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Trends Biochem Sci. 2011 Apr;36(4):199-210. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2010.09.004. Epub 2010 Oct 26.

Divergent pathways lead to ESCRT-III-catalyzed membrane fission.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, School of Medical Sciences, University Walk, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TD, UK.


Endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT) have been implicated in topologically similar but diverse cellular and pathological processes including multivesicular body (MVB) biogenesis, cytokinesis and enveloped virus budding. Although receptor sorting at the endosomal membrane producing MVBs employs the regulated assembly of ESCRT-0 followed by ESCRT-I, -II, -III and the vacuolar protein sorting (VPS)4 complex, other ESCRT-catalyzed processes require only a subset of complexes which commonly includes ESCRT-III and VPS4. Recent progress has shed light on the pathway of ESCRT assembly and highlights the separation of tasks of different ESCRT complexes and associated partners. The emerging picture suggests that among all ESCRT-catalyzed processes, divergent pathways lead to ESCRT-III assembly within the neck of a budding structure catalyzing membrane fission.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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