Receptor-mediated Endocytosis in Cultured Cells: Coated Pits, Receptosomes, and Lysosomes

  • M. C. Willingham
  • H. T. Haigler
  • R. B. Dickson
  • I. H. Pastan


Endocytosis is the process by which living cells internalize substances from their surrounding medium (Silverstein et al. 1977) Animal cells in tissue culture internalize macromolecules from their environment by two pathways involving different organelles. One pathway involves the internalization of pinosomal vesicles from the cell surface; this process utilizes relatively unspecialized regions of the plasma membrane. In this process, both large vesicles (macropinosomes) and small invaginations of the membrane (micropinosomes) are brought into the cell. Their contents are the fluid-phase medium and surface-bound molecules which are present on the cell surface (reviewed in Pastan and Willingham 1980). Macromolecular ligands which are internalized by this mechanism do not selectively aggregate or concentrate in the regions of the membrane undergoing this process.


Epidermal Growth Factor Lysosomal Enzyme Saltatory Motion Endocytic Process Primary Lysosome 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. C. Willingham
  • H. T. Haigler
  • R. B. Dickson
  • I. H. Pastan
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular BiologyNational Cancer Institute, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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