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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)