3.3 Fusion of vesicles with the target membrane

In this section, we shall look at how vesicles fuse with the appropriate target membrane. The targeting of different classes of transport vesicles to their distinct membrane destinations is essential in maintaining the distinct characteristics of the various eukaryotic organelles. Because coat proteins, such as clathrin, are found in different trafficking pathways, it follows that other proteins in the coat must specify the direction of transport of a particular vesicle and its ultimate desti
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3.1 Introduction

In the following sections, we shall describe the sequential steps involved in the movement of vesicles from one membrane to another (see Figure 9). Some of these steps are quite well defined, but for others there are gaps in our knowledge. Although we have emphasised the importance of proteins as cargo, vesicles also transfer membra
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2.5 The endocytic pathways and lysosomes

Endocytosis is the process by which cells internalise molecules from the outside, and it includes pinocytosis, the uptake of small soluble molecules in vesicles, and phagocytosis, the internalisation of large insoluble particles. These are two ends of a spectrum as seen microscopically, but the receptors, the subsequent intracellular trafficking pathways and the fate of the internalised molecules, vary depending on the cell type and its functions. The endocytic pathway co
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2.4 Exocytosis and the secretory pathways

Exocytosis is the process by which molecules are released to the outside of the cell. This includes the release of proteins to the plasma membrane and the release of secreted molecules into the extracellular fluid. All eukaryotic cells need a system to transport molecules to their plasma membrane, and many cells secrete proteins into the extracellular environment. In addition, cells in multicellular organisms communicate with each other via a variety of signalling molecules, which are
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2.3 Sorting for the basolateral and apical zones of the plasma membrane

Many cells are permanently polarised, and this means that surface proteins are selectively localised to different areas of the plasma membrane, depending on their function. For example, endothelial cells have adhesion molecules on the surface that contacts the basal lamina, but receptors that take up molecules from the blood (e.g. the transferrin receptor – see below) are located on the surface of the cell that is in contact with the blood. Cell surface molecules can normally diffuse latera
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4.1 Glucose metabolism

We are now in a position to draw together the major concepts and components of signalling, and show how they operate in one well-understood system, namely the regulation of the storage or release of glucose in the human body. From this, you will be able to recognize archetypal pathways represented in specific examples, you will be able to appreciate how the same basic pathways can be stimulated by different hormones in different tissues, and you will see how opposing hormones activate separat
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5.3.3 Phosphorylation of proteins as a means of regulating activity

Phosphorylation is an important mechanism for regulating the activity of many proteins, either switching on or switching off some activity of the protein.

  • What protein that we have already discussed is both positively and negatively regulated by phosphorylation?

  • Src kinase activity is switched on by dephosphorylation of
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4.2 Amino acid sequence homologies and why they occur

Consider two genes encoding proteins that have 50% of their amino acid sequence in common.

  • How can this sequence homology be explained in terms of evolution?

  • The most parsimonious explanation is that the similarities result from the fact that the two organisms share a common evolutionary past and that the genes encoding
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2.2 Chaperones help polypeptides to fold

We have seen how steric restrictions and energetic considerations specify preferred polypeptide conformations and ultimately determine a protein's three-dimensional structure. It is possible, of course, that there may be more than one energetically favourable conformation for a polypeptide. This is particularly true for large polypeptides. For a protein with a specific function in the cell, misfolding will affect its activity. Indeed, the misfolded protein may actually have some aberrant unde
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1.7 Summary of Section 1

  1. Protein structure is described in terms of four levels of organisation: primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary.

  2. The primary structure of a protein is the sequence of amino acids of which it is composed and ultimately determines the shape that the protein adopts.

  3. The peptide group formed between two amino acid residues has a rigid planar structure and these planar groups can rotate around the Cα–N and Cα<
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1.6 Fibrous proteins

Most of the proteins described so far have been globular proteins. There are, however, some distinctive features that characterise fibrous proteins and we present here a general overview of these. Elongated fibrous proteins frequently play a structural role in the cell. They do not readily crystallise but tend to aggregate along their long axis to form fibres. X-ray diffraction studies of these fibres, in contrast to analysis of protein crystals, provides only very limited information on the
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References

National Audit Office (2001) Tackling obesity in England [online] Available from: www.nao.org.uk/publications/nao_reports/00-01/0001220.pdf (Accessed 20 April 2009).
Watkins, P. J.(2003) Diabetes and its Management, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing.
World Health Organization (1999) Definition, diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus and its complications
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3 Reproduction in marsupials

The study of mammals requires you to deal with measurements, which we call numerical ‘data’, and you will get practice with compiling and analysing data if you work through all the units in this series. We assume only that you can add, subtract, multiply and divide. In this section, we ask you to use units
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1.4.5 Velocity–time and speed–time graphs

Just as we may plot the position–time graph or the displacement–time graph of a particular motion, so we may plot a velocity–time graph for that motion. By convention, velocity is plotted on the vertical axis (since velocity is the dependent variable) and time (the independent variable) is plotted on the horizontal axis. In the special case of uniform motion, the velocity–time graph takes a particularly simple form – it is just a horizontal line, i.e. the gradient is zero. Ex
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5 Summary

Domesticated organisms evolve in artificial environments under artificial selection, and opportunistic or enforced hybridisation often occurs between species that would not normally interbreed. Natural selection cannot be eliminated and continues to operate. At least two different forms of dwarfism are common in domesticated livestock and humans, but only the rarer midget type of dwarfism occurs in wild lineages. Domesticated mammals and birds have distinctive patterns of skin pigmentation th
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2.2 Size and shape

The shape of the head is determined mainly by the relative sizes of the jaws and the nose and the back of the skull containing the brain, eyes, ears and, in artiodactyls, the horns or antlers. All these structures may differ greatly between otherwise similar species.

SAQ 7


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5.3.4 Aye-ayes

Perhaps with good reason, the aye-aye has been dubbed by some ‘the strangest of all primates’ and LoM provides some of the reasons [p. 243]. Little wonder that, as DA points out, the species was first classified as a rodent like them, it has powerful incisor teeth that grow continuously.

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3.4 Competition

In plants it is particularly obvious that many more potential offspring (seeds) are produced than can survive. To a very large extent it is a matter of chance as to which are the survivors. Some are eaten, others overlooked or stored away and forgotten. Those that survive to germinate might be on unsuitable soil, too dry or too wet, so that they shrivel or rot. The successful seedling could be in poor soil, deficient in minerals, or there may be many other plants that are already established
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3.1 Comments and explanations

Read the following comments and explanations before answering the questions in Section 3.2.

  • As is the convention for satellites, the Moon's rotation period is defined in the Planetary facts table relative to the planet that it orbits rather than relative to the universe as a whole. This is a
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2.6 The surface

David A. Rothery Teach Yourself Planets, Chapter 6, pp. 66–75, Hodder Education, 2000, 2003.

Copyright © David Rothery

Look at the Moon even with the unaided eye, and you will see that it has dark patches on a paler background (Figure 2). This simple observation picks out the two distinct types of crust on the Moon. The paler areas are the lunar highlands, and the darker areas are the lunar ‘seas’ or maria (singular: mare). Both the highla
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