Comparative biology of Ca2+-dependent exocytosis: implications of kinetic diversity for secretory function

Trends Neurosci. 1999 Feb;22(2):88-93. doi: 10.1016/s0166-2236(98)01293-4.


The application of caged-Ca2+ compounds to the study of Ca2+-dependent exocytosis has begun to reveal kinetic intermediates in this important process. The time course of exocytosis varies greatly among different cell and vesicle types, even in response to Ca2+ 'jumps' of identical amplitude. The kinetics of the binding of Ca2+ to the putative Ca2+ sensor for exocytosis also vary. Theoretical analysis reveals that the kinetic diversity of exocytotic and Ca2+-binding reactions has distinct roles in determining the probability of exocytosis occurring. It is proposed that both of these reactions are optimized for the secretory function of specific cell types and that the exocytotic reaction includes vesicle translocation in addition to the fusion of vesicles with the plasma membrane.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / physiology*
  • Cells / metabolism
  • Exocytosis / physiology*
  • Kinetics
  • Lysosomes / physiology
  • Time Factors


  • Calcium