, starting from initiation, cargo loading and the mechanisms governing membrane bending to membrane scission and the release of the vesicle into the cytoplasm.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Clathrin / metabolism*
  • Clathrin-Coated Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Endocytosis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Transport Vesicles / metabolism*


  • Clathrin