Endocytic adaptor proteins facilitate cargo recruitment and clathrin-coated pit nucleation. The prototypical clathrin adaptor AP2 mediates cargo recruitment, maturation, and scission of the pit by binding cargo, clathrin, and accessory proteins, including the Eps-homology (EH) domain proteins Eps15 and intersectin. However, clathrin-mediated endocytosis of some cargoes proceeds efficiently in AP2-depleted cells. We found that Dab2, another endocytic adaptor, also binds to Eps15 and intersectin. Depletion of EH domain proteins altered the number and size of clathrin structures and impaired the endocytosis of the Dab2- and AP2-dependent cargoes, integrin β1 and transferrin receptor, respectively. To test the importance of Dab2 binding to EH domain proteins for endocytosis, we mutated the EH domain-binding sites. This mutant localized to clathrin structures with integrin β1, AP2, and reduced amounts of Eps15. Of interest, although integrin β1 endocytosis was impaired, transferrin receptor internalization was unaffected. Surprisingly, whereas clathrin structures contain both Dab2 and AP2, integrin β1 and transferrin localize in separate pits. These data suggest that Dab2-mediated recruitment of EH domain proteins selectively drives the internalization of the Dab2 cargo, integrin β1. We propose that adaptors may need to be bound to their cargo to regulate EH domain proteins and internalize efficiently.
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