Nobel Prize: Physiology, Medicine

Cell transport system

Print edition : November 29, 2013

James Rothman.

Randy Schekman.

Thomas Südhof.

Fig. 1. Each cell in the body has a complex organisation where specific cellular functions are separated into different compartments called organelles. Molecules produced in the cell are packaged in vesicles and transported with special and temporal precision to correct locations within and outside the cell.

Fig. 2. Schekman discovered genes encoding proteins that are key regulators of vesicle traffic. Comparing normal yeast cells with genetically mutated ones in which vesicle traffic was disturbed, he identified genes that control transport to different compartments and to the cell surface.

Three American scientists, who elucidated the mechanisms involved in the transport of proteins and other essential biomolecules within the cell and through the cell wall to other target cells, win this year’s Nobel in Physiology or Medicine.
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