Guest Commentary by Derek McPhee
Endocytosis is a fundamental process that delivers macromolecules located outside the cell or on the cell membrane to the cytoplasm. It is a necessary process for nutrients to reach the cell, and for regulation of numerous transmembrane receptors. Of the various ways whereby cargo can access the cytoplasm, one of the most researched is the so called clathrin-dependent endocytosis, whose mechanism is relatively well understood. Membrane fragments, along with their contents, enter the cell as vesicles coated with clathrin species. This activity is not only key to the survival and normal functioning of eukaryotic cells, but has also been associated with a variety of pathological states, such as the access of pathogens like virus and bacteria to the cell interior, a number of cancers and other conditions.