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Exocytosis is an essential cellular trafficking process integral to the proper distribution and function of a plethora of molecules, including transporters, receptors, and enzymes. Moreover, incorrect protein targeting can lead to pathological conditions. Recently, the application of evanescent wave microscopy has allowed us to image the final steps of exocytosis. However, spatio-temporal analysis of fusion of constitutive vesicular traffic with the plasma membrane has not been systematically performed. Also, the spatial sites and times of vesicle fusion have not yet been analyzed together. In addition, more formal tests are required in testing biological hypotheses, rather than visual inspection combined with statistical descriptives. Ripley {\cal K}{\hbox{-}}{\rm functions} are used to examine the joint and marginal behavior of locations and fusion times. Semiautomatic detection and mapping of constitutive fusion sites reveals spatial and temporal clustering, but no dependency between the locations and times of fusion events. Our novel approach could be translated to other studies of membrane trafficking in health and diseases such as diabetes.
Spatio-temporal clustering, exocytosis, epithelial cells, total internal reflection fluorescent microscopy (TIRFM).

M. Diaz, G. Ayala, J. Moncho-Bogani, D. Toomre, R. Sebastian and K. Letinic, "Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Constitutive Exocytosis in Epithelial Cells," in IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, vol. 3, no. , pp. 17-32, 2006.
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