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Cell Biology

The Structure of the Cell Membrane

Dr. Thomas John McCloughlin

on 27 October 2017

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Transcript of Cell Biology

The structure of the cell membrane
Structure of the cell membrane
Lipids, phospholipid bilayer (self assembled) - hydrophobic heads / hydrophilic tails, glycolipids
Carbohydrates, e.g. glycoproteins
Protein, 50% of the membrane, receptors such as antigens, surface recognition, signalling, enzymatic activity, transmembrane transportation, cell-cell contact
The cell membrane is a dynamic structure responsible for the communication of the cell to the 'outside' and the passive or active transfer of molecules inside/outside the cell
Observable under the electron microscope
Composed of macromolecules, phospholipids, glycoproteins, glycolipids, proteins

Functions of the cell membrane
separation of the inside of the cell from the outside
cell adhesion
ion conductivity,e.g., K+, H+
works as a selective filter: passive osmosis and diffusion
transmembrane protein channels and transporters
endo-cytosis & exo-cytosis
cell signalling
attachment for several extracellular structures, e.g., cell wall
Gram-negative bacteria - have both a plasma membrane and an outer membrane separated by a periplasmic space
Glycoproteins are:
structural, e.g., collagens
hormones, e.g., FSH, HCG
immunological, e.g., immunoglobulins
cell attachment recognition site, e.g., sperm-oocyte, virus-cell
and many more!
The Glycocalyx is a polysaccharide layer found in the cardiovascular system and the villi of the digestive tract.

Disruption of the glycocalyx is linked to various disorders.

Bacterial cells possess a glycocalyx called a capsule or slime layer including those in the human digestive tract
Thomas McCloughlin
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