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Bioessays. 1993 Jun;15(6):375-82.

Endocytosis of growth factor receptors.

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Department of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232-0146.


Binding of a growth factor (GF) to its specific receptor on the cell surface causes the initiation of a signal transduction cascade which eventually results in mitosis. GF:receptor complexes are removed from the cell surface via receptor-mediated endocytosis, a process which involves clathrin-coated pits. After internalization into the endosomal compartment, a significant pool of GFs and GF receptors escape recycling to the cell surface and are sorted to the degradation pathway. The ligand-induced internalization and lysosomal degradation of GF receptors result in the dramatic loss of surface receptors, a phenomenon termed receptor down-regulation. In this review, we discuss relevant biochemical, morphological and kinetic studies of the mechanism of GF endocytosis, and the possible role of this process in mitogenic signaling by growth factor receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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