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Clathrin-coated Vesicle
Eukaryotic Cell

Clathrin-coated Vesicle

Vesicula a clathrino tecta

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Quick Facts

A clathrin-coated vesicle is a transport vesicle having a clathrin coat, involved in the transport of products from the Golgi complex to lysosomes, the transport of molecules taken up by endocytosis, and the retrieval of synaptic vesicle membrane following neurotransmitter release (Dorland, 2011).

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Structure and/or Key Feature(s)

The formation of a phagosome is usually a receptor-mediated process allowing only specific molecules to enter the cell. The receptors specific for a particular molecule accumulate at locations along the plasmalemma where the protein clathrin also accumulates. This accumulation on the cytoplasmic surface of the plasmalemma appears like a coated pit when viewed with an electron microscope. The type of vesicle then formed is referred to as a clathrin-coated vesicle (Ross and Pawlina, 2006).

Anatomical Relations

Coated vesicles are located in the apical regions of the cell cytoplasm (Ross and Pawlina, 2006; Ovalle, Nahirney and Netter, 2013; McKinley, O'Loughlin and Pennefather-O'Brien, 2016).


A clathrin-coated vesicle contains products ingested by the cell (Ross and Pawlina, 2006).


Dorland, W. (2011) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd edn. Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier Saunders.

McKinley, M. P., O'Loughlin, V. D. and Pennefather-O'Brien, E. E. (2016) Human Anatomy. 5th edn.: McGraw-Hill Education.

Ovalle, W. K., Nahirney, P. C. and Netter, F. H. (2013) Netter's Essential Histology. ClinicalKey 2012: Elsevier Saunders.

Ross, M. H. and Pawlina, W. (2006) Histology: A text and atlas. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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