The ESCRT (endosomal sorting complex required for transport) machinery plays a critical role in receptor down-regulation, retroviral budding, and other normal and pathological processes. The ESCRT components are conserved in all five major subgroups of eukaryotes. This review summarizes the growing number of links identified between ESCRT-mediated protein sorting in the MVB (multivesicular body) pathway and various human diseases.

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