A selectively-permeable biological membrane that separates the interior of all cells from the outside environment.

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Which step in endocytosis requires ATP?

Everybody seems to agree that endocytosis is an energy-using process, and as such requires ATP hydrolysis. However, which particular step requires it? More precisely, which 'molecular machine' ...
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1answer
30 views

How reliable is SwissProt topology?

I am using TOPO_DOM annotations from uniprot databases to characterise the orientation of transmembrane features. Is SwissProt topology experimentally validated, ...
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1answer
33 views

Can Nanodiscs be used to study membrane energetics?

Nanodiscs have changed they way we can study the structures, insertion, and functions of transmembrane proteins. Below is an image of a nanodisc bilayer. The key difference, as far as I can tell, ...
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14 views

What is internal symmetry in membrane proteins?

I have come across the term "internal symmetry" in the context of membrane proteins, but have never found a satisfactory definition. I'm struggling to figure out exactly what this term means... What ...
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1answer
27 views

Which hydrophobicity scales are best for detecting transmembrane regions, and why?

There are many hydrophobicity scales for protein analysis. Broadly, I gather the differences between them are from the experimental method to acquire the data and the normalisation (or lack thereof) ...
2
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24 views

What are all of the currently known variations of the G zipper motif?

The G zipper motif is found in transmembrane proteins at an above random frequency and there are models explaining how it might help with multiple transmembrane intra-membrane helix bundle assembly. ...
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67 views

What is the transmembrane 'Positive-Inside Rule' nowadays? Has the definition changed over time?

First definition. Two publications by von Heijne in 1989 and 1992 coined the 'Positive-Inside rule' and showed it's practical value in topology prediction of transmembrane helices. It was clearly ...
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1answer
63 views

Bacterial capsule vs. slime wall

I've read that the bacterial capsule protects the bacterium from phagocytes and prevents water (and nutrients, possibly?) leakage from the bacterium. A less organized and less dense version is called ...
2
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2answers
63 views

What are multicell spheroids?

I'm from a maths background and I'm doing some research on mathematical models of cancer. I've come across alot of literature mentioning "multicell spheroids" in the context of avascular tumours. I ...
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1answer
51 views

How did the endoplasmic reticulum come to be?

Organelles are sub-cellular compartments in cells. However prokaryotes don't use organelles to organise their intracellular space. Evolutionarily, there is evidence that mitochondria and ...
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1answer
58 views

What recovers normal polarisation after hyperpolarisation?

I have been taught that a Na+/K+ pump helps to recover normal polarisation after hyperpolarisation in neurons. I could not find out how it does that, since I've also been taught that such a pump moves ...
3
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1answer
61 views

Why do some proteins “use” a beta barrel structure instead of alpha helices in transmembrane space?

Most proteins are fixed in the membrane by alpha helices. But some use beta barrels. Wikipedia describes beta barrels as used for porins, preprotein translocases, and lipocalins. To me, a coiled coil ...
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2answers
210 views

Difference between facilitated diffusion and secondary active transport in cells

Specifically, what is the difference between facilitated diffusion carrier processes (passive transport) and secondary active transport co-transport processes (active transport)? They seem to be the ...
3
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1answer
35 views

Microalgae without cell walls?

Most microalgae have rigid cell walls. Dunaliella Salina is a pretty famous example of an algae with no cell wall, but just a plasma membrane. Are there any other microalgae without a cell wall?. I ...
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1answer
110 views

Why does a “cascade” of events happen during signal transduction?

I've been watching some videos on signal transduction and it says that because there are enzymes being activated by the signal, then there is a "cascade" which happens afterwards...I don't understand ...
4
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2answers
132 views

Are nucleic acids found in cell membranes?

I've found various results online and I was recently marked in on an important test as wrong when I made the assumption they were not found in the cell membrane. Does anyone know what the correct ...
4
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1answer
66 views

Membrane potential in gram negative bacteria

Does the membrane potential usually quoted for gram negative bacteria (e.g. E. coli) refer to the potential across both membranes? - If yes, then does the potential fall more over the inner or outer ...
4
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1answer
59 views

Do cell membranes have more phospholipids in one layer than in the other?

