10Headgroups of phospholipids and non-bilayer arrangements of (phospho)lipids in an aqueous environment
11Phospholipid bilayers are efficient barriers that allow for a « privileged » intracellular environmont
12Because of the impermeable membrane, cells require transmembrane proteins in order to communicate and interact with their environment
13Epithelial cells in particular make extensive contacts with adjacent cells via specialized cellular junctions
14Tight junctions seal the intercellular space of epithelial cellular sheets (selective barrier), an essential function for selective transport of solutes (for instance nutrient uptake in the intestine)
15Adherens junctions protect the cell against physical agression (tension forces in particular). They play an important role in the maintenance of tissue integrity
16Adhesion molecules, in particular the integrins, also interact with cellular matrix. Collagen is an important component with both structural and cell interaction functions
17Fibronectin is an important ligand for integrins, it has a prime role in connecting cells with the extracellar matrix.
18Laminin, an important component of the basal lamina (basement membrane) plays a bridging role between cells (through binding with integrins) and their matrix (through binding with other components).
19This drawing nicely illustrates how the different components of the extracellular matrix form a dense matrix to which cells firmly attach
20Integrins bind to proteins of the extracellular matrix Integrins bind to proteins of the extracellular matrix. This often occurs in focal adhesion complexes, where numerous proteins attach to each other, and importantly, to the actin cytoskeleton
21Glycosaminoglycans also have their place in the extracellular matrix Glycosaminoglycans also have their place in the extracellular matrix. These long and highly charged sugar chains attract water and have the important capacity, unlike collagens, to resist compression
22Cartilage of the synovial joint is a beautiful example of how proteins (collagen and aggregan) and glycosaminoglycans (hyaluronan, KS and CS) act together to resist to both tension (during flexion of the joint) and compression (static weight bearing of the joint). The importance of all this is best explained by people who suffer from rhumatoid arthritis or arthrosis.
23Finally, cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions are important - to maintain tissue integrityand because adhesion molecules act like « classic » receptors and signal into the cell, they also play a role in- maintaining the cell in a differentiated stateproviding a survival signal that protects the cells against apoptosis
24DNA versus RNA, a better way to stock genetic information (less prone to alterations)
25Coding sequence and non-coding (template) sequence Transcription and translation,