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5.12: Pinocytosis


5.12: Pinocytosis

Pinocytosis is a type of endocytosis in which a cell engulfs any extracellular fluid that is present—including water and dissolved nutrients—into invaginations in the plasma membrane, essentially a means of cell drinking.

Curved pits are rapidly formed when structural proteins, such as clathrin triskelions, assemble and coat the cytosolic side of the cell. This process is nonspecific, because there are no receptors to bind particular substances. Rather, the pocketed contents are pinched off into a coated vesicle and ready to be transported through the cell.

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