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Endocytosis is the process by which cells are able to take up membrane and extracellular materials through the formation of a small intracellular bubble, called a vesicle. This process, called membrane budding, is generally by a coating of proteins. This protein coat helps both to deform the membrane and to concentrate specific proteins inside the newly forming vesicle. Clathrin is a coat protein that functions in receptor-mediated endocytosis events at the plasma membrane.
This animation shows the process of clathrin-mediated endocytosis. An iron-transport protein called transferrin (blue) is bound to its receptor (purple) on the exterior cell membrane. Inside the cell, a clathrin cage (shown in white/beige) assembles through interactions with membrane-bound adaptor proteins (green), causing the cell membrane to begin bending. The adaptor proteins also bind to receptors for transferrin, capturing them in the growing vesicle. Molecules of a protein called dynamin (purple) are then recruited to the neck of the vesicle and are involved in separating the membranes of the cell and the vesicle. Soon after the vesicle has budded off the membrane, the clathrin cage is disassembled. This disassembly is mediated by another protein called HSC70 (yellow), and its cofactor protein auxilin (orange).
Janet Iwasa, University of Utah
Tomas Kirchhausen, Harvard Medical School, and Janet Iwasa
This page last reviewed on
3/28/2019 5:19 PM
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