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, by Campbell and Reece)
Membrane Structure and Function (Chapter Eight)
MEMBRANE STRUCTURE The selectively permeable plasma membrane allows certain substances easier passage than others. Lipids and proteins are the staple ingredients of membranes. Phospholipids are especially important. A phospholipid is an amphipathic molecule, molecule meaning it has hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions. The fluid mosaic model states that the membrane is a fluid structure with various proteins embedded in or attached to a bilayer of phospholipids. Membrane Models Have Evolved to Fit New Data Scientists worked to discover how the membrane was composed long before membranes could be seen with electron microscopes. The Dutch scientists E. Gorter and F. Grendel reasoned that cell membranes must be phospholipid bilayers, with the hydrophobic tails facing each other and the hydrophobic heads in contact with water. The Davson-Danielli model shows a phospholipid bilayer sandwiched in between two protein layers. It was also thought that all cell membranes were the same. However, scientists later recognized problems with these conclusions. With further usage of the electron microscope, it was discovered that not all membranes look alike. Membranes with different functions differ in chemical composition and structure. Additionally, membrane proteins are not very soluble in water, and are amphipathic as well. If they were layered on top of the phospholipid bilayer, their hydrophobic regions would be in contact with an aqueous environment. As a result, S. J. Singer and G. Nicolson advocated a revised model in which proteins were dispersed and inserted into the phospholipid bilayer. According to this model, the membrane is a mosaic of protein molecules bobbing in a fluid bilayer of phospholipids. Freeze-fracture is a method of preparing cells for electron microscopy that splits a membrane along the middle of the phospholipid bilayer. When the halves are viewed, small bumps are visible, with protein particles interspersed in the matrix. Membranes Are Fluid Membranes are held together by hydrophobic interactions, which are much weaker than covalent bonds. As a result, lipids and proteins can move around in the membrane. Some membrane proteins drift, while others move along with more purpose. Furthermore, other membrane proteins seem to be held immobile by their attachments to the cytoskeleton.
6th Edition. On the exterior side. The two lipid layers may differ in specific lipid composition. . certain membrane proteins are attached to fibers of the ECM. Membranes must be fluid to work properly. Peripheral proteins are not embedded in the lipid bilayer. which forms molecules called glycolipids. Some of these oligosaccharides are covalently bonded to lipids. has different effects on membrane fluidity. Most are covalently bonded to proteins (glycoproteins). Membranes Are Mosaics of Structure and Function There are two major populations of membrane proteins. Membranes have distinct inside and outside faces. they are bound to the exposed parts of integral proteins. usually coiled into α helices. Many of them are transmembrane proteins. individuals of the same species. These attachments combine to give animal cells a strong external framework. The steroid cholesterol. Carbohydrates are only found on the exterior surface. Membrane carbohydrates are usually branched oligosaccharides with fewer than 15 sugar units. The hydrophobic regions of an integral protein consist of one or more stretches of nonpolar amino acids. Some membrane proteins on the cytoplasmic side of the plasma membrane are held in place by attachment to the cytoskeleton. which means they completely cross the membrane. by Campbell and Reece) A membrane remains fluid as temperature decreases until the phospholipids settle into a closely packed arrangement and the membrane solidifies. often carbohydrates. but are loosely bound to the surface of the membrane. However. Oligosaccharides on the external side of the plasma membrane vary from species to species. and each protein has directional orientation in the membrane. At human body temperature. it also lowers the temperature required for solidification. Integral proteins penetrate the hydrophobic core of the lipid bilayer. Often. and even from one cell type to another.2 UNIT TWO: THE CELL Chapter Eight: Membrane Structure and Function (Text from Biology. it restrains phospholipid movement. The hydrophilic parts are exposed to the aqueous solution on either side of the membrane. wedged between phospholipid molecules in the plasma membranes of animal cells. on the plasma membrane. Membrane Carbohydrates Are Important For Cell-Cell Recognition Cells can recognize other cells by keying on surface molecules.
