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Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2008;271:153-98. doi: 10.1016/S1937-6448(08)01204-5.

Retromer: multipurpose sorting and specialization in polarized transport.

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Laboratory of Epithelial Cell Biology, Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe, C/E.P. Avda. Autopista del Saler, Valencia, Spain.


Retromer is an evolutionary conserved protein complex required for endosome-to-Golgi retrieval of lysosomal hydrolases' receptors. A dimer of two sorting nexins-typically, SNX1 and/or SNX2-deforms the membrane and thus cooperates with retromer to ensure cargo sorting. Research in various model organisms indicates that retromer participates in sorting of additional molecules whose proper transport has important repercussions in development and disease. The role of retromer as well as SNXs in endosomal protein (re)cycling and protein targeting to specialized plasma membrane domains in polarized cells adds further complexity and has implications in growth control, the establishment of developmental patterns, cell adhesion, and migration. This chapter will discuss the functions of retromer described in various model systems and will focus on relevant aspects in polarized transport.

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