Clathrin and Plant Endocytosis



Endocytosis requires the coordinated interaction of a plethora of cytosolic and membrane proteins. In mammalian cells, clathrin plays a crucial role in this process as a scaffolding protein underlying the invaginating plasma membrane and surrounding the primary endocytic vesicle. Despite great similarities at the morphological level, the cargo of endocytic clathrin-coated vesicles in plant cells remains to be elucidated. Thus, the role of endocytosis in the plant cell is difficult to ascertain. This review will present important discoveries on putative endosomal compartments and on the functions of plasma membrane-derived plant clathrin-coated vesicles, but will also emphasize the striking similarities of the clathrin-, network- and vesicle fusion-machineries between plant and animal cells.