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Exp Cell Res. 2001 Nov 15;271(1):28-35.

Endocytosis in Drosophila: progress, possibilities, prognostications.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and ARL, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.


By many outside the field, endocytosis is often perceived as a "house-keeping" function performed via identical mechanisms in yeast and man. Recent discoveries have done much to reduce this misperception. (1) Endocytosis occurs via different mechanisms and different pathways in different cellular contexts. (2) Molecular mechanisms that regulate homologous pathways in unicellular and multicellular organisms show considerable variance. (3) Temporally controlled endocytosis of specific regulatory molecules underlies several important and intricate biological processes including synapse formation, synaptic plasticity, cell fate determination, and morphogen gradient formation. Interactions between endocytosis and cytoskeletal and signaling pathways have been particularly revealing. In this intellectual context, Drosophila has become invaluable as a metazoan genetic model in which to understand the many faces of endocytosis. This review discusses two aspects of work in Drosophila: (a) its contributions toward understanding fundamental mechanisms that underlie the operation of endocytic pathways; (b) how analyses in Drosophila provide insights into varied biological processes regulated by endocytosis. In addition, while offering our commentary on merits and limitations of Drosophila work, we speculate on likely areas for contributions and future research on endocytosis in Drosophila.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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