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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2008 Aug;20(4):427-36. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 May 9.


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  • 1Cell Biology and Metabolism Program, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Building 18T/Room 101, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The retromer is a heteropentameric complex that associates with the cytosolic face of endosomes and mediates retrograde transport of transmembrane cargo from endosomes to the trans-Golgi network. The mammalian retromer complex comprises a sorting nexin dimer composed of a still undefined combination of SNX1, SNX2, SNX5 and SNX6, and a cargo-recognition trimer composed of Vps26, Vps29 and Vps35. The SNX subunits contain PX and BAR domains that allow binding to PI(3)P enriched, highly curved membranes of endosomal vesicles and tubules, while Vps26, Vps29 and Vps35 have arrestin, phosphoesterase and alpha-solenoid folds, respectively. Recent studies have implicated retromer in a broad range of physiological, developmental and pathological processes, underscoring the critical nature of retrograde transport mediated by this complex.

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