Overview of Intracellular Compartments and Trafficking Pathways
Andrei A. Tokarev, Aixa Alfonso and Nava Segev
All eukaryotic cells contain membrane-bounded compartments that interact with the cell\'s environment. Vesicles transport proteins and lipids between these compartments via two major pathways: the outwards, exocytic pathway, carries material synthesized in the cytoplasm to the cell milieu, and the inwards, endocytic pathway, internalizes material from the environment to the inside of the cell. This communication of the cell with its environment is crucial for all tissue and organ function. Here, we summarize progress made during the last decades in our understanding of bi-directional transport pathways between intra-cellular compartments. The accumulated knowledge of intra-cellular compartments and pathways that connect them formed the basis for advancements made in our understanding of the molecular machinery components, mechanisms and regulation of intra-cellular trafficking. Whereas the major compartments and pathways are well defined, less is known about the dynamic nature and biogenesis of compartments.