Structure and Function of Cell Membranes

Transport across Single Biological Membranes
  • Arselio P. Carvalho

Summary

Cellular membranes are composed of a phospholipid bilayer interrupted by intrinsic proteins embedded in the lipid layers. The membranes are asymmetric with respect to the disposition of the lipids and the proteins. The Ca2+-ATPase of sarcoplasmic reticulum is an example of an intrinsic protein with enzymatic activity. This enzyme requires lipid for ATP hydrolysis which is coupled to the transport of Ca2+ in exchange for H+, K+ and Mg2+. The primary events of the transport process are the phosphorylation of the enzyme, the formation of a proton gradient and, possibly, the development of a membrane potential. The Ca2+-ATPase is similar to the Na+-K+-ATPase in that both enzymes form a phosphorylated intermediate (E~P) in the process of generating ion gradients and these gradients can synthesize ATP. Electrochemical gradients generated across cell membranes drive the flow of other substances against their chemical gradients through specific “carriers” or porters which link the various transport systems.

Keywords

Membrane Potential Lipid Bilayer Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Proton Gradient Electrochemical Gradient 
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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arselio P. Carvalho
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Cell BiologyDepartment of Zoology University of CoimbraPortugal

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