Assuming the cell membrane to have a spherical shape, geometry tells us that the area of the inner leaflet is smaller than the area of the outer due to the difference in radius between them. Does this ...
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1answer
94 views

What is the difference between organelle membranes?

Cells and organelles are contained in lipid bilayers. I'm particularly interested in eukaryotic organelle bilayers and the biophysicochemical differences between them. Many papers assume a ...
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1answer
106 views

Why does the 'Positive-inside Rule' exist?

Gunnar von Heijne's Positive-inside Rule seems to have been around for a couple of decades and underpins a lot of what we know about transmembrane topology. It is used to predict the topology of a ...
4
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1answer
37 views

Phospholipid movement in cell membranes

What causes phospholipids to flow so quickly in cell membranes? In Biology by Cambell et al. they state that a phospholipids can travel up to 2 micrometers per second. Is that a random movement or has ...
2
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1answer
480 views

What is the difference between rheobase and threshold?

Neuronal tissues can be excited by electrical stimulation. Two commonly encountered characteristics for electrically stimulating nerve cells is the threshold and the rheobase. My question is what the ...
4
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2answers
100 views

How to visualize the ECM?

Specifically, I'd like to look at changes in HA (hyaluronic acid) production. Most often you only see people staining the cell surface or removing cells from culture for fixation and then imaging. ...
5
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2answers
139 views

Problems understanding membrane potential

I understand that membrane potential is the difference of the extracellular and intracellular ionic charges, due to their concentrations. We say that the extracellular space has a charge of 0 and then ...
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1answer
84 views

Understanding intra and extracelullar concentrations (membrane potential)

I have 4 question (not homework) What happens to the cells membrane potential if: a) Na+ outside rises by 40mM b) K+ inside rises by 10mM c) K+ outside rises by 10mM d) A- (impermeable ion) ...
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2answers
85 views

Why does K+ have more concentration inside of the cell compared to outside of the cell? Why is Na+ and Cl- the opposite? [closed]

Can someone tell me the fundamental reason why K+ has low concentration outside of the cell and more inside of the cell?
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27 views

charges on the cell membrane

I know that there are flipases and flopases that facilitate this sort of thing, but i'm curious about other possible influences. Can donnan effect be reversed so that phospholipids follow ions. For ...
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1answer
43 views

What is the mechanism responsible for the 'delay' in delayed rectifier potassium channels?

I've been trying to find a comprehensive explanation concerning the nature of the 'delay' in neurons' delayed rectifier potassium channels. As it's written in my intro to neuroscience textbook, these ...
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2answers
43 views

How is it that ionic diffusion is independent of other ions?

This question arises from the explanation of what the resting potential of a cell membrane is. In the Goldman formula, there is no interaction between different ion types. If diffusion is caused by ...
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1answer
115 views

What is the functional significance of the difference in cardiolipin/cholesterol ratio in different membranes?

I have read somewhere that the plasma membrane has little cardiolipin but excess cholesterol whereas the inner mitochondrial membrane is rich in cardiolipin and has little cholesterol.I just wanted to ...
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15 views

Differential Scanning Calorimetry for bacterial membranes

I would like to study the freezing and melting of bacterial membranes and would like to use Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) to obtain the glass transition temperature of the membrane. However, ...
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1answer
108 views

Inductance in cell

In an animal cell, especially neuron and in particular its axon, while there is electrical resistance and capacitance mechanism in the cell, which play essential roles in the cable theory model of ...
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1answer
29 views

Ion Channel gating

I have been studying ion channels and there is one thing i am confused about, gating between open and closed states in channels. Am i right in thinking gating is so fast that it is effectively always ...
3
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1answer
330 views

Antihistamine's effect on insulin secretion and tiredness

Antihistamines are known to cause tiredness. The essential hormones of the body are insulin (glucose), parathyroid hormone (calcium) and aldosterone (Na-K ATPase, sodium). I am thinking how this ...
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1answer
27 views

How is bacterial plasma membrane made?

