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Exocytosis vs Endocytosis

The cells in the body secrete chemicals, release energy, expel wastes and carry out many other functions. In order to carry out these functions, cells carry out exocytosis and endocytosis. There are many exocytosis and endocytosis differences. Exocytosis is opposite of endocytosis. The following paragraphs on exocytosis and endocytosis will help you understand the differences between the two processes. You can read more on cells in the human body.

Difference Between Exocytosis and Endocytosis

There are many exocytosis and endocytosis differences that you will be able to understand by reading the two processes individually. The following explanation will help you understand exocytosis vs endocytosis clearly. You may also like to read more on similarites between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

Exocytosis
Exocytosis is a process through which a cell expels molecules and other objects that are too large to pass through the cell membrane structure. This reverse of endocytosis where the discharge of the materials or molecules from the vesicles at the cell surface outside the cell. You can read more on similarities between plant and animal cells.

In case of exocytosis, the water or chemicals inside the cells are surrounded by the vesicles. These vesicles may draw the molecules through the membrane sometimes. Other times, the vesicle surrounds the molecule and swallows it. Then the vesicle transports itself towards the cell membrane and attaches itself to it. The molecules to be pushed out are then forced out of the cellular membrane. You can read more on cell nucleus – structure and functions.

Endocytosis
Cell takes in molecules, particles or polar molecules through their hydrophobic plasma membrane. Endocytosis is carried out by many eukaryotic cells to ingest food particles, by extending the plasma membrane outward and then surrounding the food particles. The basic mechanism of exocytosis or endocytosis is more or less the same. The vesicles are used for transportation of molecules. The vesicles are small sacs enclosed in membranes around a cell. These vesicles are used for storage and transportation of food. As they are enclosed in sacs, they may have a completely different internal composition than the cell. You can read more on aerobic cellular respiration.

The cells uses three types of processes for endocytosis – phagocytosis, pinocytosis and receptor-mediated endocytosis. In case of phagocytosis, the cell takes in a bacterium or food particle. In pinocytosis, the cell takes in liquid material. And receptor-mediated endocytosis occurs when specific molecules like low density lipoproteins (LDL) are transported through receptor-mediated endocytosis. The molecule is transported to the bind site of specific receptors on the plasma membrane. The interior part of the receptor protein gets embedded in the membrane and the inside of the membrane is coated by a protein clathrin in the pit area. When there are plenty of molecules in the coated pit, the pit deepens and seals off in the form of a coated vesicle. This vesicle is carried into the cell along with the molecules.

Compare and Contrast Exocytosis and Endocytosis

You must have by now understood the exocytosis and endocytosis differences. The following table will compare and contrast exocytosis and endocytosis to help explain the process better. You can read more on cell membrane function and find out more information from the articles in biology.

Exocytosis Endocytosis
Exocytosis results is expelling molecules outside the cell. Endocytosis helps bring molecules inside the cell.
Exocytosis leads to destruction of vesicles. Endocytosis leads to creation of vesicles.
There is release of enzymes, hormones, proteins and glucose for use in other body parts. The process of endocytosis receives nutrients.
They may have neurotransmitters in case of cells of the neurons. The cell engulfs the pathogens in the body and destroys them.
These cells communicate with the immune system or defense mechanism of a cell or body in case of infection. Endocytosis is used for cell migration and adhesion.
Exocytosis helps in expelling waste from the body. This process serves as a signal receptor.

These were some points that help to compare and contrast exocytosis and endocytosis. Both these mechanisms are very important for existence of the cell. I hope this article on exocytosis vs endocytosis has helped you understand the two processes clearly.

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