Molecular mechanisms of the membrane sculpting ESCRT pathway

William Mike Henne, Harald Stenmark, Scott D. Emr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

222 Scopus citations


The endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT) drive multivesicular body (MVB) biogenesis and cytokinetic abscission. Originally identified through genetics and cell biology, more recent work has begun to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of ESCRTmediated membrane remodeling, with special focus on the ESCRT-III complex. In particular, several light and electron microscopic studies provide high-resolution imaging of ESCRT-III rings and spirals that purportedly drive MVB morphogenesis and abscission. These studies highlight unifying principles to ESCRT-III function, in particular: (1) the ordered assembly of the ESCRT-III monomers into a heteropolymer, (2) ESCRT-III as a dynamic complex, and (3) the role of the AAA ATPase Vps4 as a contributing factor in membrane scission. Mechanistic comparisons of ESCRT-III function in MVB morphogenesis and cytokinesis suggest common mechanisms in membrane remodeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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