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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2011 Aug;23(4):404-12. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Mar 28.

Endocytic sorting of transmembrane protein cargo.

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Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Dept of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0XY, UK.


The accurate distribution and recycling of transmembrane proteins amongst the membrane-bound organelles of the cell is vital to ensure its correct functioning. Transmembrane protein cargo destined for clathrin-mediated endocytosis and transport along the endocytic pathway is sorted into transport vesicles by interactions with adaptors, which simultaneously link clathrin to the membrane. Clathrin adaptors recognize a variety of signals present in the cytoplasmic portions of cargo proteins; recent structural, biophysical and cell biological studies have elucidated new types of cargo-adaptor interactions and probed the molecular mechanisms regulating cargo selection and vesicle maturation. Here, we review this recent progress in the context of our existing knowledge of endocytic sorting mechanisms.

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