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Gaticales CMB Reviewer

Chapter 8: Cellular Membranes

Membrane Functions
1. Compartmentalization

continuous unbroken sheets, enclose


enclose entire cell

allow specialized activities to occur without
external interference

regulate cellular activities

2. Scaffold for Biochemical Activities

compartment themselves
reactants present, relative position not
stabilized; interaction dependent on random

membrane provide cell with extensive

framework or scaffolding -> use for effective
3. Selectively permeable barrier

restrict exchange of molecules from one

side to other

means of communication bet. compartments

they separate

like moat around castle with gated bridges

promote movement of select elements in/out
of cell
4. Transport Solutes

receptors combine with ligands (specific

molecules) or other stimuli (light, mechanical

diff cells with diff receptors -> capable of

recognizing/ respond to diff. environmental

interaction of membrane and ext. stimuli ->

generate signal stimulates or inhibits internal
6. Intercellular interaction

mediate interaction between a cell and


recognize to adhere and to exchange

materials and information

proteins may facilitate interaction bet.

extracellular and intracellular cytoskeleton
7. Energy Transduction

energy transduction
light absorbed by membraned bound
pigments-> chemical energy stored in

transfer of chemical energy to ATP

in mitochondria/chloroplasts

machinery for physical transporting


from region of low concentration of solute to

region of higher concentration

accumulate substances (sugars, amino

acids, macromolecules)

transport specific ions -> ionic gradients

5. Respond to External stimuli

signal transduction

Brief History of Plasma Membranes

- Ernst Overton (1890)

non polar solutes readily dissolve in
nonpolar solvents

test permeability -> more lipid-soluble solute,

more rapid entrance the root hair cells

- E. Gorter and F. Grendel (1925) proposed that

cell membrane contain lipid bilayer

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extract lipid from RBC measure ant of
surface area of lipid

myelin sheath- low concentration of protein,

more lipid for electrical insulation

plasma membrane only lipid containing


contained bimolecular layer of lipid -> lipid


- amphipathic both hydrophilic and hydrophobic

- polar head group face cytoplasm

- 3 types

- hyrdrophobic fatty acyl chains are

protected from contact with H2O

- decrease in surface tension -> presence of


Hugh Davson & James Danielli (1935)->

plasma membrane lipid bilayer + lined by
globular proteins; (1950) revised: has outer
and inner protein layers and protein
penetrate the membrane (provide polar
solutes and ions entrance to cell)

- Jonathan Singer & Garth Nicolson(1972) Fluidmosaic model

central dogma
focused on physical state of lipid
presented in fluid state; lipid molecules move
laterally within plane of membrane

mosaic of discontinuous particles penetrate

lipid sheet

dynamic structures-> mobile and can engage

in various types of transient or
semipermanent interactions
Chemical Composition of Membranes

- held together by non-covalent bonds

- lipid bilayer (structural backbone, prevent
random movement of water-soluble materials)

- protein (specific functions)

- ratio of lipid-protein depends on type of cellular
membrane, organism, cell; in other words,
depends on the function of membrane in
certain organelle

mitochondrial membrane - high protein/lipid

ratio for protein carriers of ETC


1. Phosphoglycerides

phospholipids (contain phosphate grp)

built with glycerol backbone

diglycerides (2 hydroxyl grps of glycerol

esterified to fatty acid; 3rd is esterfied to
hydrophilic P group) -> phosphatidic


group: choline
(phosphatidylcholine, PC), ethanolamine
(PE), serine (PS), inositol (PI)

small and hydrophilic + negative

charge P = highly water-soluble at one
end (head group)

@ Physiological pH PS and PI (-); PC and

PE (neutral)

fatty acyl chains are hydrophobic,

unbranched hydrocarbons (16-22

membrane FA may be fully saturated (no

double bonds); monounsaturated (one
double bond); polyunsaturated (>1

contain 1 unsaturated and 1 saturated

fatty acyl chain

EPA and DHA (2 highly unsat. FA) contain

5and 6 double bonds in PE and PC (brain
or retina); omega-3 FA
2. Sphingolipids

less abundant membrane lipid

sphingosine - amino alcohol with long
HC chain

sphingosine + FA by its amino group ceramide

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sphingomyelin (phosphoryl choline)
glycolipid- substitiution is a carbohydrate
simple sugar -> cerebroside
includes silica acid ->ganglioside

PE -> inner leaflet for curvature (for budding/


PS -> inner binding (+) lysine/arginine

PI -> inner phosphorylated on inositol ring > phosphoinositides (role in transfer of

FA chains are longer and highly saturated
glycolipids- Nervous system, myelin sheath
3. Cholesterol

50% of lipid molecules

plant cells contain cholesterol like sterols
small hydrophilic hydroxyl grip toward
membrane surface

hydrophobic rings are flat and rigid ->


- 2-10% by weight (90%) covalently linked to

proteins -> glycoproteins; (10%) linked to
lipids -> glycolipids

- glycosylation - addition of carbohydrates most

complex modifications

- glycoprotein carbohydrate - short branched

hydrophilic oligosaccharides (15 sugars/

interfere with FA tails of phospholipids

- carbohydrate projection -> mediate interaction


of cell with environment; sorting of membrane

proteins to diff cellular compartments

- important effects on biological properties of

glycolipids of RBC determine A, B, AB, O


composition determine physical state of

membrane; influence activity of mem.

provide precursors for highly active chemical

messengers regulate cellular function

flexibility -> membranes are deformable,

Structure and Function of Membrane


- grouped into 3 distinct classes:

1. Intergral proteins

shape changee (locomotion, cell div)

facilitate regulated fusion or budding

maintain proper internal composition,
separate charges

self assemble (liposomes)