Eukaryotes have ER which manufactures plasma membrane of cells. How is prokaryotic plasma membrane made ? What is the pathway and which enzymes are involved ?
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187 views

What are mast cell membranes made out of?

What are mast cell membranes made out of? What would weaken or strengthen them? Web searches bring up a lot of information about mast cells but very little on the membrane. And the Wikipedia page ...
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1answer
47 views

Sodium-Potassium Pump

From my understanding, in the sodium-potassium pump we have Na+ inside the cell and K+ outside the cell, thus forming a so called "salted banana." After reading my textbook I found many statements ...
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0answers
94 views

Osmosis - occurring in both ways? [closed]

So I did a prac to identify the osmotic potential of potato tuber cells. There were 5 test tubes with different concentrations of sucrose (0M,0.25M,0.5M,0.75M,1M); a small slice of potato was placed ...
3
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0answers
86 views

Why don't surfactants destroy or incorporate into cell membranes?

How do surfactants remain on the surface of pneumocytes without (1) acting as a detergent or (2) the phospholipids getting incorporated into the membranes of pneumocytes... I'm guessing the answer ...
4
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2answers
189 views

How do detergents get in hydrophobic membrane interior?

According to Molecular And Cellular Biology (Stephen L. Wolfe), Membranes disperse almost instantaneously if exposed to a nonpolar environment or to detergents, which are amphipathic molecules ...
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2answers
692 views

How is membrane capacitance related to the increased speed of saltatory conduction?

Here is the original question which inspired my question. As explained by the answers there, the reason saltatory conduction in myelinated neurons is faster than non-myelinated conduction is because ...
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1answer
71 views

Domains in cell membrane

How is movement of proteins and lipids between different domains of cell membrane prevented? Why is the noncytosolic layer not able to do lateral movements between domains but cytosolic layer is able ...
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1answer
716 views

What is 'calcium conductance'?

What is the meaning of calcium conductance in ion channels. I encountered this in the following text: It was established that the µ and δ opioid receptors open potassium channels, which results ...
4
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1answer
150 views

Is Active Transport Required For Life?

Is active transport required for all living cells to function? I was under the impression that if a cell doesn't have active transport, it either would lose molecules through the membrane and not be ...
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1answer
32 views

cell uptake prediction

I'm generating random molecules I would like to know if they are able to pass through the cell membrane. Are there any ways (preferably computational) to predict cellular uptake of an organic molecule ...
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3answers
407 views

Diffusion across cell membranes

I got this question and don't really understand the difference between the answers. Diffusion is (in cell membrane): a) passive by nature, no metabolic energy is needed b) driven process by ...
2
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1answer
435 views

Will lipid molecules 'flip-flop' over a membrane without the use of an enzyme?

All of the references to this I can find refer to enzymes like Flippase making it 'easier' or 'more likely' that the translocation will occur, rather than actually make it possible. The following is ...
3
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1answer
186 views

What molecular processes are involved in pseudopodial extension?

I am curious as to the processes and mechanisms involved in the extension of pseudopodia in amoeba. How does the cell know and control the direction and extent of pseudopodia formation at a molecular ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Simple diffusion of lipid-soluble molecules through phospholipid bilayer — does anything get “stuck” in transit?

It's a pretty elementary concept, and when I first learned of it I don't think I had the foundations to even think of such a question, but I found myself the other day thinking about the amphipathic ...
3
votes
2answers
285 views

Question about equilibrium potential formula

My biology book says, that the equilibrium potential for an ion with a charge of +1 is: $$E_{ion}= 62mV \biggl(\log\frac{[ion]_{outside}}{[ion]_{inside}}\biggr)$$ Where does the 62 mV come from? How ...