Endosomes: Multipurpose designs for integrating housekeeping and specialized tasks

Martin Sachse, Georg Ramm, Ger Strous, Judith Klumperman

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58 Citations (Scopus)


In most cells the endocytic system is organized following a common concept that allows for the integrative handling of a variety of housekeeping functions. In addition, variations on the general scheme provide for specialized endosome-based pathways that occur only in specific cell types. The diversity of endosomal functions is not only reflected by characteristic molecular compositions, but also mirrored in their morphological organization. In this review we will first describe the general outline of the endocytic system by combining kinetic, morphological, molecular, and functional definitions. In the second part, adaptations of endosomes that allow their functioning in specialized processes, such as antigen presentation, synaptic vesicle formation, and glucose transport, will be addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-104
Number of pages14
JournalHistochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Antigen presentation
  • Endosomes
  • Glucose transport
  • Synaptic vesicle recycling

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