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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2009 Jul;66(13):2049-65. doi: 10.1007/s00018-009-0001-y. Epub 2009 Mar 17.

Functions of actin in endocytosis.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Firth Court, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK.


Endocytosis is a fundamental eukaryotic process required for remodelling plasma-membrane lipids and protein to ensure appropriate membrane composition. Increasing evidence from a number of cell types reveals that actin plays an active, and often essential, role at key endocytic stages. Much of our current mechanistic understanding of the endocytic process has come from studies in budding yeast and has been facilitated by yeast's genetic amenability and by technological advances in live cell imaging. While endocytosis in metazoans is likely to be subject to a greater array of regulatory signals, recent reports indicate that spatiotemporal aspects of vesicle formation requiring actin are likely to be conserved across eukaryotic evolution. In this review we focus on the 'modular' model of endocytosis in yeast before highlighting comparisons with other cell types. Our discussion is limited to endocytosis involving clathrin as other types of endocytosis have not been demonstrated in yeast.

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