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Trends Cell Biol. 1991 Oct;1(4):77-82.

Maturation models for endosome and lysosome biogenesis.

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Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Fluorescence Research in Biomedical Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


The complexity and dynamic nature of the endocytic apparatus of mammalian cells have become increasingly clear over the past ten years. Structures collectively referred to as endosomes are at the crossroads of traffic with the plasma membrane and with the degradative pathway leading to lysosomes. They carry out the sorting and segregation of receptors and ligands, processes that are necessary for nutrient uptake and the maintenance of plasma membrane composition. This article addresses the question of whether endosomes are stable or transient compartments.

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