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VesicleClathrin-coated vesicleCytoplasmic vesicle


Clathrin coated vesicles (CCVs) mediate the vesicular transport of cargo such as proteins between organelles in the post-Golgi network connecting the trans-Golgi network, endosomes, lysosomes and the cell membrane. CCVs that bud from the cell membrane reveal a striking polyhedral pattern reminiscent of a fullerene which arises from the outermost protein in the coat, clathrin. Clathrin assembles from three-legged individual components called triskelions to form a polygonal lattice around the vesicle. Clathrin is a large heterohexameric protein complex composed of three heavy chains and three light chains. Clathrin molecules self-assemble together to make a spherical clathrin lattice structure, a polyhedron made of regular pentagons and hexagons. The clathrin lattice serves as a mechanical scaffold but is itself unable to bind directly to membrane components. The connection of the clathrin scaffold to the membrane is mediated by clathrin adaptors, which can bind directly to both the clathrin lattice and to the lipid and protein components of membranes. Clathrin-associated adaptor protein (AP) complexes are a stoichiometric coat component of CCVs alongside clathrin itself, and are considered a major clathrin adaptor contributing the CCV formation.




› Cellular component

Gene Ontology


clathrin-coated vesicle [ GO:0030136 ]
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