ESCRT-III on endosomes: New functions, new activation pathway

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The multivesicular body (MVB) pathway sorts ubiquitinated membrane cargo to intraluminal vesicles (ILVs) within the endosome, en route to the lysosomal lumen. The pathway involves the sequential action of conserved protein complexes [endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRTs)], culminating in the activation by ESCRT-II of ESCRT-III, a membranesculpting complex. Although this linear pathway of ESCRT activation is widely accepted, a study by Luzio and colleagues in a recent issue of the Biochemical Journal suggests that there is greater complexity in ESCRT-III activation, at least for some MVB cargoes. They show that ubiquitin-dependent sorting of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I to the MVB requires the central ESCRT-III complex but does not involve either ESCRT-II or functional links between ESCRT-II and ESCRT-III. Instead, they propose that MHC class I utilizes histidine-domain protein tyrosine phosphatase (HD-PTP), a non-canonical ESCRT interactor, to promote ESCRT-III activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e5-e8
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2016


  • CHMP4
  • HD-PTP
  • Multivesicular body
  • Ubiquitin


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