Okay, we did exactly 80 facts about cells broken down into 4 different articles (links are given below). Those cell facts covered both plant and animal cells. However, in case you are looking for detailed information, they are just not enough. So, we decided to go in depth, covering every component of a typical cell in as much details as possible. So, we decided to start cell membrane facts. Study carefully as there is a wealth of knowledge awaiting you in this article.
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But before we start with cell membrane facts and start delving deep into its structure and its functions, it is essential that we start with the understanding of a few things. Because we will like to keep this article simple and key it down in layman’s terms, let’s start by defining a few things.
|Lipids||Lipid is basically an organic compound which is water insoluble. It is usually made of sterols, waxes, oils, fats and triglycerides. There are different types of lipids. Of these various types, two are ‘Phospholipid’ and ‘Cholesterol’. Both of these are present in cell membrane.|
|Proteins||They are basically complex and large molecules that are produced naturally. They have at least one long amino acids chain in which peptide bonds are used for holding together amino acid groups.|
|Carbohydrates||These are basically food sources that are used for energy by plants and animals. They can be cellulose, starch or sugar.|
|Hydrophilic||Something that likes or loves water.|
|Hydrophobic||Something that dislikes or hates water.|
|Phospholipids||They are lipids but are made of two tails of fatty acids, head-group containing glycerol that is linked to a phosphate.|
|Cholesterol||This is also a lipid that is made of four carbon rings that are fused together.|
We have given the definitions that we will be needing for this article. We acknowledge the fact that there are some technical terms here that are still require some explanation but will leave them for now and we will cover them in separate articles.
So, let’s start with cell membrane facts…
Amazing Cell Membrane Facts: 1-5
1. Cell membrane is a very specific name. It simply implies that it is a membrane of a cell. However, cell membrane is also known by its generic name – “Plasma Membrane”.
2. The cell membrane is a semipermeable membrane. This means that selectively allows things to pass through it (either enter through it or move out through it).
3. The job of the cell membrane is to protect the components that are present inside the cell (called intracellular components) from the components that are present outside the cell (called extracellular components).
4. The cell membrane of a cell contains specific markers. These markers are more like cellular ID cards which are used by cells to recognize each other. These markers are extremely important from the perspective of our immune system. There are immune cells in our body that attack and destroy foreign tissues and cells that get inside our body. The only way these immune cells can do so is when they are aware of which are foreign and which are important part of the body. These markers help immune cells to identify the important ones and selectively destroy the foreign bodies.
5. We wrote about cytoskeletons on one of our generic cell facts list. The cytoskeleton is attached to the cell membrane. So basically, the cell membrane, along with the cytoskeleton helps a cell to maintain its shape.