which helps maintain cell shape. Some glycoproteins serve as identification tags. The signal may cause a change in the shape of the protein that relays the message to the inside of the cell. The concentration gradient itself is potential energy and drives diffusion. Some transport proteins hydrolyze ATP so they can pump substances across the membrane even if it is against the concentration gradient. Permeability of the Lipid Bilayer Hydrophobic molecules can dissolve in the lipid bilayer and easily cross. These transport proteins are highly specific. . such as a hormone. have a harder time crossing. which are hydrophilic. Transport Proteins Transport proteins that span the membrane can provide channels through which hydrophilic substances can cross. However. One result of thermal motion is diffusion diff usion. diffusion of a population may be directional. A substance will diffuse from where it is more concentrated to where it is less concentrated: substances diffuse down their concentration gradient. Diffusion of substances across a biological membrane is passive transport because the cell does not have to expend energy to make it happen. Proteins built into the membrane may be enzymes with the active site exposed to substances in the adjacent solution.3 UNIT TWO: THE CELL Chapter Eight: Membrane Structure and Function (Text from Biology. Other proteins can be bonded to the cytoskeleton. Membrane proteins may have a binding site with a specific shape that fits the shape of the chemical messenger. gradient This is a spontaneous process because it decreases the free energy in a system by increasing entropy (disorder). Membrane proteins can be hooked together to form junctions. These proteins can be adjacent to each other and work as a metabolic pathway. Passive Transport is Diffusion Across a Membrane Molecules have intrinsic kinetic energy called heat. usion the tendency for molecules to spread out into available space. 6th Edition. ions and polar molecules. Although molecules themselves move randomly. by Campbell and Reece) TRAFFIC ACROSS MEMBRANES A Membrane’s Molecular Organization Results in Selective Permeability The Role of Membrane Proteins Proteins that span the membrane can provide a hydrophilic channel for certain solutes.
water moves into the cell and may result in lysis (bursting). It is helpful to remember that were there is more solute. there is more water. diffusion polar molecules and ions pass through the lipid bilayer with the help of transport proteins. osmosis the diffusion of water. Specific Proteins Facilitate the Passive Transport of Water and Selected Solutes: A Closer Look In facilitated diffusion. there is less water and where there is less solute.4 UNIT TWO: THE CELL Chapter Eight: Membrane Structure and Function (Text from Biology. 6th Edition. because the elastic wall only expands so much before it exerts a back pressure that prevents further water uptake. Solutions of equal solute concentration are isotonic. Cell Survival Depends on Balancing Water Uptake and Loss Water Balance of Cells Without Walls Cells placed in isotonic solutions are stable. there is still movement. water moves from areas of less solute to more solute. they become flaccid and wilt. When they are placed in a hypertonic environment. These proteins are specialized for the solute it transports and may even have a specific binding site similar to the active site of enzymes. so there is no net movement. the solution with lower solute concentration is hypotonic. which results in turgidity. Paramecium have a contractile vacuole that pumps out excess water. hypertonic Conversely. osmoregulation the control of water balance. when they are transporting passengers at maximum rate. They can also be inhibited by molecules that . the solution with higher concentration of solute is said to be hypertonic. isotonic The direction of osmosis. However. by Campbell and Reece) Osmosis is the Passive Transport of Water In comparing two solutions of unequal solute concentration. is determined by a difference in total solute concentration. plasmolysis which usually lethal. plant cell membranes will shrink away from the wall in plasmolysis. Plants are healthy in a hypotonic solution. Transport proteins can also be saturated. When two solutions are isotonic. Water moves from a hypotonic to a hypertonic solution. turgidity When plant cells are placed in an isotonic solution. hypotonic These terms only make sense used comparatively. Water Balance of Cells with Walls Cells with cell walls cannot lyse. Animals living in hypertonic or hypotonic environments must have special adaptations for osmoregulation. but it is at an equal rate. thus. when placed into a hypotonic solution. In an hypertonic environment. water will move out of the cell into the environment and the cell will crenate as a result.
