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J Physiol. 2007 Dec 15;585(Pt 3):699-704. Epub 2007 Jun 21.

Phospholipases and fatty acid signalling in exocytosis.

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MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge, UK.


Vesicle fusion is a ubiquitous biological process involved in general membrane trafficking and a variety of specialized events, for example release of neurotransmitters and hormones, sperm acrosome exocytosis, plasma membrane repair and neurite outgrowth. Many vesicle fusion events have long been known to be activated by phospholipases and products of their activity, such as polyunsaturated arachidonic acid. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been proposed to have a number of multiple effectors, including ion channels and the cytoskeleton, but the precise mechanism of PUFA action is still unclear. It was recently reported that omega-3 and omega-6 PUFAs can act on syntaxin, a plasma membrane protein directly involved in vesicle fusion. In this review, we will discuss the role of this new mode of PUFA action in exocytosis.

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