Morphological changes of plasma membrane and protein assembly during clathrin-mediated endocytosis

Aiko Yoshida, Nobuaki Sakai, Yoshitsugu Uekusa, Yuka Imaoka, Yoshitsuna Itagaki, Yuki Suzuki, Shige H. Yoshimura

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) proceeds through a series of morphological changes of the plasma membrane induced by a number of protein components. Although the spatiotemporal assembly of these proteins has been elucidated by fluorescence-based techniques, the protein-induced morphological changes of the plasma membrane have not been fully clarified in living cells. Here, we visualize membrane morphology together with protein localizations during CME by utilizing high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) combined with a confocal laser scanning unit. The plasma membrane starts to invaginate approximately 30 s after clathrin starts to assemble, and the aperture diameter increases as clathrin accumulates. Actin rapidly accumulates around the pit and induces a small membrane swelling, which, within 30 s, rapidly covers the pit irreversibly. Inhibition of actin turnover abolishes the swelling and induces a reversible open–close motion of the pit, indicating that actin dynamics are necessary for efficient and irreversible pit closure at the end of CME.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2004786
JournalPLoS Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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