Kinetics of transit of transferrin and epidermal growth factor through clathrin-coated membranes

Cell. 1984 Dec;39(2 Pt 1):283-93. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(84)90006-0.


The kinetics of association of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and diferric-transferrin (TF) with clathrin-coated membranes of KB cells were examined using anti-clathrin antibody bound to Staphylococcus aureus. The ligands were bound to cells at 4 degrees C and after warming to 30 degrees C for 5 min, both ligands were found concentrated in a membrane fraction immunoadsorbed with anti-clathrin antibody. Fifteen minutes after entry both ligands moved to a non-clathrin-associated compartment. Twenty to 25 min after entry, EGF, but not TF, appeared in a second clathrin-associated compartment. In parallel morphologic experiments, EGF-horseradish peroxidase (EGF-HRP) and TF-HRP were both found at 6 min in coated pits associated with the plasma membrane. At 22 min EGF-HRP, but not TF-HRP, was localized in Golgi-associated coated pits. These studies provide biochemical and morphological evidence suggesting that coated membranes in the Golgi region are involved at some stage in the transfer of EGF to lysosomes. The method should be of general utility in the study of receptor-mediated endocytosis.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Carcinoma
  • Cell Line
  • Clathrin / physiology*
  • Coated Pits, Cell-Membrane / metabolism*
  • Coated Pits, Cell-Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Endosomes / metabolism*
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Mouth Neoplasms
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Transferrin
  • Transferrin / metabolism*


  • Clathrin
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Transferrin
  • Transferrin
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • ErbB Receptors