Components of Biological Membranes

I need help creating a thesis and an outline on Components of Biological Membranes. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. a. Phospholipids- glycerol is the most common type of phospholipid (glycerophospholipids), which is linked to two fatty acid chains, phosphate and choline. The glycerophospholipids are of three major types and contain choline, serine or ethanolamine attached to the phosphate. Sphingomyelin is a phospholipid where choline is attached to phosphate (Brown BS.)

The most biologically prevalent lipid head group is phosphatidylcholine (PC). The common negatively charged lipid head groups include phosphatidic acid (PA), phosphatidylglycerol (PG) and phosphatidylserine (PS). The hydrocarbon chains of lipids, which are usually 14-24 carbons long, have the chains aligned parallel to each other and are stabilized by extended dispersion forces. Either a trans or gauche configuration can occur by rotation around the C-C bonds along the chains. (Scarlata S)

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b. Glycolipids- glycolipids contain a sugar (glucose or galactose) instead of the phosphate, thereby differing from phospholipids. However, like phospholipids, glycolipids contain either glycerol or sphingosine, which are linked to fatty acid chains. Biological membranes in animals contain sphingosine, in contrast to bacterial and plant membranes, which contain glycerol. However, in general, glycolipids are present on the outer surface of the plasma membrane.

The membrane fluidity can be affected by cholesterol to varying degrees. Cholesterol tends to decrease the rotational freedom of the neighboring hydrocarbon chains in the fluid phase, which decreases the fluidity and stiffens the membrane. By acting as a contaminant in the gel phases, cholesterol decreases the order of the well-packed lipid chains (Scarlata S.)

One part of the phospholipid and the cholesterol molecules is soluble in water (hydrophilic or water-loving) whereas the other part is soluble only in fats (hydrophobic or water-fearing). The fatty portions occupy the centre of the membrane and the hydrophilic portions project to the two surfaces in contact with the water (Guyton AC.

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