Rothman, Schekman and Sudhof to share Nobel Prize 2013 for Physiology or Medicine

The Nobel committee has announced the winners of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. The Prize has been awarded to three scientists, James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Sudhof, all based in the USA for working out how biological cells organize and transport the many molecules they need to function.

What were the discoveries of these scientists which won them medicine Nobel Prize?
  • James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Sudhof have been awarded the Prize for the discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic.
What are vesicles and how they work?
  • Vesicles are tiny, membrane-enclosed sacs that bud off from one membrane and fuse with another within the cell. The vesicles gather their cargo- membrane components and soluble molecules- from the donor compartment during the budding process. They deliver the cargo to the target compartment by fusing.
  • The cargo-carrying and delivery capacity of vesicles is important as molecules transported can’t pass through a membrane on their own.
  • The principle of vesicle transport and fusion is the same in organisms as different as yeast and human.
  • Vesicle transport is vital for a variety of physiological process – brain signaling to release hormones.
  • Defective vesicle transport occurs in a various diseases including a number of neurological and immunological disorders, as well as diabities




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