Endocytosis

Galectin-3 gives cells another way to eat

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Science  06 Jun 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6188, pp. 1129
DOI: 10.1126/science.344.6188.1129-b

Like people, cells need to eat. They use a process known as endocytosis to take up materials from their surroundings. In the best-known type of endocytosis, the cell forms a protein coat that actively pinches off small vesicles from the cell surface. However, another type of endocytosis does not use these clathrin coats—so what does it use? Lakshminarayan et al. found that a carbohydrate-binding protein, galectin-3, caused the cells to produce a new, morphologically distinct class of endocytic structures, termed clathrin-independent carriers (CLICs). The cell used this CLIC pathway to ingest a variety of cell-surface glycoproteins that help interacting cells to stick together and move around.

Nat. Cell Biol. 10.1038/ncb2970 (2014).

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