Nanocones to Study Initial Steps of Endocytosis

  • Sangmoo Jeong
  • Milos GalicEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1174)


Vesicle endocytosis at the plasma membrane is associated with a precise temporal choreography in the recruitment of cytosolic proteins that sense, generate, or stabilize locally curved membrane regions. To dissect the role of membrane curvature sensing from other co-occurring events during the initial steps of endocytosis, we developed a method to artificially induce nanoscale deformations of the PM in living cells that is based on cone-shaped nanostructures (i.e., Nanocones). When cultured on Nanocones, cells create stable inward plasma membrane deformations to which curvature-sensing proteins are recruited. Here, we provide a detailed protocol how to use Nanocones to study recruitment during the initial steps of endocytosis in cells by fluorescence and electron microscopy.

Key words

Nanocones Plasma membrane Membrane curvature Endocytosis Endocytic vesicles 



S. J. acknowledges support from the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies (KFAS) for graduate fellowship. M. G. was supported by fellowships from the Swiss National Science Foundation (No. PBBSP3-123159), Novartis Jubilaeumsstiftung, Stanford Deans Postdoctoral Fellowship and grants from the German Research Foundation (Cluster of Excellence EXC 1003, Cells in Motion, CiM, Münster, Germany).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical EngineeringStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Systems BiologyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Medical Physics and BiophysicsUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany
  4. 4.Cluster of Excellence EXC 1003Cells in MotionMünsterGermany

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