The beautifully orchestrated regulation of cell shape and volume are central themes in cell biology and physiology. Though it is less well recognized, cell surface area regulation also constitutes a distinct task for cells. Maintaining an appropriate surface area is no automatic side effect of volume regulation or shape change. The issue of surface area regulation (SAR) would be moot if all cells resembled mammalian erythrocytes in being constrained to change shape and volume using existing surface membrane. But these enucleate cells are anomalies, possessing no endomembrane. Most cells use endomembrane to continually rework their plasma membrane, even while maintaining a given size or shape. This membrane traffic is intensively studied, generally with the emphasis on targeting and turnover of proteins and delivery of vesicle contents. But surface area (SA) homeostasis, including the controlled increase or decrease of SA, is another of the outcomes of trafficking.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 15, 2001
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