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Trends Cell Biol. 1993 Mar;3(3):69-72.

Potocytosis of small molecules and ions by caveolae.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75235, USA.


Potocytosis is an endocytic process for concentrating and taking up small molecules and ions. The vehicle for internalization is the caveolae, a membrane specialization that has previously been implicated in membrane internalization. Within closed caveolae, the glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored class of membrane proteins generate high concentrations of small molecules or ions either by releasing receptor-bound species, by enzymatically converting abundant extracellular molecules, or by releasing them from a sequestered, soluble carrier protein. This pathway may also be involved in novel signal-transducing devices.

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