Active Transport and Bulk Transport

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1 Active Transport and Bulk Transport Simple diffusion (including osmosis) and facilitated diffusion are methods used by cells to move substances through membranes from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration until concentrations are equal. These methods for moving materials are useful in many situations, but may be wasteful in others. The primary purpose of eating is to absorb nutrient molecules into the cells of your body. Nutrients include amino acids from proteins, fatty acids from fats, nucleotides from nucleic acids, and glucose from complex carbohydrates such as starch. Glucose is a particularly important nutrient because it is used as a source of energy by all the cells of your body. To ensure that the body absorbs the maximum amount of nutrients from food, energy may be used to pump nutrients across cell membranes. A compound called adenosine triphosphate () provides the energy needed in this process, and in many of the other energy-requiring processes of living cells. Energy, ells, and Living organisms need a continuous supply of energy to power the energyrequiring processes of life. Movement, reproduction, protein synthesis, and certain forms of transport across cell membranes all require energy. This energy is provided by the breakdown of. The molecular structure of is similar to that of the DNA nucleotide containing adenine, except that contains three linked phosphate groups instead of just one (Figure 1). When reacts with certain compounds in a cell, the reactions release energy that the cell can use to power energy-requiring activities (Figure 2) adenosine triphosphate () a compound used as a source of chemical energy in cells (a) (a) N H NH 2 adenine phosphate groups N O O O H N N H 2 O P O P O P O H H ribose O (b) H OH H OH (b) P P P P P P i ENERGY phosphate Figure 1 (a) Adenosine triphosphate () (b) Release of energy when is broken down into adenoside diphosphate () and phosphate (c) Figure 2 Muscle contraction (a), locomotion (b), and cell division (c) are examples of energy-requiring activities. ellular Biology 67

2 Active Transport After a meal, partially digested food travels from the stomach into the small intestine, where most of the nutrient molecules are absorbed into cells (Figure 3). nutrient molecules in intestinal space protein digestion polysaccharides digestion small intestine amino acids absorption monosaccharides absorption cells lining the small intestine Figure 3 Absorption of nutrient molecules by cells of the small intestine intestinal space blood vessel active transport the movement of substances through a membrane against a concentration gradient using membrane-bound carrier proteins and energy from As the nutrients move through the small intestine, they must be absorbed efficiently to avoid being excreted with waste products that move through the digestive system. If glucose were absorbed into intestinal cells by simple diffusion or facilitated diffusion, only about half of the molecules would be absorbed, since diffusion ends when solute concentrations are equal on both sides of the cell membrane. To maximize the absorption of such an important nutrient, cells of the small intestine may pump glucose through their cell membranes against a concentration gradient. This means that glucose continues to enter intestinal cells even when the concentration inside the is greater than the concentration outside the (in the intestinal space). In order to accomplish this, the cells have special protein carriers that use chemical energy from to transport substances such as glucose through their cell membranes. This process is called active transport (Figure 4). It is important transmembrane carrier protein Figure 4 Active transport. The molecule to be transported attaches to an open binding site on one side of the carrier protein. is converted to on the carrier protein and releases energy. The energy causes a change in the shape of the protein that carries the solute to the other side of the membrane. phospholipid bilayer (membrane) 68 Unit 1

3 Section 1.16 to note that simple diffusion and facilitated diffusion (unlike active transport) are processes that do not require a source of cellular energy (). Various types of active-transport pumps are found in the membranes of different cells. Potassium ions and sodium ions are moved into and out of cells by a pump known as the sodium-potassium pump (Figure 5). Without this pump, your nerve cells and muscle cells could not function properly. Other substances, such as vitamins, amino acids, and hydrogen ions, are also pumped across membranes. All of these pumps require cellular energy () to operate. sodium-potassium pump an active-transport mechanism that pumps sodium and potassium ions into and out of a cell active carrier protein ions K Bulk Transport Diffusion and active transport are responsible for moving large amounts of material through cell membranes. However, in both cases, the substances move through the membranes as dissolved particles (atoms, ions, or molecules). Sometimes cells need to move large quantities of materials (bulk) into or out of their all at once. A process called bulk transport may accomplish this. As in active transport, all bulk-transport mechanisms use energy in the form of. There are two forms of bulk transport, endocytosis and exocytosis. Endocytosis Endocytosis is the form of bulk transport used to bring large amounts of material into the cell from the. There are two forms of endocytosis, phagocytosis and pinocytosis. Phagocytosis (cell eating) is the bulk transport of solids into the cell, and pinocytosis (cell drinking) is the bulk transport of (liquid) into the cell. Phagocytosis Phagocytosis begins when a solid particle comes in contact with the plasma membrane of a cell (Figure 6, on the next page). The cell membrane sends out fingerlike projections called pseudopods that surround and eventually enclose the particle in a vesicle that is within the cell s. Such a vesicle is called a phagocytotic vesicle. Lysosomes containing digestive enzymes may fuse with the phagocytotic vesicle to digest the particles it contains. Nutrients formed by this digestion process move through the vesicle s membrane into the cell s. White blood cells called macrophages frequently engulf invading harmful bacteria by phagocytosis, removing them from the bloodstream and other body tissues (Figure 7, on the next page). Figure 5 The energy of is used to actively transport three sodium ions out of a cell for every two potassium ions that are transported into the cell. bulk transport the movement of large quantities of materials into or out of a cell endocytosis a form of bulk transport used to bring large amounts of material into the cell from the phagocytosis the bulktransport of solids into the cell pinocytosis the bulktransport of (liquid) into the cell pseudopod a fingerlike projection of the cell membrane that surrounds and encloses solid particles in the that are brought into a cell by phagocytosis phagocytotic vesicle a vesicle that is formed within a cell s when cells engulf solid particles by phagocytosis ellular Biology 69

