Sterols lower energetic barriers of membrane bending and fission necessary for efficient clathrin-mediated endocytosis


Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) is critical for cellular signal transduction, receptor recycling, and membrane homeostasis in mammalian cells. Acute depletion of cholesterol disrupts CME, motivating analysis of CME dynamics in the context of human disorders of cholesterol metabolism. We report that inhibition of post-squalene cholesterol biosynthesis impairs CME. Imaging of membrane bending dynamics and the CME pit ultrastructure reveals prolonged clathrin pit lifetimes and shallow clathrin-coated structures, suggesting progressive impairment of curvature generation correlates with diminishing sterol abundance. Sterol structural requirements for efficient CME include 3' polar head group and B-ring conformation, resembling the sterol structural prerequisites for tight lipid packing and polarity. Furthermore, Smith-Lemli-Opitz fibroblasts with low cholesterol abundance exhibit deficits in CME-mediated transferrin internalization. We conclude that sterols lower the energetic costs of membrane bending during pit formation and vesicular scission during CME and suggest that reduced CME activity may contribute to cellular phenotypes observed within disorders of cholesterol metabolism. Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Authors Anderson RH, Sochacki KA, Vuppula H, Scott BL, Bailey EM, Schultz MM, Kerkvliet JG, Taraska JW, Hoppe AD, Francis KR
Journal Cell reports
Publication Date 2021 Nov 16;37(7):110008
PubMed 34788623
PubMed Central PMC8620193
DOI 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.110008

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