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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2003 Aug;15(4):414-22.

Insider information: what viruses tell us about endocytosis.

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  • 1Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstrasse 108, 01307 Dresden, Germany.


Viruses have long served as tools in molecular and cellular biology to study a variety of complex cellular processes. Currently, there is a revived interest in virus entry into animal cells because it is evident that incoming viruses make use of numerous endocytic pathways that are otherwise difficult to study. Besides the classical clathrin-mediated uptake route, viruses use caveolae-mediated endocytosis, lipid-raft-mediated endocytic pathways, and macropinocytosis. Some of these are subject to regulation, involve novel endocytic organelles, and some of them connect organelles that were previously not known to communicate by membrane traffic.

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