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Membrane lipids, diffusion and fluidity

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Colorado State University
Life Science
LIFE 210
Paul Laybourn

14 September Introduction and Overview to Lipid Bilayers Membranes define cells and cell compartments Key properties Thin (~50 atoms thick, 1/100 th to 1/1000 th thickness of a cell, 10,000 membranes = sheet of paper) Flexible Self-forming, self-resealing Impermeable to polar molecules Membrane Lipids Amphipathic – part hydrophilic, part hydrophobic Associate such that the nonpolar tails are away from the water Membrane Lipids Classification Backbone – glycerol or sphingosine Head group – has a net charge? Contains sugars? Contain phosphate? Glycerophospholipids Glycerol backbone All have a phosphate which then bonds head group Fatty acyl tails 2 of them 14 – 24 C Saturated or unsaturated Head groups Serine (negative charge) Ethanoamine (no net charge) Choline (no net charge) Inositol (negative charge) Proton Phosphate has negative charge, so phosphate + head group together is what shows charge of entire head group Sphingolipids Sphingosine backbone 1 fatty acyl tail Head groups Sphingomyelin Phosphocholine (no charge) Cerebroside Simple sugar like galactose (no charge) Gangliosides Complex sugar, contain sialic acid (negative charge) Cholesterol Steroid ring structure
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