The Movement of Molecules Across Cell Membranes by W. D. Stein

By W. D. Stein

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25A -80AMembrane Fig. 8. The "paucimolecular" model of cell membrane structure. 4 Nerve Myelin T h e point r e a c h e d thus f a r in t h e p r e s e n t a r g u m e n t is that b y virtue of t h e similarity in composition a n d electron m i c r o s c o p i c structure of t h e cell m e m b r a n e ( F i g s . 1 a n d 1 . 2 ) a n d t h e myelin forms ( F i g s . 4 a n d 1 . 5 ) , t h e cell m e m b r a n e m a y well h a v e a m o l e c u l a r structure such as that of F i g . 8. B u t in at least one case w e c a n go b e y o n d such an a r g u m e n t b y analogy, to a m o r e firmly b a s e d interpretation.

10, a n d a structure c o m b i n e d of t w o sheets of lipid molecules t o g e t h e r with a d s o r b e d protein a d e q u a t e l y accounts for t h e dimensions of t h e X - r a y . 4 NERVE MYELIN 21 Fig. 10. Electron micrograph of a myelinating fiber from developing mouse sciatic nerve (compare Fig. 9c). Magnification, 90,000 χ . (Taken with kind per­ mission from J. D. ) has b e e n shown b y F i n e a n ( 1 9 6 2 ) in a parallel study o f X - r a y diffraction a n d electron m i c r o s c o p y of stained a n d unstained preparations of nerve myelin.

F o r , if solute a n d solvent i n t e r a c t within t h e m e m b r a n e , solute a n d solvent m o l e c u l e s will exert a drag on one another, m o v e m e n t of solvent affect­ ing t h a t of solute a n d v i c e versa. I t turns out t h a t a m i n i m u m of t h r e e p a r a m e t e r s a r e r e q u i r e d t o c h a r a c t e r i z e fully t h e b e h a v i o r of a m e m b r a n e to a p a r t i c u l a r solute. O n e p a r a m e t e r , closely r e l a t e d to t h e term P , will c h a r a c t e r i z e t h e interaction b e t w e e n solute a n d m e m b r a n e .

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