Presentation on theme: "Chapter 7.2 and 7.4, The Cell's Plasma Membrane and Cellular Transport."— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 7.2 and 7.4, The Cell's Plasma Membrane and Cellular Transport
In Chapter 1 we discussed one of the seven characteristics of life is the ability to maintain homeostasis, or a stable internal environment. One of the key roles of the plasma membrane is to maintain homeostasis within a cell. An important property of a plasma membrane is it's ability to be selectively permeable Selective permeability is a property of cells that it allows certain substances in and keeps other substances out.
Remember from chapter 6 that one of the important lipids in biology is a phospholipid. A phospholipid is two fatty acid tails that are non-polar (repelled by water) and a phosphate head that is polar (attracted to water). The plasma membrane is made up of two layers of phospholipids that separate the cell's interior from the cell’s exterior. This double-layered structure is known as a phospholipid bilayer.
Other important substances present in the plasma membrane are cholesterol, proteins, and carbohydrates. One important type of protein that transports substances across the plasma membrane are called transport proteins. Cholesterol keeps the fatty acid tails in the plasma membrane from sticking together. Carbohydrates can identify chemical signals on the plasma membrane.
A good analogy that is used to describe how the substances in the plasma membrane behave is to think of the plasma membrane as a bath tub full of water with apples floating on top. The apples would represent the phospholipids, and the water would represent the cytoplasm. This analogy describes what is known in biology as the fluid mosaic model. It is the way in which substances behave and interact on the plasma membrane.
One of the ways in which cells receive the substances and nutrients they need is by simple diffusion. Diffusion is the movement of particles from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration until the concentration is equal and equilibrium in achieved. Think of a pitcher of water and some food coloring. If a drop of food coloring was added to the water, the dye would spread out evenly until the color of the water was all uniform.
Diffusion occurs until equilibrium is achieved and the concentration gradient is zero
The three main factors affecting the rate of diffusion in cells are concentration gradient, temperature, and pressure. The higher the concentration, temperature and pressure, the faster the rate of diffusion.
Some substances are small enough to move across the plasma membrane by simple diffusion. Other particles that are much larger, require assistance from transport proteins. When objects require transport proteins in order to move across the plasma membrane, but energy is not required, this movement is called facilitated diffusion. This particular type of transport is achieved without the input of energy, therefore it is considered a form of passive transport.
There are two ways that transport proteins accomplish facilitated diffusion. One way is by channel proteins. Channel proteins allow only certain size particles to move by passive transport. (works like a sieve) Another type of transport protein that does not require energy, is referred to as carrier proteins. Carrier proteins can change shape to move the particles across the plasma membrane In both cases, the substance is still moving from areas of high to low concentration.
If a dissolved solute substance can’t move across the cell membrane to achieve equilibrium, then water can move in the direction of the higher solute concentration to achieve equilibrium. This process is called osmosis.
If a cell is in a solution (for instance, blood) that has the same concentration of a solute as the solution, the cell will be isotonic to the solution. In this case no osmosis will occur and the cell will not change. If a cell is in a solution that has a lower concentration of a solute than the cell, then the solution is hypotonic to the cell. In this case, osmosis will move water inside the cell and the cell could swell and burst (lyse). If a cell is in a solution that has a higher concentration of a solute than the cell, then the solution is hypertonic to the cell. In this case, osmosis will move water out of the cell into the solution and the cell will shrivel up.
How does a cell move a substance from a lower concentration to a higher concentration? In order to do this, a cell must use energy. When a cell uses energy to move substances across the cell membrane it is called active transport. To do this, special carrier proteins called pumps move substances against the concentration gradient from area s of low to high concentration.
One common type of active transport is a pump called the sodium potassium ATPase pump. The role of the sodium potassium ATPase pump is to carry sodium out of the cell and bring potassium into the cell. In order to do this an enzyme called ATPase uses energy from ATP to pump 3 sodium ions out of the cell and pump 2 potassium ions into the cell.
Some substances are too big to move by simple diffusion, facilitated diffusion, or active transport. These substances require a different method to get across the plasma membrane If a large object needs to leave the cell, the plasma membrane can engulf the substance and eject the substance by exocytosis. If a large object needs to enter the cell, the plasma membrane can engulf the substance and draw it into the cytoplasm by endocytosis.