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Membrane Proteins



TYPES

  • Broadly of two types:

  • Integral membrane proteins.

  • Peripherally associated proteins.

Integral Membrane Proteins

  • Embedded within the lipid bilayer ⟶ Very difficult to remove from the membrane.

Monotopic
  • Embed in only one leaflet of the lipid bilayer.

  • Have only one segment outside the bilayer ⟶ Called monotonic proteins.

  • E.g. prostaglandin E synthase.

Transmembrane proteins
  • Span the lipid bilayer.

Bitopic

  • Span the membrane only once ⟶ Called single-pass or single-span transmembrane proteins.

  • Have two segments outside the membrane ⟶ Called bitopic proteins.

  • E.g. Insulin receptor.

Polytopic

  • Span the membrane multiple times ⟶ Called multi-span transmembrane proteins.

  • Have more than two segments outside the membrane ⟶ Called polytopic proteins.

  • E.g. G protein-coupled receptors.

Lipid Anchored Proteins
  • Not truly embedded in the membrane.

  • Covalently bound to the membrane lipid ⟶ Difficult to remove.

  • E.g. Proteins attached to glycosyl phosphatidylinositol in the outer leaflet.

Peripherally Associated Proteins

  • Neither embedded in the lipid bilayer nor attached to it covalently.

  • Associated with:

  • Polar headgroup of membrane lipid or

  • Integral proteins

  • Easy to remove from mebrane.

  • E.g. Cytochrome C.


COMMON PROPETIES

Structure

Segment of protein inside the membrane:
  • Largely made up of nonpolar amino acids ⟶ hydrophobic ⟶ comfortable in the hydrophobic environment inside the lipid bilayer.

  • Usually α helix.

Segment of protein outside the membrane:
  • Largely made up of polar amino acids ⟶ hydrophilic ⟶ comfortable in contact with water on both sides of the membrane.

Movement

  • When the protein is not attached to anything, it can diffuse freely along the entire surface of the membrane.

  • Protein molecules are bulky and sometimes attached to cytoskeletal ⟶ movement tends to be slow and some proteins can't move at all.


FUNCTIONS

As Receptors

Lipid insoluble signal molecule

Cannot pass through the cell membrane

Relays the signal to membrane receptors

  • E.g. insulin receptor.

As Adhesion Molecules

  • Make physical contact with:

  • Surrounding extracellular matrix e.g. integrins.

  • Neighboring cells e.g. cadherins.

As Transport Proteins

  • For movement of water and water-soluble substances across the membrane.

  • E.g. Sodium channels.

As Enzymes

  • E.g. enzymes on the luminal side of intestinal cells.

As Second Messenger

  • Participate in intracellular signaling.

  • E.g. G proteins.

 

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