To degrade or not to degrade: mechanisms and significance of endocytic recycling

Pete Cullen, Florian Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

300 Citations (Scopus)
1407 Downloads (Pure)


Newly endocytosed integral cell surface proteins are typically either directed for degradation or subject to recycling back to the plasma membrane. The sorting of integral cell surface proteins, including signalling receptors, nutrient transporters, ion channels, adhesion molecules and polarity markers, within the endo-lysosomal network for recycling is increasingly recognised as an essential feature in regulating the complexities of cell, tissue and organism-level physiology. Historically, endocytic recycling has been regarded as a relatively passive process, where the majority of internalized integral proteins are recycled via an unspecific sequence-independent “bulk membrane flow” pathway. Recent work has increasingly challenged this view. The discovery of sequence-specific sorting motifs and the identification of cargo adaptors and associated coat complexes has begun to uncover the highly orchestrated nature of endosomal cargo recycling, thereby providing new insight into the function and (patho)physiology of this process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-696
Number of pages18
JournalNature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology
Issue number11
Early online date7 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


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