• the Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences


Review Article

Exp Neurobiol 2012; 21(1): 9-15

Published online March 31, 2012

© The Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences

Neuronal Functions of ESCRTs

Jin-A Lee1* and Fen-Biao Gao2

1Department of Biotechnology, College of Life Science and Nano Technology, Hannam University, Dajeon 305-811, Korea, 2Department of Neurology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, 01605 USA

Correspondence to: *To whom correspondence should be addressed.
TEL: 82-42-629-8785, FAX: 82-42-629-8769


The endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRTs) regulate protein trafficking from endosomes to lysosomes. Recent studies have shown that ESCRTs are involved in various cellular processes, including membrane scission, microRNA function, viral budding, and the autophagy pathway in many tissues, including the nervous system. Indeed, dysfunctional ESCRTs are associated with neurodegeneration. However, it remains largely elusive how ESCRTs act in post-mitotic neurons, a highly specialized cell type that requires dynamic changes in neuronal structures and signaling for proper function. This review focuses on our current understandings of the functions of ESCRTs in neuronal morphology, synaptic plasticity, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: autophagy, dendrites, endocytosis, ESCRTs, lysosome, neurodegenerative diseases