Understanding living clathrin-coated pits

Joshua Rappoport, Sandford Simon*, Alexandre Benmerah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Most knowledge of clathrin-mediated endocytosis has been gained by biochemical fractionation and in vitro assays. Recently, the study of endocytosis has extended into the living cell. The tracking of individual clathrin-coated pits and vesicles (CCPs and CCVs) has provided new insight into understanding the dynamic nature of CCPs. The use of total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIR-FM), also termed evanescent field microscopy, has enabled the direct observation of events occurring within a restricted area of the cell adjacent to and including the adherent plasma membrane. TIR-FM is now actively being pursued in the study of endocytic processes. The direct observation of CCP-associated proteins including clathrin itself, dynamin and, most recently, AP-2 has considerably challenged old models, confirming some points but raising very interesting new questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-337
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004


  • AP-2
  • Clathrin
  • Clathrin-coated pits and vesicles
  • Endocytosis
  • Evanescent field fluorescent microscopy
  • Time-lapse
  • Total internal reflection (TIR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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