4 pseudopod phagocytotic vesicle food or other solid particle extracellular fluid Figure 6 Phagocytosis pinocytotic vesicle a vesicle that is formed within a cell s when cells engulf by pinocytosis Figure 7 A macrophage phagocytosing harmful cells Pinocytosis Pinocytosis occurs when a cell s plasma membrane engulfs a drop of extracellular fluid in a process similar to phagocytosis (Figure 8). This results in the formation of a pinocytotic vesicle. ells bring cholesterol molecules into their by a special form of pinocytosis called receptor-mediated pinocytosis. In this process, cholesterol molecules in the attach to receptor molecules on the external surface of the cell membrane. A pinocytotic vesicle then forms that brings the cholesterol molecules into the cell. dissolved solutes pinocytotic vesicle plasma membrane Figure 8 Pinocytosis exocytosis the movement of large amounts of material out of a cell by means of secretory vesicles secretory vesicle a membrane sac containing substances that are transported out of a cell Exocytosis In exocytosis, cells move large amounts of material out of their by a process that is essentially the reverse of endocytosis. In some cases, cells produce substances, such as hormones or enzymes, that must be exported out of the. In these cases, the material is enclosed in a membrane sac called a secretory vesicle (Figure 9). The secretory vesicle fuses with the cell membrane and spills its contents into the. In some cases, proteins produced in the rough endoplasmic reticulum are packaged into secretory vesicles by the Golgi apparatus and are subsequently transported out of the cell by exocytosis. 70 Unit 1

5 Section 1.16 protein 1. Proteins enter ER as they are synthesized by ribosomes. 2. Protein travels into the Golgi apparatus. rough endoplasmic reticulum Golgi apparatus 3. Protein travels through the Golgi apparatus. 4. Secretory vesicle containing the protein forms at the end of the Golgi apparatus. 5. Protein enters a secretory vesicle that attaches to the cell membrane. 6. Protein is secreted into the. plasma membrane Figure 9 Exocytosis Section 1.16 Questions Understanding oncepts 1. (a) Describe one similarity and two differences between facilitated diffusion and active transport. (b) Name one substance that is actively transported through the cell membrane of an animal cell. 2. Describe the two types of endocytosis. 3. ontrast endocytosis with exocytosis. 4. (a) What cellular process is illustrated in Figure 10? (b) Identify the names of the labelled components. (c) What role may lysosomes play in this process? Figure What would happen to the size of the cell membrane if a cell were to undergo a lot of endocytosis and no exocytosis? 6. List two substances that cells export to the by exocytosis. A B Applying Inquiry Skills 7. A student places a living cell into a beaker containing a 5% sugar solution. She measures the concentration of sugar in the solution after 30 min, and notices that the concentration has dropped substantially. She draws before and after diagrams (Figure 11) to illustrate her conception of the process that caused the change in sugar concentration. water sugar living molecules cell Figure 11 time = 0 min time = 30 min (a) Based on the diagrams in Figure 11, describe the student s hypothesis regarding the cellular process that may have caused the change in sugar concentration inside and outside of the cell. (b) Inspecting the cells under a microscope, the student notices that the cells have far more mitochondria than most other animal cells have. How does this finding affect the confidence you have in your answer to (a)? A B ellular Biology 71

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