Eukaryotic cells contain organelles bounded by a single membrane in the cytoplasm. These organelles have differentiated to carry out various functions in the pathways of endocytosis and exocytosis. Their lumina are acidic, with pH ranging from 4.5 to 6.5. This article describes recent studies on these animal cell organelles focusing on (1) the primary proton pump (vacuolar-type H(+)-ATPase) and (2) the functions of the organelle luminal acidity. We also discuss similarities and differences between vacuolar-type H(+)-ATPase and F-type ATPase. Our own studies and interests are emphasized.

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