Molecular mobility on the cell surface.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Many measurements of lateral diffusion of proteins and lipids on cell membranes and lipid model membranes have become available through application of fluorescence photobleaching recovery methods. A puzzling aspect of these results is slow diffusion and partial immobilization of protein molecules on the cell surface. Observed protein diffusion coefficients on vertebrate structural tissue cells are consistently D less than or equal to 10(-10) cm2/s, while lipid analogues diffuse with D approx. 10(-8) cm2/s. Substantial fractions of the cell membrane proteins are not diffusible. In a pure viscous membrane, theoretical fluid dynamics has suggested only small differences between lipid and protein diffusion coefficients. Measurements of protein diffusion in model membranes recently showed D less than or equal to 10(-9) cm2/s, as expected. Recent experiments on cell membranes show that uncoupling of the membrane from the cytoskeleton by formation of blebs releases the membrane protein molecules so that diffusion is enhanced to D greater than or equal to 10(-9) cm2/s and the non-diffusible fraction is eliminated.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Webb, WW; Barak, LS; Tank, DW; Wu, ES

Published Date

  • 1981

Published In

Start / End Page

  • 191 - 205

PubMed ID

  • 7039623

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0067-8694


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England