Cargo adaptors: Structures illuminate mechanisms regulating vesicle biogenesis

Jon E. Paczkowski, Brian C. Richardson, J. Christopher Fromme

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Cargo adaptors sort transmembrane protein cargos into nascent vesicles by binding directly to their cytosolic domains. Recent studies have revealed previously unappreciated roles for cargo adaptors and regulatory mechanisms governing their function. The adaptor protein (AP)-1 and AP-2 clathrin adaptors switch between open and closed conformations that ensure they function at the right place at the right time. The exomer cargo adaptor has a direct role in remodeling the membrane for vesicle fission. Several different cargo adaptors functioning in distinct trafficking pathways at the Golgi are similarly regulated through bivalent binding to the ADP-ribosylation factor 1 (Arf1) GTPase, potentially enabling regulation by a threshold concentration of Arf1. Taken together, these studies highlight that cargo adaptors do more than just adapt cargos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-416
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are supported by NIH/NIGMS grant R01GM098621.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Cargo adaptor
  • GTPase
  • Membrane trafficking
  • Vesicle


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