Secretory Vesicles

Secretory vesicles are organelles that look kind of like bubbles.

Their main responsibility is to both remove and store various substances for the cell.

The secretory vesicles coordinate the cargo transport from an organelle to any of the specified areas of the cell membrane.

Once the cargo arrives it will dock and then fuse with the membrane to release the cargo.

The fusing point is called the “porosomes” and it’s there that it makes use of specialized supramolecular structures to fuse with the membrane of the cell.

How useful are secretory vesicles?

If you think about how you exist in your everyday life you realize that someone shops for food and brings it home for you to eat, while others take out the trash and recycling.

The secretory vesicles are responsible for transporting all of the useful and harmful products in and out of the cell in the same way.

In the case of hormones, these are useful for the health of the cell. An example of harmful cargo can be different types of waste.

The nerve cells in our nervous system are called neurons, and they use a special type of secretory vesicle that is called a “synaptic vesicle.”

In this case, these vesicles release and store the various chemical signal that are required to quickly move between neurons.

These chemical signals can be anything from your brain telling your hand to raise to answer a question all the way to blinking your eyes. Other secretory vesicles in the endocrine cells release and store the hormones into our bloodstreams that our bodies need.

The Golgi Apparatus

One way that the cargo gets into the secretory vesicles is with the golgi apparatus. The golgi takes materials, packages them up, and puts them into the secretory vesicles for either transporting or storage.

A hormonal or neural signal will arrive to tell the secretory vesicles when to release the cargo that is being carried, and the vesicles will then move the substances to the cell membrane from an organelle.

Secretory vesicles and the cell membrane are made of the same substances so when the vesicle docks at the membrane it can fuse with the membrane and allow the material to be sent outside of the cell, using a process called “exocytosis.”

Once the vesicle has completed its delivery job it can separate from the cell membrane and it returns to the cytoplasm.

How important are Secretory Vesicles?

Secretory vesicles both store and move chemicals that deliver critical messages everywhere in your body. Without these vesicles your body wouldn’t know what to do or when.

You wouldn’t have any way to know to scratch an itch or even when you should eat. They are also responsible for the removal of useless and even harmful waste products.

Think about what life would be like it your trash piled up in your home forever!  The removal of waste by the secretory vesicles keeps the cells healthy and clean for good communication.

Facts about Secretory Vesicles

  • Scientists think that Alzheimer’s disease may be partially due to a breakdown with secretory vesicles. The breakdown allows waste to accumulate in the cell and causes communication problems.
  • Other vesicle dysfunctions have been attributed to disorders such as epilepsy and diabetes.
  • The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was shared by Randy Schekman, James Rothman, and Thomas Südhoffor their roles in adding to previous research on the function and makeup of cell vesicles.
  • Secretory vesicles have the name “secretory” for being the pathway by which the cell secretes proteins.
  • The exocytosis process used by secretory vesicles has the ability to be regulated or to occur all of the time.
  • Constant exocytosis is a priority when moving proteins that are critical for plasma membrane function. Regulated exocytosis requires a signal to the cell from the outside.

Interesting Facts about Biology

  • The blood in our bodies is the color red due to the iron in our blood. The iron creates a ring of atoms known as “porphyrin” and it’s structure makes the red color and the shape is affected by the oxygen in our bodies.
  • Our bone marrow creates red and white blood cells. Every day our marrow makes around 260 billion red blood cells and 135 billion white blood cells.
  • Male seahorses carry their unborn babies and give birth to them.
  • If you ever wondered why you get thirsty when you eat salty things it’s because salt has a tendency to bind with water.
  • Each nucleus in your body has DNA that measures 6 feet in length.
  • Dolphins are mammals and need to breathe air, so when they sleep, they sleep half awake. Dolphins keep one eye open while they breathe as they float on the surface of the water.

Secretory Vesicles Quiz

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