Function Of Receptor Proteins In Cell Membrane – Despite differences in structure and function, all living cells in multicellular organisms have a surrounding cell membrane. Just as the outer layer of your skin separates your body from its environment, the cell membrane (also known as the plasma membrane) separates the internal contents of a cell from its external environment. This cell membrane provides a protective barrier around the cell and controls what substances can pass in or out.

The cell membrane is an extremely light structure composed primarily of two layers of phospholipids (“bilayer”). Cholesterol and various proteins are also embedded within the membrane and provide the membrane with a variety of functions described below.

Function Of Receptor Proteins In Cell Membrane

Function Of Receptor Proteins In Cell Membrane

A single phospholipid molecule has a phosphate group at one end, called the “head,” and two side-by-side chains of fatty acids that make up the lipid “tails” (Figure 3.1.1). The lipid tails of one membrane face the lipid tails of the other membrane, meeting at the interface of the two membranes. The phospholipid heads are external, with one membrane exposed to the inside of the cell and one to the outside of the membrane (Figure 3.1.1).

Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Protein

Figure 3.1.1 – Phospholipid structure and bilayer: A phospholipid molecule consists of a polar phosphate “head”, which is hydrophilic, and a non-polar lipid “tail”, which is hydrophobic. Unsaturated fatty acids cause kinks in the hydrophobic tails. A phospholipid bilayer consists of two adjacent sheets of phospholipids, arranged tail to tail. The hydrophobic tails associate with each other and form the interior of the membrane. The polar heads contact the fluid inside and outside the cell.

The phosphate group is negatively charged, making the head polar and hydrophilic or “water loving”. A hydrophilic molecule (or region of a molecule) is attracted to water. Phosphate heads are attracted to water molecules of the extracellular and intracellular environments. Lipid tails, on the other hand, are uncharged, or nonpolar, and hydrophobic—or “water-fearing.” A hydrophobic molecule (or region of a molecule) repels and is repelled by water. Phospholipids are therefore amphipathic molecules. An amphipathic molecule has both a hydrophilic and a hydrophobic region. In fact, soap works to remove oil and grease stains because it has amphipathic properties. The hydrophilic part dissolves in the wash water, while the hydrophobic part can trap grease in stains, which can then be washed away. A similar process occurs in your digestive system when bile salts (made of cholesterol, phospholipids, and salt) help break down ingested lipids.

Because phosphate groups are polar and hydrophilic, they are attracted to water in the intracellular fluid. Intracellular fluid (ICF) is the fluid interior of a cell. Phosphate groups are also attracted to the extracellular fluid. Extracellular fluid (ECF) is the liquid environment outside the envelope of the cell membrane (see image above). Since the lipid tails are hydrophobic, they tend to accumulate in the inner region of the membrane, excluding the watery intracellular and extracellular fluid from this space. In addition to phospholipids and cholesterol, the cell membrane contains several proteins described in the next section.

A lipid bilayer forms the base of the cell membrane, but it is filled with various proteins. Two distinct types of proteins commonly associated with the cell membrane are integral protein and peripheral protein (Figure 3.1.2). As its name suggests, an integral protein is a protein embedded in a membrane. There are many types of integrin proteins, each with different functions. For example, an integral protein that extends a ing through the membrane to allow ions to enter or leave the cell is called a channel protein. Peripheral proteins are usually found on the inner or outer surface of a lipid bilayer, whereas they are attached to the inner or outer surface of an integral protein.

Cell Membrane Function And Structure

Figure 3.1.2- Cell membrane: The cell membrane of a cell is a phospholipid bilayer containing many different molecular components, including proteins and cholesterol, with some attached to carbohydrate groups.

