By the end of this section, you will be able to:
- Understand how electrochemical gradients affect ions
- Describe endocytosis, including phagocytosis, pinocytosis, and receptor-mediated endocytosis
- Understand the process of exocytosis
Activetran sport mechanisms require the use of the cell’s energy, usually in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). If a substance must move into the cell against its concentration gradient, that is, if the concentration of the substance inside the cell must be greater than its concentration in the extracellular fluid, the cell must use energy to move the substance. Some active transport mechanisms move small- molecular weight material, such as ions, through the membrane.
In addition to moving small ions and molecules through the membrane, cells also need to remove and take in larger molecules and particles. Some cells are even capable of engulfing entire unicellular microorganisms. You might have correctly hypothesized that the uptake and release of large particles by the cell requires energy. A large particle, however, cannot pass through the membrane, even with energy supplied by the cell.