Biological membranes

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Biological membranes
Unit 2 BIOL 200
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The Lipid Bilayer

Recognize and list the properties of phospholipids, cholesterol, and glycolipids and critically assess their roles in membrane structure and function.

Explain formation of amphipathic lipid bilayers and the energetics behind this process.

Critically assess the extent to which the properties of membranes are a consequence of the physical & chemical properties of membrane lipids.

Explain and interpret results of experimental evidence for fluid mobility of proteins and lipids within the plane of the membrane.

Discuss factors affecting or regulating the fluidity of membranes.

Explain the origin of the asymmetric distribution of membrane lipids.


Describe the features of monomers that make polymerization possible.

Explain with diagrams the role of molecular polarity in synthesis and structure of macromolecules.

Amino acids and Proteins

Recognize each of the 20 amino acids according to their chemical properties, and their 3-letter and 1-letter abbreviations.

Critically assess the role of hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions in the formation and stabilization of protein structure.

Define primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary levels of protein structure and identify examples of each.

Membrane proteins

Demonstrate an understanding of the idea that proteins can be subdivided into several domains, based on structural and functional properties, which can be putatively identified using bioinformatics.

Distinguish between integral and peripheral proteins with regard to their solubility properties, structure, and manner of attachment to membranes.

Interpret experimental evidence to determine the arrangement of membrane proteins, including glycoproteins, within the membrane.

Explain the uniqueness of the presence of glycolipids and glycoproteins as they occur on the outer surface of the plasma membrane, relating it to the functions of plasma membrane carbohydrates, e.g. protection, cell-cell recognition, and adhesion.