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Membranes (Basel). 2014 Jul 11;4(3):356-71. doi: 10.3390/membranes4030356.

Endocytic trafficking of membrane-bound cargo: a flotillin point of view.

Author information

1
Institute of Biochemistry, Medical Faculty, University of Giessen, Friedrichstrasse 24, 35392 Giessen, Germany. melanie.meister@biochemie.med.uni-giessen.de.
2
Institute of Biochemistry, Medical Faculty, University of Giessen, Friedrichstrasse 24, 35392 Giessen, Germany. Ritva.Tikkanen@biochemie.med.uni-giessen.de.

Abstract

The ubiquitous and highly conserved flotillin proteins, flotillin-1 and flotillin-2, have been shown to be involved in various cellular processes such as cell adhesion, signal transduction through receptor tyrosine kinases as well as in cellular trafficking pathways. Due to the fact that flotillins are acylated and form hetero-oligomers, they constitutively associate with cholesterol-enriched lipid microdomains. In recent years, such microdomains have been appreciated as platforms that participate in endocytosis and other cellular trafficking steps. This review summarizes the current findings on the role of flotillins in membrane-bound cargo endocytosis and endosomal trafficking events. We will discuss the proposed function of flotillins in endocytosis in the light of recent findings that point towards a role for flotillins in a step that precedes the actual endocytic uptake of cargo molecules. Recent findings have also revealed that flotillins may be important for endosomal sorting and recycling of specific cargo molecules. In addition to these aspects, the cellular trafficking pathway of flotillins themselves as potential cargo in the context of growth factor signaling will be discussed.

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