Water channel proteins are aquaporins. This transfers positive charge from the cytoplasm to the extracellular solution. channels stimuli causes the gate to pen or close. a Membrane Protein Couples the Transport of Two Solutes A single ATP-powered pump that transports a specific solute can indirectly drive the active transport to several other solutes in a mechanism called cotransport. 6th Edition. and fungi is a proton pump. cotransport A substance that has been pumped across a membrane can do work as it leaks back by . Unlike enzymes. there is a net transfer of one positive charge from the cytoplasm to the extracellular fluid. In the sodiumsodium . bacteria. With each cycle of the sodium-potassium pump. the membrane favors passage of cations inside the cell and anions outside the cell. gradient An ion diffuses down its electrochemical gradient. This combination is the electrochemical gradient.potassium pump. Thus. Active Transport is the Pumping of Solutes Against Their Gradient Active transport requires work. ATP supplies the energy for most active transport. since a molecule is being pumped across a membrane against its gradient. Since the inside of the cell is negative compared to the outside. by Campbell and Reece) resemble the normal passenger and binds to the protein. pump sodium ions are exchanged for potassium ions. This can occur through phosphorylation. In Cotransport. This is a major factor in the ability of a cell to maintain internal concentrations of small molecules that differ from concentrations in its environment. A transport protein that stores energy in the form of voltage is an electrogenic pump. Some Ion Pumps Generate Voltage Across Membranes Voltage is electrical potential energy. pump The main electrogenic pump of plants. Other proteins can change shape to translocate the solute-binding site across the membrane. potential voltage across a membrane. Every cycle of the pup moves three sodium ions out of the cell and brings two potassium ions in. The cytoplasm of a cell is negative in charge compared to the extracellular fluid because of an unequal distribution of anions and cations on opposite sides of the membrane. ions are driven by a chemical force (concentration gradient) and electrical force. The membrane potential. proteins catalyze a physical process. pump which actively transports hydrogen ions (protons) out of the cell. ranges from about -50 to -200 millivolts. aquaporins Some channel proteins are gated channels. Channel proteins allow water molecules or small ions to flow quickly from one side of the membrane to the other.5 UNIT TWO: THE CELL Chapter Eight: Membrane Structure and Function (Text from Biology. The membrane potential acts as an energy source that affects traffic of charges substances.
Thus. For example. by Campbell and Reece) diffusion. the gradient of hydrogen ions generated by proton pumps can be used to drive the active transport of amino acids. There are three types of endocytosis. When ligands bind to receptor proteins. This is like pumping water downhill and then having it power a windmill as it flows downward. and several other nutrients into the cell. Exocytosis is used to export products out of a cell. ReceptorReceptor-mediated endocytosis is very specific. In pinocytosis. In phagocytosis. the sucrose will follow the hydrogen ion into a transport protein. pinocytosis droplets of extracellular fluid are put into tiny vesicles. The receptor proteins are usually clustered in regions called coated pits. 6th Edition. In endocytosis. A transport vesicle can bud off the Golgi apparatus then merge with the plasma membrane. phagocytosis a cell engulfs particle by wrapping pseudopodia around it and packaging it into a vacuole. Another specialized transport protein can couple the “downhill” diffusion to the “uphill” transport against its own concentration gradient. For example.6 UNIT TWO: THE CELL Chapter Eight: Membrane Structure and Function (Text from Biology. Exocytosis is the secretion of molecules by sending vesicles outwards to the plasma membrane. Proteins with specific receptor sites are exposed to the extracellular fluid. . The protein can move sucrose into the cell only if the sucrose is accompanied by a hydrogen ion. This particle can then be digested when fused with a lysosome. cholesterol is taken into the cell through this process. a vesicle will break off and transport materials into the cell. sugars. which are lined by a layer of protein. Cells can acquire bulk quantities of specific substances through this form of endocytosis. Exocytosis and Endocytosis Transport Large Molecules Larger molecules must travel through the cell membrane via vesicles. Ligands are any molecule that binds specifically to the receptor site of another molecule. endocytosis the cell takes in macromolecules and particulate matter by forming vesicles from the plasma membrane.
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