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James Rothman, Randy Schekman and Thomas Südhof's Research on Transport Vesicles

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The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded to James Rothman, Randy Schekman and Thomas Südhof for the work that they did on transport vesicles within the cellular membrane. The recipients discovered how the cellular transport system was organized so that transport material was delivered to the correct site with proper timing. Rothman discovered how the vesicle is able to fuse with a cell membrane or organelle to deliver its contents. Schekman through the study of yeast isolated the genes required to code for vesicle transport. Südhof found the signals that tell vesicles when to release their contents.
Schekman studied the cellular transport of system of yeast and documented his discoveries in his 1990 paper Distinct
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Further research showed that the NSF protein is interchangeable with the SEC18 gene (previously discovered by Schekman) for vesicle binding in mammals and yeast. Rothman also discovered that a calcium shift must occur before The NSF and SNAP proteins bind, so that the correct conformation on the membrane is available. By studying the interaction of between NSF and SNAP protein complexes and target cell membranes a derivative of the SNAP proteins were found, called SNARE complexes. The SNARE complexes were needed for greater docking ability in the transport vesicles.
Südhof discovered in his 1990 paper Phospholipid binding by a synaptic vesicle protein homologous to the regulatory region of protein kinase C that vesicle binding is a specific and precise process that is regulated by neurotransmitter release. The release of vesicles for membrane bidding is monitored by the influxes of Ca2+ ions into the cell. An increase of Ca2+ triggers the vesicle to bind to the phospholipid bilayer of a cell. Once bound the Ca2+ triggers a neurotransmitter that signals the bound vesicle to release its contents into the cell membrane by exocytosis. Südhof also confirmed that in order for certain vesicle to bind to target membranes a SNARE protein complex must be present in order to promote vesicle binding.
When Schekman discovered the seven specific genes required to code and assist in transport, it
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