The role of human dynamin in receptor-mediated endocytosis was investigated by transient expression of GTP-binding domain mutants in mammalian cells. Using assays which detect intermediates in coated vesicle formation, the dynamin mutants were found to block endocytosis at a stage after the initiation of coat assembly and preceding the sequestration of ligands into deeply invaginated coated pits. Membrane transport from the ER to the Golgi complex was unaffected indicating that dynamin mutants specifically block early events in endocytosis. These results demonstrate that mutations in the GTP-binding domain of dynamin block Tfn-endocytosis in mammalian cells and suggest that a functional dynamin GTPase is required for receptor-mediated endocytosis via clathrin-coated pits.

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