Author(s): Kaur G, Lakkaraju A. Early endosome morphology in health and disease. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2018;1074:335-343. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-75402-4_41. Review. PMID 29721961
Journal: Advances In Experimental Medicine And Biology, Volume 1074, 2018
Early endosomes are organelles that receive macromolecules and solutes from the extracellular environment. The major function of early endosomes is to sort these cargos into recycling and degradative compartments of the cell. Degradation of the cargo involves maturation of early endosomes into late endosomes, which, after acquisition of hydrolytic enzymes, form lysosomes. Endosome maturation involves recruitment of specific proteins and lipids to the early endosomal membrane, which drives changes in endosome morphology. Defects in early endosome maturation are generally accompanied by alterations in morphology, such as increase in volume and/or number. Enlarged early endosomes have been observed in Alzheimer’s disease and Niemann Pick Disease type C, which also exhibit defects in endocytic sorting. This article discusses the mechanisms that regulate early endosome morphology and highlights the potential importance of endosome maturation in the retinal pigment epithelium.