cell membrane

05/20/2014 - 21:46

Liposomes are spheres made of a double layer of phospholipids, the fat complexes that are the building blocks for animal cell membranes. They resemble simples cells with the "guts" removed. Widespread application of manufactured liposomes as artificial drug carriers has been hindered by a number of limiting factors such as inconsistency in size, structural instability and high production costs.

 

04/11/2014 - 09:34

The cancer protein KRas is a factor in the development of several types of cancer. Mutated KRas, for example, can be found in a large number of all tumour cells in patients with pancreatic cancer. It sits on the inner leaflet of the cell membrane and relays signals into the cell’s interior. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund have now discovered why KRas is almost exclusively found at the cell membrane when observed under the microscope.

 

02/07/2014 - 10:46

The lipid-rich membranes of cells are largely impermeable to proteins, but evolution has provided a way through – in the form of transmembrane tunnels. A new study shows in unmatched detail what happens as proteins pass through such a pore.

 

10/02/2013 - 10:36

The membranes surrounding and inside cells are involved in every aspect of biological function. They separate the cell’s various metabolic functions, compartmentalize the genetic material, and drive evolution by separating a cell’s biochemical activities. They are also the largest and most complex structures that cells synthesize.

 

02/28/2013 - 14:47

An explanation has been proposed for the way in which ordered structures arise in cell membranes. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam have discovered how complex compounds of sugar and lipids – known as glycolipids – order themselves in cell membranes into rafts, namely small, highly organised domains. The arrangement of glycolipids on the surface of plant and animal cell membranes regulates numerous cellular processes. If errors occur in this process, diseases like PNH and BSE can arise.

 

01/23/2013 - 09:48

Living cells are surrounded by a membrane that tightly regulates what gets in and out of the cell. This barrier is necessary for cells to control their internal environment, but it makes it more difficult for scientists to deliver large molecules such as nanoparticles for imaging, or proteins that can reprogram them into pluripotent stem cells.