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Lipid-Mediated Endocytosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Helge Ewers, Ari Helenius

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera004721
Pages (from-to)N/A
Number of pages14
JournalCold Spring Harbor Perspectives In Biology
Issue number8
PublishedAug 2011

King's Authors


Receptor-mediated endocytosis is used by a number of viruses and toxins to gain entry into cells. Some have evolved to use specific lipids in the plasma membrane as their receptors. They include bacterial toxins such as Shiga and Cholera toxin and viruses such as mouse polyoma virus and simian virus 40. Through multivalent binding to glycosphingolipids, they induce lipid clustering and changes in membrane properties. Internalization occurs by unusual endocytic mechanisms involving lipid rafts, induction of membrane curvature, trans-bilayer coupling, and activation of signaling pathways. Once delivered to early endosomes, they follow diverse intracellular routes to the lumen of the ER, from which they penetrate into the cytosol. The role of the lipid receptors is central in these well-studied processes.

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