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Summarizing Bulk Transport

Summary of Bulk Transport

Active transport methods require the direct use of ATP to fuel the transport. Large particles, such as macromolecules, parts of cells, or whole cells, can be engulfed by other cells in a process we refer to as phagocytosis.

In phagocytosis, a portion of the membrane invaginates and flows around the particle, eventually pinching off and leaving the particle entirely enclosed by an envelope of plasma membrane. Vesicle contents are broken down by the cell, with the particles either used as food or dispatched.

Pinocytosis is a similar process on a smaller scale. The plasma membrane invaginates and pinches off, producing a small envelope of fluid from outside the cell. Pinocytosis imports substances that the cell needs from the extracellular fluid. The cell expels waste in a similar but reverse manner. It pushes a membranous vacuole to the plasma membrane, allowing the vacuole to fuse with the membrane and incorporate itself into the membrane structure, releasing its contents to the exterior.

Glossary of Words


protein that coats the cytoplasmic side of the plasma membrane and participates in the process of liquid update by potocytosis


protein that coats the inward-facing surface of the plasma membrane and assists in the formation of specialized structures, like coated pits, for phagocytosis


type of active transport that moves substances, including fluids and particles, into a cell


process of passing bulk material out of a cell


a variation of endocytosis that imports macromolecules that the cell needs from the extracellular fluid


variation of pinocytosis that uses a different coating protein (caveolin) on the cytoplasmic side of the plasma membrane

Receptor-mediated endocytosis

variation of endocytosis that involves the use of specific binding proteins in the plasma membrane for specific molecules or particles, and clathrin-coated pits that become clathrin-coated vesicles

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