Structure of Membranes and Serum Lipoprotein Complexes
In Chapter 2, the principal constituents of biological membranes, lipids and proteins, were examined from a structural standpoint. It was noted that membrane components are, in general, amphipathic; they possess both polar and nonpolar moieties. Thermodynamic considerations lead to the conclusion that such macromolecules in an aqueous environment should associate spontaneously with the formation of structures of maximal stability in which nonpolar elements comprise one phase, polar elements, the other. Since the hydrophobic environment resembles an oil, the structure should be fluid—dynamic—constantly in motion. In this chapter, these predictions are shown to be valid for many biologic membranes. An appreciation of the structural aspects considered below will prove to be one of the keys to the understanding of the intricacies of membrane functions.
KeywordsElectron Spin Resonance Biological Membrane Peripheral Protein Outer Monolayer Lipoprotein Complex
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