Functions in an early step of clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Has both a membrane binding/bending activity and the ability to recruit proteins essential to the formation of functional clathrin-coated pits. Has a lipid-binding activity with a preference for membranes enriched in phosphatidylserine and phosphoinositides (Pi(4,5) biphosphate) like the plasma membrane. Its membrane-bending activity might be important for the subsequent action of clathrin and adaptors in the formation of clathrin-coated vesicles. Involved in adaptor protein complex AP-2-dependent endocytosis of the transferin receptor, it also functions in the AP-2-independent endocytosis of the LDL receptor.