Exocytosis is a fundamental cellular process that is used by eukaryotic cells to release a variety of biological compounds including peptide hormones and neurotransmitters or to insert specific lipids and proteins in the plasma membrane. In recent years, a multidisciplinary approach promoted an extraordinary progress in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating exocytosis. This led to the discovery of a large number of components belonging to the machinery that governs the fusion of secretory vesicles with plasma membranes in different cell systems, including neuronal and endocrine cells. The basic machinery required for vesicle fusion turned out to be well conserved through evolution from yeast to man. So far, because of the large number of components involved, understanding of the molecular basis of exocytosis has remained the privilege of a relatively small group of specialists. This book, written by recognized experts in the field aims at clarifying for a non-specialist audience the role of the key players in the exocytotic process not only in neuronal and endocrine cells but also in a variety of other relevant cell systems. The book represents a unique collection of up-to-date reviews that will introduce researchers and students to the forefront of this rapidly moving and fascinating field.

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