Clathrin is best known for its contribution to clathrin-mediated endocytosis yet it also participates to a diverse range of cellular functions. Key to this is clathrin's ability to assemble into polyhedral lattices that include curved football or basket shapes, flat lattices or even tubular structures. In this review, we discuss clathrin structure and coated vesicle formation, how clathrin is utilised within different cellular processes including synaptic vesicle recycling, hormone desensitisation, spermiogenesis, cell migration and mitosis, and how clathrin's remarkable ‘shapeshifting’ ability to form diverse lattice structures might contribute to its multiple cellular functions.

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