Hicks, Glenn R. Plant Biotechnology Group, Exelixis Pharmaceuticals, South San Francisco, California.
Raikhel, Natasha V. Department of Energy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.
Last reviewed:January 2017
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- Animal lysosomes
- Transport to the vacuole
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A membrane-bound cavity within a cell that may function in digestion, storage, secretion, or excretion. A vacuole is an intracellular compartment, bounded by a single membrane lipid bilayer, which functions as a primary site of protein and metabolite degradation and recycling in animals, but serves additional complex functions in plants, fungi, and protists (Fig. 1). Scientists who study vacuoles also define them as the terminal products of the secretory pathway. The secretory pathway functions to transport protein- and metabolite-containing membrane vesicles from sites of synthesis or uptake to the vacuole. See also: Cell (biology); Cell membranes; Protein; Protein degradation
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