Some integral proteins act as cell recognition or surface recognition proteins, which signal the cell’s identity so that it can be recognized by other cells. Some integral proteins act as enzymes between neighboring cells or in cell adhesion. A receptor is a type of recognition protein that can selectively bind to a specific molecule outside the cell and this binding triggers a chemical reaction inside the cell. Some integrin proteins serve dual roles as receptor and ion channel. An example of a receptor-channel interaction is receptors on nerve cells that bind neurotransmitters such as dopamine. When a dopamine molecule binds to a dopamine receptor protein, a channel in the transmembrane protein allows certain ions to flow into the cell. Peripheral proteins are often associated with integral proteins along the inner cell membrane, where they play a role in cell signaling or anchoring to internal cellular components (ie: cytoskeleton discussed later).

Some integral membrane proteins are glycoproteins. A glycoprotein is a protein containing carbohydrate molecules that extends into the extracellular environment. Carbohydrate tags attached to glycoproteins aid in cell identification. Elongated carbohydrates from membrane proteins and even some membrane lipids collectively form the glycocalyx. The glycocalyx is an indistinct coating around the cell formed from glycoproteins and other carbohydrates attached to the cell membrane. The glycocalyx has various roles. For example, it may contain molecules that allow a cell to bind to another cell, it may contain receptors for hormones, or it may contain enzymes to break down nutrients. The glycocalyses found in an individual’s body are products of that individual’s genetic makeup. They give each individual’s trillions of cells an “identity” in the individual’s body. This recognition is the primary way that a person’s immune defense cells “know” not to attack the person’s own body cells, but it is also the reason that another person’s donated organs are rejected.

Function Of Receptor Proteins In Cell Membrane

One of the great wonders of the cell membrane is its ability to control the concentration of substances inside the cell. These substances contain ions such as Ca

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The lipid bilayer structure of the membrane provides the first level of regulation. Phospholipids are tightly packed together and the membrane has a hydrophobic interior. This structure makes the membrane selectively permeable. A membrane with selective permeability allows only substances that meet certain criteria to pass through it unaided. In the case of a cell membrane, only relatively small, nonpolar substances move through the lipid bilayer (remember that the lipid tails of the membrane are nonpolar). Some examples of these are other lipids, oxygen and carbon dioxide gases, and alcohol. However, water-soluble substances—glucose, amino acids, and electrolytes—need some help to cross the membrane because they are repelled by the hydrophobic tails of the phospholipid bilayer. All substances that move through a membrane do so by one of two general methods, which are classified based on whether or not energy is required. Passive transport is the movement of substances across the membrane without expenditure of cellular energy. In contrast, active transport is the movement of substances across the membrane using energy from adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

As substances move passively across cell membranes, understanding concentration gradients and diffusion is essential. A concentration gradient is the difference in concentration of a substance across space. Molecules (or ions) diffuse/diffuse from where they are more concentrated to where they are less concentrated until they are evenly distributed over that space. (When atoms move like this, they move

Their concentration gradient, from high concentration to low concentration.) Diffusion is the movement of particles from an area of ​​high concentration to an area of ​​low concentration. A few simple examples will help illustrate this concept. Imagine being in a closed room. If a perfume bottle is sprayed, the fragrance molecules will naturally spread from where it left the bottle to all corners of the room and this diffusion will continue until the molecules are evenly distributed in the room. Another example is putting a spoonful of sugar in a cup of tea. Eventually the sugar will diffuse throughout the tea until a concentration gradient is left. In both cases, if the room is warm or the tea is hot, the diffusion will be faster because the molecules will collide with each other and diffuse faster than in colder temperatures.

Visit this link to see how it proceeds through diffusion and the kinetic energy of molecules in solution. How does temperature affect diffusion rate and why?

Phase Separation Of Low Complexity Domains In Cellular Function And Disease

When a substance is in high concentration on one side of a semipermeable membrane, such as cell membranes, any substance that can lower its concentration gradient across the membrane will do so. If substances can move across the cell membrane without the cell expending energy, the movement of molecules is called passive transport. The gases are oxygen (O

) are these small, fat-soluble gases and other small lipid-soluble ones

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