Lipid dynamics in exocytosis

Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2010 Nov;30(8):1335-42. doi: 10.1007/s10571-010-9577-x. Epub 2010 Nov 16.


Regulated exocytosis of neurotransmitter- and hormone-containing vesicles underpins neuronal and hormonal communication and relies on a well-orchestrated series of molecular interactions. This in part involves the upstream formation of a complex of SNAREs and associated proteins leading to the eventual fusion of the vesicle membrane with the plasma membrane, a process that enables content release. Although the role of lipids in exocytosis is intuitive, it has long been overlooked at least compared to the extensive work on SNAREs. Here, we will present the latest advances in this rapidly developing field revealing that lipids actually play an active role in exocytosis by focusing on cholesterol, 3'-phosphorylated phosphoinositides and phosphatidic acid.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Exocytosis*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Phosphatidic Acids / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylinositols / metabolism


  • Phosphatidic Acids
  • Phosphatidylinositols
  • Cholesterol