Research Article

ESCRT Machinery Is Required for Plasma Membrane Repair

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Science  30 Jan 2014:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1247136

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Plasma membrane damage can be triggered by numerous phenomena and efficient repair is essential for cell survival. Endocytosis, membrane patching or extracellular budding can be used for plasma membrane repair. Here, we found that the Endosomal Sorting Complex Required for Transport (ESCRT), involved previously in membrane budding and fission, plays a critical role in plasma membrane repair. ESCRT proteins were recruited within seconds to plasma membrane wounds. Quantitative analysis of wound closure kinetics coupled to mathematical modeling suggested that ESCRTs are involved in the repair of small wounds. Real-time imaging and correlative scanning electron microscopy identified extra-cellular buds and shedding at the site of ESCRT recruitment. Thus, the repair of certain wounds is ensured by ESCRT mediated extracellular shedding of wounded portions.

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