Membranes (phospholipid bilayer)

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  • Created by: SimranS
  • Created on: 21-10-15 19:36

Membranes: - Phospholipid Bilayer

Key Words:

  • Cell membrane
  • Fluid-mosaic model
  • Hydrophobic
  • Hydrophilic
  • Phospholipids

Membranes need to be flexible and be able to break/fuse easily.

Membranes allow cellular compartments to have different conditions and act as a barrier within a cell.

Major roles of membranes:

  • Cell recognition and signalling
  • Partially permeable membrane to let substances in and out of the cell
  • Keeps everything in the cell together
  • Holding the components of metabolic pathways seperate
  • Seperating cell components from cytoplasm

Membrane Structure:

  • All have a similar structure
  • Usually between 7nm and 10nm
  • Invisible to light microscopes but visible to electron microscopes
  • Many different types of proteins found within double layer
  • Formed by a double layer of phospholipids

Phospholipids are made up of a hydrophilic head which loves water and is made of a phosphate group. They also have the hydrophobic end which are fatty acid tails that must stay away from water.


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