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Oncogene. 2001 Oct 1;20(44):6300-8.

Mitogenesis and endocytosis: What's at the INTERSECTIoN?

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Laboratory of Signal Transduction, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, RTP, North Carolina, NC 27709, USA.


Endocytosis is a regulated physiological process by which cell surface proteins are internalized along with extracellular factors such as nutrients, pathogens, peptides, toxins, etc. The process begins with the invagination of small regions of the plasma membrane which ultimately form intracellullar vesicles. These internalized vesicles may shuttle back to the plasma membrane to recycle the membrane components or they may be targeted for degradation. One role for endocytosis is in the attenuation of receptor signaling. For example, desensitization of activated membrane bound receptors such as G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) or receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) occurs, in part, through endocytosis of the activated receptor. However, accumulating evidence suggests that endocytosis also mediates intracellular signaling. In this review, we discuss the experimental data that implicate endocytosis as a critical component in cellular signal transduction, both in the initiation of a signal as well as in the termination of a signal. Furthermore, we focus our attention on a recently described adaptor protein, intersectin (ITSN), which provides a link to both the endocytic and the mitogenic machinery of a cell. Thus, ITSN functions at a crossroad in the biochemical regulation of cell function.

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