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5.13: Phagocytosis


5.13: Phagocytosis

Another form of endocytosis is called phagocytosis or “cell eating” and occurs when receptors on the cell’s surface encounter a particle to be ingested. The cell then extends a projection called a pseudopod.

In mammals, the object is often an invading microorganism or cellular debris from damaged tissue. The pseudopod surrounds the item, and the membranes fuse together, creating a vacuole with the particle trapped inside. Eventually, the vacuole fuses again—this time with a lysosome, which is full of enzymes, ready to digest its “meal”.

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