Related topics: protein ยท cell membrane

Plan B for cholesterol transport

Cholesterol is a vital cell building block in humans and animals, and an integral part of the so-called cell membrane. This boundary layer separates the interior of the cell from the neighboring cells and the surrounding ...

Gene for acid-sensitive ion channel identified

In the human body the salt content of cells and their surrounding is regulated by sophisticated transport systems. Special channels in the cell membrane selectively permit salt ions to flow in and out of cells. A research ...

Motor proteins and membrane dynamics

Membranes composed of a lipid bilayer define the outer surface of nucleated cells (the plasma membrane) and delimit the vital organelles within these cells, such as mitochondria and nuclei. The membrane curvature determines ...

X-ray laser sight reveals drug targets

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology have published a review on serial femtosecond crystallography, one of the most promising methods for analyzing the tertiary structure of proteins. This technique ...

Keeping a cell's powerhouse in shape

A German-Swiss team around Professor Oliver Daumke from the MDC has investigated how a protein of the dynamin family deforms the inner mitochondrial membrane. The results, which also shed light on a hereditary disease of ...

Protein scissors for cellular transport

In many ways, a cell is like a city. Proteins or people do daily work to keep the economy going, and items are imported and exported for trade. Imports are shipped into cells by way of endocytosis. Before reaching their final ...

A microscopic topographic map of cellular function

The flow of traffic through our nation's highways and byways is meticulously mapped and studied, but less is known about how materials in cells travel. Now, a team of researchers at the University of Missouri is challenging ...

Key acid-activated protein channel identified

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered a long-sought protein, the proton-activated chloride channel (PAC), that is activated in acidic environments and could protect against the tissue-damaging effects of stroke, heart ...

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Membrane protein

A membrane protein is a protein molecule that is attached to, or associated with the membrane of a cell or an organelle. More than half of all proteins interact with membranes.

Biological membranes consist of a phospholipid bilayer and a variety of proteins that accomplish vital biological functions. Structural proteins are attached to microfilaments in the cytoskeleton which ensures stability of the cell. Cell recognition proteins allow cells to identify each other and interact. Such proteins are involved in immune response, for example. Membrane enzymes produce a variety of substances essential for cell function. Membrane receptor proteins serve as connection between the cell's internal and external environments. Finally, transport proteins play an important role in the maintenance of concentrations of ions. These transport proteins come in two forms: carrier proteins and channel proteins. Carrier proteins are involved in using the energy released from ATP being broken down to facilitate active transport and ion exchange. These processes ensure that useful substances are able to enter the cell and that toxic substances are pumped out of the cell.

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