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Adaptins are proteins that mediate the formation of vesicles by clathrin-coated pits, through interaction with membrane-bound receptors. There are several types of adaptin, each related to a different group of such receptors.

Adaptins show sequence similarity to some COPI subunits, thus they are thought to have a common evolutionary origin.

Adaptins cluster to form the AP2 complex.

The Adaptin complex is a heterotetramer consisting of two large adaptins (alpha or beta), a medium adaptin (mu), and a small adaptin (sigma):


  • Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts, Walter: Molecular Biology of the Cell, 4th edition (2002), Garland Science.