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Cell. 2004 Jan 23;116(2):153-66.

The mechanisms of vesicle budding and fusion.

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Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Genetic and biochemical analyses of the secretory pathway have produced a detailed picture of the molecular mechanisms involved in selective cargo transport between organelles. This transport occurs by means of vesicular intermediates that bud from a donor compartment and fuse with an acceptor compartment. Vesicle budding and cargo selection are mediated by protein coats, while vesicle targeting and fusion depend on a machinery that includes the SNARE proteins. Precise regulation of these two aspects of vesicular transport ensures efficient cargo transfer while preserving organelle identity.

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