Have you ever heard of examples of active transport? If not, then read this article, in this, we are going to give you some common active transport examples and their explanation in detail. Transportation is a mandatory, physiological, and natural process that occurs in all higher organisms like animals, plants, and humans. In order to sustain life, this process is essential as it works by constantly transporting different important materials to and from all the parts of the body including tissues, cells, and organs. Without further discussion let’s directly come to the examples of active transport.
What Is Active Transport?
Active transport is a type of transportation that involves the movement of molecules from a lower-concentration region to a higher-concentration region against a gradient or an obstacle with the use of external energy. During this process, a protein pump makes use of stored energy in the form of ATP, to move molecules from one place to another. This is how do substances move in active transport.
There are mainly two types of active transport and they are primary active transport and secondary active transport. In primary active transport, the energy is used by the breakdown of the ATP to transport molecules across the obstacle against a concentration gradient. While in the secondary active transport process, they use electromagnetic energy. It takes place across a biological membrane where a transporter protein couples the movement of an electrochemical ion down its electrochemical gradient to the upward movement of another molecule or an iron against a concentration.
Now, let’s know what are examples of active transport across the cell membrane.
What Are The Examples Of Active Transport?
The examples of active transport will make it clear that this process of transportation is very much important in our life.
- Sodium-Potassium Pump
- Proton Pumps
- Protein Secretion
- Sucrose-H+ Symport
- Neurotransmitter Release
Examples Of Active Transport
Let’s have a look at the explanation of the examples of active transport.
1. Sodium-Potassium Pump
Among the examples of active and passive transport, the example of active transport is the sodium-potassium pump. The Na+ and K+ move against the concentration gradients. The Na+ K+ -ATPase pump maintains the gradient of a higher concentration of sodium extracellular and a higher level of potassium intracellularly. It plays a very important role in other physiological processes, such as the maintenance of filtering waste products in the nephrons, sperm motility, and the production of the neuronal action potential.
2. Proton Pumps
Among the examples of passive and active transport, the examples of active transport are the proton pumps. If you consider the cell membrane as a dam, then you can get a better idea of how the transporters in membranes work. When water accumulates on one side of a dam, the concentration gradient is high and has a lot of potential energy. If the water is discharged through a weir or gate, it can spin a turbine and generate power. Similarly, the cell membrane maintains a high H2 concentration gradient. When an H+ passes down the concentration gradient through a transporter, it means that potential energy is available. This energy can be used to pick up molecules inside the cell and push them out.
3. Protein Secretion
One of the common examples of active transportation in humans is protein secretion. Protein secretion is a significant cellular mechanism to transfer soluble or membrane-bound proteins in order to respond to the changes in the cellular environment or signals from other cells, thus affecting a wide range of biological functions.
One of the best examples of active transport in the human body is phagocytosis. It is a process by which cells ingest large particles, which have a diameter of more than 0.5 mm, into membrane-bound vesicles called phagosomes, which are then targeted to the lysosomes for enzymatic degradation. The internalization of particles occurs by an actin-based mechanism and has been extensively studied both in unicellular and multicellular organisms since its initial description by Elie Metchnikoff more than a century ago.
One of the common examples of active transport in cells is pinocytosis. Once inside the cells, the protein is digested into its constituent amino acids, which are reabsorbed through the basolateral membrane into the interstitial fluid. Because pinocytosis requires energy, it is considered a form of active transport.
6. Sucrose-H+ Symport
The sucrose is actively transported against its concentration gradients into the phloem cells using the electrochemical potential of the proton gradient. This is coupled to the uptake of sucrose with a carrier protein called the sucrose-H+ symport. This is one of the great examples of active transport in plants.
7. Neurotransmitter Release
There are more than 3 examples of active transport and one of the important among them is neurotransmitter release. It is a cyclic process that involves the transport of vesicles to active zones, clustering of vesicles at the presynaptic terminal, exocytosis of neurotransmitters via vesicle fusion, and retrieval and recycling of vesicle membrane after release.
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What Is A Common Example Of Active Transport?
Some examples of active transport include the uptake of glucose in the intestine of the human body and the uptake of minerals or ions into the root hair cells of plants.
What Are 2 Types Of Active Transport?
Active transport may be primary or secondary. A primary active transport is one that uses chemical energy in the form of ATP whereas a secondary active transport uses potential energy often from an electrochemical potential difference. In primary active transport, there is a direct coupling of energy such as ATP.
Where Is Active Transport Used In The Body?
Active transport occurs in the gut wall. Active transport helps sugar to be transferred from a low concentration in the gut to a higher concentration in the blood. This allows the glucose from the gut to be absorbed. This glucose is used for respiration.
What Is An Example Of Active Transport In The Human Body?
The sodium-potassium pump is an example of active transport that transports Na ions out of the cell and K+ ions into the cells. Inside the cell, the concentration of K+ ions is higher than outside the cell, and the concentration of sodium ions is higher outside the cell.
What Is ATP In Active Transport?
Primary active transport directly uses a source of chemical energy (e.g., ATP) to move molecules across a membrane against their gradient.
There are more than two examples of active transport and you have learned them above. Like active transport, there are also examples of passive transport, but here we have discussed only active transport. When you look at the plant, then they may appear still to you, but the cells inside them, their roots, stems, and leaves are constantly working. Minerals from the soil, sugars from the sun, and water molecules must travel throughout the plant. And slip through the cell wall. This happens due to active transport. All the examples of active transport are discussed above.