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CELL MEMBRANES

The Fluid Mosaic Model


AS Biology. Foundation. Cell
membranes and Transport

The Cell

AS Biology. Foundation. Cell


membranes and Transport

Learning Objectives
1.

Describe the fluid mosaic model of membrane structure and explain the
underlying reasons for this structure.

2.

Outline the roles of phospholipids, cholesterol, glycolipids, proteins and


glycoproteins in membranes.

3.

Outline the roles of the plasma membrane, and the roles of membranes within
cells.

4.

Describe and explain how molecules can get in and out of cells (cross cell
membranes) by the processes of diffusion, facilitated diffusion, osmosis,
active transport, endocytosis and exocytosis.

5.

Describe the effects on animal and plant cells of immersion in solutions of


different water potential.

6.

Describe the features of the gaseous exchange surface of mammalian lung.

7.

Describe the features of root hairs that enable the uptake of ions by active
transport.
AS Biology. Foundation. Cell
membranes and Transport

Key words you should know

Phospholipids
Polar
Hydrophilic
Hydrophobic
Micelles
Phospholipid bilayer
Fluid mosaic model
Glycoproteins
Glycolipids
Cholesterol
Proteins
Transport proteins
Enzymes
Receptor molecules
Diffusion
Concentration gradient
Facilitated diffusion
Osmosis

Solution
Solute
Solvent
Partially permeable
Water potential
Solute Potential
Pressure Potential
Turgid
Plasmolysis
Plasmolysed
Incipient plasmolysis
Active transport
Carrier protein
Bulk transport
Endocytosis
Phagocytosis
Phagocytes
Phagocytic vacuoles
AS Biology. Foundation. Cell
membranes and Transport

Pinocytosis
Micropinocytosis
Exocytosis
Gaseous exchange
Alveoli
Root hair
Surface area
Epidermis
Passive transport

Cell membrane

All living things are surrounded by a membrane.

cell membrane is also known as plasma membrane.

Controls

exchange of materials such as nutrients and


waste between cells and their environment.
Has

other important functions for example to enable


cells to receive hormones.
To

understand the function of anything in biology, you


must study the structure first!

AS Biology. Foundation. Cell


membranes and Transport

Cell Membranes from Opposing


Neurons (TEM x436,740).
Nerve cell
Cell membrane {

Gap between cells


}

cell membrane
7nm wide

Nerve cell

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Cell membranes are made of


PHOSPHOLIPIDs

HYDROPHILIC heads
(water liking)
-Attracted to the
water
called POLAR
HYDROPHOBIC tails
(water fearing)
-Not attracted to the
water
called NON-POLAR
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A Phospholipid
7

Phospholipids are important structural components of cell


membranes. Phospholipids are modified so that a phosphate group
(PO4-) replaces one of the three fatty acids normally found on a
lipid. The addition of this group makes a polar "head" and two
nonpolar "tails".

AS Biology. Foundation. Cell


membranes and Transport

A phospholipid
HYDROPHILIC HEAD
At the other end of the phospholipid is a
phosphate group and several double
bonded oxygens. The atoms at this end
of the molecule are not shared equally.
This end of the molecule has a charge
and is attracted to water. It is POLAR
HYDROPHOBIC TAILS
The two long chains coming off of the
bottom of this molecule are made up of
carbon and hydrogen. Because both of
these elements share their electrons
evenly these chains have no charge. They
are NON POLAR. Molecules with no
charge are not attracted to water; as a
result water molecules tend to push
them out of the way as they are
attracted to each other. This causes
molecules with no charge not to dissolve
in water.

AS Biology. Foundation. Cell


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3D model of a
Phospholipid
9

A Phospholipid Bilayer
Phospholipids can form:

BILAYERS
-2 layers of
phospholipids with
hydrophobic tails
protected inside by the
hydrophilic heads.
The PHOSPHOLIPID
BILAYER is the basic
structure of membranes.
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Structure of the cell membrane


Phospholipids

Cell membranes are made mainly of


phospholipids. They have:
HYDROPHILIC heads (water liking)
-Attracted to the water POLAR
HYDROPHOBIC tails (water fearing)
-Not attracted to the water NONPOLAR
Phospholipids can form BILAYERS
-2 layers of phospholipids with
hydrophobic tails protected
inside by the hydrophilic
heads.
The PHOSPHOLIPID BILAYER is
the basic structure of membranes.
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Diagram representing the cell membrane


Remember the membrane is 7nm wide

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Fluid mosaic model

Cell membranes also contain proteins within the phospholipid bilayer.


This model for the structure of the membrane is called the:
FLUID MOSAIC MODEL
FLUID- because individual phospholipids and proteins can move around
freely within the layer, like its a liquid.
MOSAIC- because of the pattern produced by the scattered protein
molecules when the membrane is viewed from above.
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Diagram of a cell membrane

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TEM of freeze-fractured cell


membrane.
The fracture occurs
between the two
phospholipid layers.

You can clearly see the


exposed proteins
sticking out of the
two layers.
Individual phospholipids
are too small to see.

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Cell Membranes from Opposing


Neurons (TEM x436,740).

} Phospholipid Bilayer
7nm wide

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Roles of components of cell membranes


Using the following headings produce a table on A4 to summarise roles of the
different types of molecules found in the cell membrane. Try not to copy, pick
out the relevant information and write it in note form You may want to use
bullet points, different coloured pens etc basically whatever helps you to
remember them.
Component

Function

1.

Phospholipids

2.

Cholesterol

3.

Proteins

4.

Glycolipids and Glycoproteins

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Summary

Cell membranes have a basic structure composed of a PHOSPHOLIPID BILAYER.

Phospholipds have HYDROPHOBIC (non-polar) tails and HYDROPHILIC (polar) heads.

The best model of the cell membrane is called the FLUID MOSAIC MODEL

The average thickness of the membrane is 7nm.

The fatty acid tails of phospholipids can be SATURATED (straight) or UNSATURATED


(bent)

Proteins can float or be fixed and also have hydrophobic and hydrophilic portions.

Some proteins and phospholipids have carbohydrates attached to them to form


GLYCOPROTEINS AND GLYCOLIPIDS.

Phospholipids form the bilayer, act as barrier to most water soluble substances

Cholesterol regulates the fluidity of the membrane, gives mechanical stability and help to
prevent ions from passing through the membrane.

Proteins act as transport proteins to act as channels for substances to move into or out of
the cell. Some act as membrane enzymes and some have important roles in membranes of
organelles.

Glycolipids and Glycoproteins help to stabilise membrane structure, some act as receptor
molecules eg for hormones and neurotransmitters
or Cell
as antigens for other cells to
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membranes and Transport

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Movement of selected molecules


across the cell membrane

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Moving

amoeba

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