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Cell Membrane Structure and Function

The Plasma Membrane


--the fluid mosaic model (S.J Singer) -- semi-permeable, differentially permeable (like a fence) Jobs of the cell membrane Isolate the cytoplasm from the external environment Regulate the exchange of substances Communicate with other cells Identification

Phospholipid bilayer 1. The plasma membrane is a phospholipid bilayer with embedded proteins.
2. Phospholipids have both hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions; nonpolar tails (hydrophobic) are directed inward, polar heads (hydrophilic) are directed outward to face both extracellular and intracellular fluid. 3. The proteins form a mosaic pattern on the membrane. 4. Cholesterol - stiffens and strengthens the membrane. 5. Glycolipids - protective and assist in various functions. 6. Glycoproteins have an attached carbohydrate chain of sugar that projects externally. 7. The plasma membrane is asymmetrical; glycolipids and proteins occur only on outside and cytoskeletal filaments attach to proteins only on the inside surface.

Proteins embedded in membrane serve different functions


Transport Proteins - regulate movement of substance Channel Proteins - form small openings for molecules to diffuse through Carrier Proteins- binding site on protein surface "grabs" certain molecules and pulls them into the cell Gated Channels - similar to carrier proteins, not always "open" Receptor Proteins - molecular triggers that set off cell responses (such as release of hormones or opening of channel proteins), binding site Recognition Proteins - ID tags, to identify cells to the body's immune system Enzymatic Proteins carry out specific reactions

Membrane Permeability Transport Across Membrane


*Selectively or Differentially permeable some thing can cross, not others Passive Transport Simple Diffusion - water, oxygen and other molecules move from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration, down a concentration gradient Facilitation Transport (Diffusion) - diffusion that is assisted by proteins (channel or carrier proteins)

Solution Solute Solvent

Osmosis - diffusion of water.

Salt Sucks

Osmosis affects the turgidity of cells, different solution can affect the cells internal water amounts Contractile Vacuoles are found in freshwater microorganisms - they pump out excess water

Turgor pressure occurs in plants cells as their central vacuoles fill with water.

Active Transport - involves moving molecules "uphill" against the concentration gradient, which
requires energy Endocytosis - taking substances into the cell (pinocytosis for water, phagocytosis for solids)
Receptor-mediated endocytosis, a form of pinocytosis, occurs when specific macromolecules bind to plasma membrane receptors.

Exocytosis - pushing substances out of the cell, such as the removal of waste Sodium-Potassium Pump - pumps out 3 sodiums for ever 2 potassium's taken in against gradient
Demo - Starch in the baggie, iodine in the beaker. What happens and why? Observation of elodea cells in salt water. What happens and why? Minilab.

Cell Connections and Communication


Tight junctions are composed of protein fibers that Desmosomes anchor adjacent cells together by
seal adjacent cells to prevent leakage, something which can be useful in organs such as the bladder and the lining of the digestive tract. Tight junctions literally fuse the cells together forming a sheet of cells restricting molecules to one side of the sheet or the other. Aka Adhesion junction Tight junctions can also partition the cells in which they are found. Certain membrane proteins can be restricted to one side of the junction, as well, since the tight junction prevents protein migration within the membrane. making connections that work like staples or rivets that attach to components of the cytoskeleton. Many epithelial cells must adhere to adjacent membranes to prevent free passage or free movement, and to not break apart under stress.

*Plants have plasmodesmata - channels between the cell wall that cytosol can pass through

Gap junctions are protein channels, called


connections, between adjacent cells that permit the transfer of small molecules, such as nutrient monomers, between the cells. They are common in brain cells, forming the synapse, in many glands, and in cells in the heart muscle that coordinate contraction for heartbeat. Gap junctions can be gated.