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Review article: Biomedical intelligence

Vol. 146 No. 3738 (2016)

When membranes need an ESCRT: endosomal sorting and membrane remodelling in health and disease

  • Victor Alfred
  • Thomas Vaccari
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2016;146:w14347


Originally discovered as regulators of cargo sorting during endosomal trafficking, ESCRT (endosomal sorting complexes required for transport) proteins are emerging as flexible machines that shape the behaviour of membranes throughout the cell. Deregulation of ESCRT activity is observed in neuro-degenerative diseases, virus infection and cancer. However, the mechanisms of pathogenesis involving ESCRTs have not yet fully come into focus. Here, we review the current knowledge of ESCRT function in health and disease and provide educated guesses for future research and focused therapeutic intervention.


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