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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Aug;11(8):556-66. doi: 10.1038/nrm2937. Epub 2010 Jun 30.

Membrane budding and scission by the ESCRT machinery: it's all in the neck.

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Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0580, USA.


The endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRTs) catalyse one of the most unusual membrane remodelling events in cell biology. ESCRT-I and ESCRT-II direct membrane budding away from the cytosol by stabilizing bud necks without coating the buds and without being consumed in the buds. ESCRT-III cleaves the bud necks from their cytosolic faces. ESCRT-III-mediated membrane neck cleavage is crucial for many processes, including the biogenesis of multivesicular bodies, viral budding, cytokinesis and, probably, autophagy. Recent studies of ultrastructures induced by ESCRT-III overexpression in cells and the in vitro reconstitution of the budding and scission reactions have led to breakthroughs in understanding these remarkable membrane reactions.

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