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The role of the cell membrane in cellular transport mechanisms.

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Introduction

Role of the cell membrane in cellular transport mechanisms The cell membrane is mainly made up of a lipid bi layer which is embedded with proteins and strengthened with cholesterol. The lipid is made up of a hydro phobic tail and a hydro philic phosphate head furthermore cholesterol is in between the layer of the phosphate heads with the tails. Particles such as minerals and ions pass through the cell membrane using various transport mechanisms e.g. diffusion, passive transport, facilitated diffusion and active transport. ...read more.

Middle

Facilitated diffusion Facilitated diffusion is similar to diffusion however because the molecules being moved are of a larger size, the permeable membrane cannot diffuse them therefore carrier proteins which are embedded across the whole of the cell membrane change shape to transport the molecules from one side to another. Particles e.g. glucose bind to the carrier protein from outside of the cell where the concentration gradient is most likely to be higher and as the carrier protein changes shape so the molecule can be released on the other side of the cell membrane. ...read more.

Conclusion

The sodium/potassium pump is embedded in the phospholipids bi layer and works by ATP giving it energy which causes the carrier protein to change shape so the sodium ions can bind to the protein. The binding of the sodium ions makes the protein change shape to release the sodium ions on the other side. Furthermore by releasing the sodium ions on the other side it causes the protein to change shape again to make the potassium ions bind to it and once binded it releases them on the other side. This procedure requires 1 ATP molecule and to repeat itself it will need another. ?? ?? ?? ?? AS Biology ...read more.

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