Molecular mechanisms of the membrane sculpting ESCRT pathway

William Mike Henne, Harald Stenmark, Scott D. Emr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 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 ESCRT-mediated 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 ATP asVps4 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)
Article numbera016766
JournalCold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 14 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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