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Cell Biology

  1. Robert D. Burgoyne,
  2. Alan Morgan

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200300021

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Burgoyne, R. D. and Morgan, A. 2006. Exocytosis. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. University of Liverpool, The Physiological Laboratory, Liverpool, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Exocytosis is the process by which secretory vesicles fuse with the plasma membrane of cells to allow release of their contents and insertion of new membrane components. It is a mechanism that is essential for cell growth but also underlies the release of many different extracellularly-acting substances. All cells possess a pathway for constitutive exocytosis and many cell types also possess a pathway for regulated exocytosis that occurs only in response to an intracellular signal such as a rise in cytosolic calcium concentration. Regulated exocytosis is involved in the release of hormones and neurotransmitters and even in events involved in the fusion of the sperm and the egg. In all cases a common conserved machinery is resposible for membrane fusion during exocytosis.


  • Ca2+ Sensor;
  • Constitutive Exocytosis;
  • Fusion Pore;
  • Regulated Exocytosis;
  • Secretory Vesicle;
  • SNARE Proteins;
  • Synapse;
  • Synaptic Vesicle