- lipid bilayer has 2 distinct leafletswith different

lipid composition

transmembrane protein; penetrate lipid


2. Peripheral Proteins

entirely outside; either cytoplasmic or

extracellular by noncovalent bonds
3. Lipid-anchored proteins

outside lipid bilayer but are covalently

linked to lipid molecule within bilayer

lipid digesting enzyme cannot fully penetrate

bilayer contains 2 more/less stable
independent monolayers with diff physical
and chemical properties

glycolipids -> outer leaflet serve as receptors



- receptors, channels or transporters, agents that

transfer electrons (photosynthesis/ respiration)

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- amphipathic

- crooks in chain where there are double


- amino acid residues in transmembrane

greater degree of unsaturation: lower

domains form van der Waals with fatty acyl

chains -> seal protein and anchor within bilayer


temperature before bilayer gels

- fatty acid chain length

Freeze- Fracture Analysis

freeze-fracture replication
- structure and properties

shorter: lower melting temperature

- by cholesterol
disrupts close packing of fatty

difficult to isolate in soluble form

abolish sharp transition temperatures;

use of detergent (SDS -> denature protein;

regulate intermediate fluidity

Triton X-100 -> tertiary structure)

increase durability while decreasing

permeability of membrane



- weak electrostatic bonds

- perfect compromise between rigid, ordered

structure (mobility is absent) and completely
fluid (mobility present)

- solubilized by extraction with high conc sal

solutions (weaken bond)

- best studied are cytosolic peripheral proteins ->

- allow interaction; assemble proteins at

particular sites to form specialized structures
(junctions, light capturing, synapses)

form fibrillar network as skeleton

- mechanical support; anchor for integral proteins

- membrane growth accomplished by insertion of

lipids and proteins into fluid matrix

- function as enzyme, specialized coats, transmit

transmembrane signals

- allow cell movement, growth, division,

formation of intercellular junctions, secretion,


- small, complex oligosacch linked to

phosphatidylinositol in outer leaflet

- GPI-anchored proteins- glycosylphosphatidylinositol linkagecontained by

peripheral proteins

- released by phospholipase (cleave inositol

Membrane Lipids and membrane fluidity

- physical state described by fluidity (viscosity)

- temperature- at which change occur
Saturated FA
- straight flexible rod
- more compact
Cis-unsaturated FA


- lower temperature, response is mediated by

enzymes that remodel membranes make it
cold resistant

desaturating single bonds; form double

bonds (by desaturases - enzymes catalyze
single to double bond)

r e s h u f fl i n g c h a i n s b e t . d i f f e r e n t
phospholipids to form 2 unsaturated FA
(lower temp) (by phospholipases- split FA
from glycerol backbone; acyltransferasestransfer FA)
Lipid Rafts

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- distinctive physical properties, micro domains
tend to float within the more fluid and
disordered environment of artificial bilayer

electrochemical gradient
- solute is an electrolyte (charged)
- charges are opposite, moving process is

Dynamic Nature of Plasma Membrane

- Diffusion of Membrane Proteins after Cell


cell fusion- technique 2 different types of

cells fused to produce one cell with common
cytoplasm and single continuous plasma

fuse by making surface sticky for adhesion;

by addition of inactivated viruses attach to
surface; adding polyethylene glycol, or mild
electric shock

- Restrictions on Protein and Lipid Mobility

fl u o r e s c e n c e r e c o v e r y a f t e r
photobleaching (FRAP)

- if proteins are mobile; random movement

produce gradual appearance of
fluorescence in irradiated circle

single-particle tracking (SPT)

antibody coated gold particles


- tendency of electrolyte to diffuse depends

on 2 gradients:

chemical gradient - concentration


electric potential gradient- difference in

charge (ex: K+ higher concentration
inside cell)

- Diffusion of Substances through membranes

- Diffusion of Water through membrane
osmosis- lower solute concentration to
higher solute concentration

hypertonic - compartment with high

solute concentration; shrink; plasmolysis

hypotonic- compartment with low solute

concentration; swell;

- Diffusion of Ions through Membranes

highly impermeable to charged substance

- Control of Membrane Mobility

- Membrane Lipid Mobility
lipid diffuse freely before jumping to
neighboring compartment

(Na, K, Ca, Cl)

conductance- rapid movement play role in

formation of nerve impulse, secretion of
substances, muscle contraction, regulation
of cell volume, opening of stomatal pores

Ion channels - permeable to certain ions

Movement of Substances across cell

- net flux indicate movement of substance influx

and efflux not balanced

- Diffusion
substance move from region of higher
concentration to lower to regulate overall

depends on random thermal motion of

solutes; exergonic with increase in entropy

1. voltage-gated- difference in ionic

charge on two sides of membrane
2. Ligand-gated channels- binding of
s p e c i fi c
3. M e c h a n o - g a t e d c h a n n e l s mechanical forces(stretch tension)

- KcsA (bacterial K+ ion channel

Facilitated Diffusion
Glucose transporter

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- phosphorylating sugar after entering
cytoplasm, lowering intracellular
glucose conc.

- GLUT1 to GLUT5 (isoforms)

- Insulin secretion increase glucose

Active Transport
- input of energy
Membrane Potentials and Nerve Impulses

- irritability
- nerve cells (neurons) specialized for collection,
conduction, transmission of information - form
of fast moving electrical impulses

- cell body,dendrites, axon, myelin sheath

- Resting potential
membrane potential
resting potential
action potential - Neurotransmission
synapses- link between neurons
synaptic cleft - narrow gap in synapse
presynaptic cell(receptor) conduct impulse
towards synapse

postsynaptic cell (neuron, muscle, gland cell)

lie on receiving side of synapse

neuromuscular junction- axon and skeletal

muscle ell

synaptic vesicles