Endocytosis of growth factor receptors

Bioessays. 1993 Jun;15(6):375-82. doi: 10.1002/bies.950150603.


Binding of a growth factor (GF) to its specific receptor on the cell surface causes the initiation of a signal transduction cascade which eventually results in mitosis. GF:receptor complexes are removed from the cell surface via receptor-mediated endocytosis, a process which involves clathrin-coated pits. After internalization into the endosomal compartment, a significant pool of GFs and GF receptors escape recycling to the cell surface and are sorted to the degradation pathway. The ligand-induced internalization and lysosomal degradation of GF receptors result in the dramatic loss of surface receptors, a phenomenon termed receptor down-regulation. In this review, we discuss relevant biochemical, morphological and kinetic studies of the mechanism of GF endocytosis, and the possible role of this process in mitogenic signaling by growth factor receptors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endocytosis*
  • Growth Substances / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Growth Substances
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases