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The Fluid Mosaic Structure Of
Cell Membrane Structures
By : Dina Kharida
8136173006
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MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Introduction
Biological membranes play a crucial role in
almost all cellular phenomena.
Protein itself shares a unique composition and
diverse structures.
An analogy exist between the problem of
membrane and protein structures.
Generalization might be helpful in order to
understand membrane properties and
functions.
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DISCUSSION
1. Membrane Structures
Thermodynamics of macromolecular
system applies to any macromolecular
system of aqueous environment.
Two kinds of non-covalent interaction:
hydrophobic and hydrophilic, by means of
thermodynamic system
Phospholipids are molecules that have two
long fatty acid (lipids-hydrophobic) chains
and phosphate groups (readily bond with
water and hydrophilic).
Thus phospholipid bilayer is a component
of plasma membrane composed of two
layers of phospholipids.
Figure 1. Phospholipid bilayer cross section (Reece)
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Contd
A phospholipid is an amphipathic
molecule: it has hydrophilic and
hydrophobic region.
Fluid Mosaic Model : the
membrane is a uid structure with
a mosaic of various proteins
(stationary and mobile) embedded
in or attached to a phospholipids
bilayer .
Figure 2. Phospholipid bilayer
(Singer & Nicholson)
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2. Properties of membrane component:
a. Peripheral protein
The characters are:
1. Require mild treatments to disassociate them
from intact membrane.
2. Disassociate freely in lipid, and soluble in
neutral aqueous, of it disassociate state.
3. Bound weakly by non-covalent interaction
and associate weakly with lipid (ex:
cytochrome mitochondrial membrane).
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b. Integral protein,
The most abundant, the characters are:
1. need much more reagent in order to
disassociate it,
2. may remain associate with lipid when
isolated
3. highly insoluble or forming aggregate
in neutral aqueous solution.
It is assumed that only integral proteins
important for membrane structural
integrity. Integral protein properties are:
(1).Grossly heterogeneous
(2).Various protein of intact membrane
show -helical conformation (globular not
spread out in layer).
(3).Did not attach to outer surface of lipid
bilayer (regarding membrane thickness) but
intercalated within membrane.
Figure 3. Lipid globular mosaic model of
membrane (Singer & Nicholson)
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Figure 4. Membrane Protein
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c. Protein and lipid interaction
It play a role in various membrane function:
1. Membrane bound enzyme and antigen need
lipids or specific phospholipids for its expression
2. Bacterial membrane are affected by the function
of phospholipid on membrane bound proteins.
Protein and phospholipid act independently, even
though small fraction of lipid is more tightly
coupled to protein (integral protein).
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d. Fluid Mosaic Model
(Amphipathic structures of Protein)
Characters:
1. Under thermodynamic control,
determined by AA sequence and
covalent structure of protein and by
its interaction to molecular
environment.
2. Different protein can be integral
protein if they have Amino acid
sequence (AA allow them to adopt
amphipathic structures)
3. And some protein is membrane
bound while some other is freely
soluble.
Figure 5. The original fluid mosaic model for
membrane (Reece)
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(Lipids constitute the matrix in membrane
mosaic structured)
Hypothesis: Functional cell membrane has long range
mosaic structures with the lipids constituting the
matrix.
The consequence are:
1. if the matrix is made of membrane protein, protein
might be distributed in highly ordered two
dimensional array on the membrane surface, but if
the matrix is in lipid form, there will be aperiodic
random arrangement.
2. Lipids of functional cell membranes are in fluid rather
than a crystalline state.
3. Mosaic structure is dynamic rather than static.
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3. Recent experimental Evidence
1
st
QUESTION: What is the evident
that protein embedded in
membranes?
Method use : freeze fracture
method, to proof that integral
protein (globular molecules) is
present and embedded to
membrane.
Result : Strongly suggest
that massive numbers of
protein are embedded in much
functional membranes. Mosaic
like structures, consist of
smooth matrix, is interrupted
by large number of particles.
Figure 6. Freeze etching method (Reece)
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Contd
2
nd
QUESTION: How is the size and structure of integral protein?
Method : Using erythrocyte membrane
1. Proteolysis in normal compare to averted membrane and
2. Labeling the membrane protein
Result : Certain integral protein have appropriate size
and structure and membranes are exposed from two sides.
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rd
QUESTION: Distribution of component in membrane.
Prediction : There present essential random distribution of two
dimensional in long range of any integral protein membrane.
Method :
1. Electron microscopy, to visualize specific distribution of
membrane antigen over large area surface membrane.
2. Analyzing the distribution of Rho(D) antigen of human erythrocyte
membrane cell, and H-2 histocompatible alloantigen of mice
erythrocyte membrane.
Conclusion : Fluid mosaic model: integral protein random
arrangement in two dimensional arrays.
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Contd
Other studies regarding this question:
1. Studies by Frye and Edidin:
Method: Determining human and mouse
antigenic component of fused cell
membranes using immunofluorescence
Result: Shortly after cell fusion, the mouse
and human antigenic components are
segregated on different halves of fused
cell membrane, but after 40 min. the
components were completely intermixed.
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th
Question: Does protein consist of fluid state in intact internal membrane?
Method: Using receptor disk membrane retina of frog, Rhodopsin. Negative
staining of dry surface membrane and electron microscopic analyses are
occupied.
Result: Non crystalline, aperiodic arrangement of the particles (individual
Rhodopsin molecules) existed in the plane of membrane.
Figure 7. Cell fusion and intermixed state
(Reece)
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Contd
Other studies regarding this question:
2. Studies form Wilson and Fox:
Use the -galactoside and -glucoside transport system on mutant
Escherichia coli .
Conclusion : Small fraction of protein might not be exchanged rapidly
with the bigger part of lipid. Lipids membranes are not readily exchanged
and not free to diffuse independently.
3. Experiment by Mindich:
Generally lipid and protein incorporation into bacterial membranes can
occur independently and there are a quite wide variation in ratio of lipid-
protein.
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th
Question: How does the asymmetry of membrane?
Method: Conjugation of several plant proteins to visualize the
distribution of oligosaccharide on membrane using electron
microscope.
Evidence: Two surfaces of membranes are not identical in structure
composition or function. This asymmetry is come from the distribution
of oligosaccharide on the two surface of membrane.
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Cell-cell interaction and membrane biogenesis on membrane
asymmetry:
The absence of oligosaccharide on inner membrane surface
indicates that rotational transition of glycoprotein of plasma
membrane from the outer to the inner surface must occur in slow
rate.
Two-dimensional translational diffusion of integral protein and
membrane phospholipid occur freely in lateral way.
But the rotational diffusion of these components restricted in static
way in which there are no molecular tumbling occur at significant
rate.
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Fig. 10 Movement of Phospholipid bilayers
And flip-flop of phospholipids within
membrane are very rare
Fig 8. Membrane Bilayers
Fig. 9 The asymmetrical distribution of
phospholipids and glycolipids in the lipid
bilayer of human red blood cells
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The fluid mosaic and membrane
function
Diverse character membrane should be discussed in
respect to various mechanism of how membrane cell
functioned.
New factors are then introduced:
1. Physical or chemical disturbance of membrane may alter
particular membrane component or set component.
2. Such things may cause redistribution of membrane
components through translational diffusion. It allows new
thermodynamic interaction to occur among altered
components.
Besides that the cooperative phenomena in membrane
may be present :effect of changes initiate in one site could
be transmitted to another remote site by coupling between
the sites, causing number of important phenomena in
membrane cell
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References:
Brown, Bernard S. 1996. Biological Membranes. School of Biological
Sciences University of Menchester: UK
Alberts, Bruces, et-all. 2002. Molecular Biology of The Cell, 5
th
Edition.USA: Garland Science, Taylor and Francis Group.
Reece, Jane. B., et- all. 2010. Campbell Biology, 9
th
Edition,
Benjamin Cumming Publishing Company Inc.: USA (Accessed from
http://www.pearsonhighered.com/campbell9einfo/assets/pdf/
Campbell9e_Ch07.pdf in august 2013)
Singer, S.J and Garth L. Nicholson. 1972. The Fluid Mosaic Model of
the Structure of Cell Membranes. Published by: American
Association for the Advancement of Science. Vol. 175 pp. 720-
731(Accessed form
http://ressources.unisciel.fr/biocell/chap1/res/fluid
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