What Molecules Are Found Amid The Fatty Acid Tails

What would happen if the plasma membrane were made primarily of a hydrophilic substance such as carbohydrate? Which of the major themes at the end of chapter 1 does this point best exemplify?

Saladin: Anatomy & I 3. Cellular Form and I Text I © The McGraw-Hill

Physiology: The Unity of Function Companies, 2003 Form and Function, Third Edition

100 Part One Organization of the Body

Cholesterol molecules, found amid the fatty acid tails, constitute about 20% of the membrane lipids. By interacting with the phospholipids and "holding them still," cholesterol can stiffen the membrane (make it less fluid) in spots. Higher concentrations of cholesterol, however, can increase membrane fluidity by preventing the phospholipids from becoming packed closely together.

The remaining 5% of the membrane lipids are gly-colipids—phospholipids with short carbohydrate chains on the extracellular face of the membrane. They help to form the glycocalyx, a carbohydrate coating on the cell surface with multiple functions, described shortly.

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Essentials of Human Physiology

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  • Minto
    What molecules are found amid the fatty acid tails?
    6 years ago

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