The AP-3 complex: a coat of many colours

Trends Cell Biol. 1998 Jul;8(7):282-8. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(98)01295-1.


A new adaptor protein complex, termed AP-3, has recently been identified in mammalian cells, and genetic studies in yeast have revealed a functional role for the AP-3 complex in cargo-selective transport via a new alternative trafficking pathway from the Golgi to the vacuole/lysosome. Here, the authors review what is currently known about the AP-3 complex and discuss recent insight into its function in multicellular organisms that has come from the finding that mutations in AP-3 subunits correspond to classical mutations in Drosophila and mice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / metabolism*
  • Eukaryotic Cells / chemistry
  • Eukaryotic Cells / metabolism
  • Golgi Apparatus / chemistry
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism*
  • Lysosomes / chemistry
  • Lysosomes / metabolism*
  • Monomeric Clathrin Assembly Proteins*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Phosphoproteins / physiology*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Monomeric Clathrin Assembly Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • clathrin assembly protein AP180