Membrane Function

  • Roger Harrison
  • George G. Lunt
Part of the Tertiary Level Biology book series (TLB)

Abstract

The fundamental function of the plasma membrane is that of protection. Thus the cell can maintain a constant internal environment, irrespective of changes that may occur outside. However, the cell membrane, while protecting the cell from a variable external environment, must allow selective communication with the exterior. Arrangements must be made for the controlled passage of nutrients into the cell, and the removal of waste products from it. Plasma membranes, therefore, have associated with them a range of transfer systems which enable molecules to pass through the membrane in a specific manner. In most prokaryotic cells, no intracellular membranes are present, and the cell interior is a single compartment bounded only by the plasma membrane. Eukaryotic cells, however, have numerous intracellular membrane systems which form a series of intracellular compartments, within which many of the processes of metabolism occur.

Keywords

Cell Interior Soluble Enzyme Electrochemical Gradient Membrane Function Intracellular Membrane 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. Coleman, R. (1973) ‘Membrane-bound enzymes and membrane ultrastructure’ Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 300, 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Finean, J. B., Coleman, R. and Michell, R. H. (1978) Membranes and their Cellular Functions, 2nd ed., Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford and London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© R. Harrison, G. G. Lunt 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Harrison
    • 1
  • George G. Lunt
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of BathUK

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