Biomembranes pp 197-209 | Cite as

Uptake of Macromolecules at the Cell Surface

  • Hugues J.-P. Ryser
  • Marie-Pierre Gabathuler
  • Anita B. Roberts


Current knowledge on the uptake of macromolecules by mammalian cells rests on the following four fundamental observations. The use of probe macromolecules in electron microscopy has demonstrated in a variety of cells that foreign macromolecules can be taken up by pinocytosis. Histochemical and biochemical studies have shown that ingested macromolecules reach secondary lysosomes, where they are degraded by hydrolytic enzymes. Experiments with viral nucleic acids, biologically active polynucleotides and proteins have proven that foreign macromolecules can exert biological functions in mammalian host cells. Finally, experiments with probe proteins and other macromolecules have shown that uptake is markedly enhanced in the presence of basic polymers and other helper-compounds.


Basic Polymer Viral Nucleic Acid Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma Cell Secondary Lysosome Cell BioI 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugues J.-P. Ryser
    • 1
  • Marie-Pierre Gabathuler
    • 1
  • Anita B. Roberts
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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