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Membrane trafficking, a fundamental cellular process encompassing the transport of molecules to specific organelles, endocytosis at the plasma membrane and protein secretion, is crucial for cellular homeostasis and signalling. Cancer cells adapt membrane trafficking to enhance their survival and metabolism, and understanding these adaptations is vital for improving patient responses to therapy and identifying therapeutic targets. In this Review, we provide a concise overview of major membrane trafficking pathways and detail adaptations in these pathways, including COPII-dependent endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-to-Golgi vesicle trafficking, COPI-dependent retrograde Golgi-to-ER trafficking and endocytosis, that have been found in cancer. We explore how these adaptations confer growth advantages or resistance to cell death and conclude by discussing the potential for utilising this knowledge in developing new treatment strategies and overcoming drug resistance for cancer patients.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cell Sci

Publication Date





Cancer, Coatomer, Endocytosis, Imaging, Vesicle, Humans, Neoplasms, Carcinogenesis, Animals, Cell Membrane, Endoplasmic Reticulum, Endocytosis, Protein Transport, Golgi Apparatus