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WHAT IS ENDOCYTOSIS IN BIOLOGY

Endocytosis is a scientific process where organism internalizes substances through the cells from the external environment. It is used by the cell to absorb elements with the benefit of development. The nutrients internalized comprises of fluids, electrolyte, and any other essential nutrient that is needed by the body. The process is also useful for white blood cells to capture any pathogen that is harmful to the body. Therefore, it is a vital process that is useful to the body of all animals.

Process of endocytosis

The entire process can be summarized through the following steps: The first step is when the plasma invaginates forming a cavity that is filled by food particles, dissolved molecules, and pathogens, etc. As the plasma membrane folds back on it, the fluid is trapped inside the vesicle, which is later pinched off from the plasma membrane as it fuses. This vesicle that contains the nutrients is then processed by the cell.

Types of endocytosis

There are different types of endocytosis. Majorly, there are three types. They are:

  • Phagocytosis: This is an endocytosis process that is also known as cell eating. It involves intake if food particles or solid materials.
  • Pinocytosis: This type of endocytosis is also known as cell drinking endocytosis. It purely involves the intake of material that is dissolved in the cell fluid.
  • Receptor-mediated endocytosis: This is the type that involves the intake of material as per the interaction of their receptors with the cell surface.
  • The plasma membrane is a central component of the cell that is made of lipids and proteins. These components are very vital in membrane flexibility and the transportation of molecules. The lipids in the plasma membrane combine with phosphorous to form layers of phospholipids that aid in the protection of the internal and the external environment of the cell. All the phospholipids are made up of hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails. In case of any contact with liquid, the phospholipids heads align themselves with the side of water since they are highly attracted to the water. The plasma membrane is also semipermeable which means that only specific molecules that can diffuse across it.

    For those materials that cannot diffuse across the membrane, active transportation and endocytosis come in to play the role of facilitation. This role of facilitation by endocytosis and active transport is known as passive diffusion. Endocytosis is essential for the removal of that membrane, which forms the vesicles that are significant in the internalization of the substances. When the process removes the membrane vesicle portions, there is a need of the cell membrane to be replaced by exocytosis process.

    Phagocytosis

    Phagocytosis involves the engulfing of large cells or particles which allows immune cells to get rid of cancer cells, bacteria, or any other harmful substance that can affect the body negatively. Phagocytosis process involves detection, attachment, ingestion, fusion, and elimination.

    Pinocytosis

    This involves the cell drinking endocytosis process. It is the type of endocytosis that consists of the intake of dissolved nutrients into the cell through the semipermeable membrane. Pinocytosis uses the same steps that the phagocytosis takes.

    Receptor-mediated endocytosis

    This type of endocytosis depends more on the receptors that are found on the surface of the cell membrane. Therefore, receptor-mediated endocytosis is deemed to be more effective than pinocytosis.

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