Phase Transitions, Protein Aggregation and Membrane Fluidity
Considerable research over the past ten years has increased our understanding of cell membrane structure. Whilst there appear to be variations from one membrane to another in the detailed organisation of the lipid and protein components it is now generally accepted that a common theme of biological membrane structure is a lipid bilayer. The lipid is often in a “fluid” condition (1) although there are membrane systems where the lipid is relatively immobile due to the presence of cholesterol (2) or protein (3) and in some instances, both. With unsupplemented and supplemented membranes, at least some of the lipid at the growth temperature of the cell is in a “crystalline” packing arrangement (4,5).
KeywordsMembrane Fluidity Lipid System Lipid Chain Packing Arrangement Lipid Region
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