Physicochemical Methods in the Study of Biomembranes

Subcellular Biochemistry

Book 23
Springer Science & Business Media
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In mammalian cells many physiological processes rely on the dynamics of the organization of lipids and proteins in biological membranes. The topics in this volume deal with physicochemical methods in the study of biomembranes. Some of them have a long and respectable history in the study of soluble proteins and have only recently been applied to the study of membranes. Some have tradi tionally been applied to studies of model systems of lipids of well-defined com position, as well as to intact membranes. Other methods, by their very nature, apply to organized bilayers comprised of both protein and lipid. Van Meer and van Genderen provide us with an introduction to the field (Chapter I). From their personal perspective regarding the distribution, trans port, and sorting of membrane lipids, they formulate a number of biologically relevant questions and show that the physicochemical methods described in this book may contribute in great measure to solving these issues. The methods of analytical ultracentrifugation have served faithfully for 60 years in the study of water-soluble proteins. The use of detergent extraction of membrane proteins, and the manipulation of density with H20/D20 mixtures, has extended this technique to the study of proteins, and in particular their interactions, from biological membranes. As described by Morris and Ralston in Chapter 2, this technique can be used to determine a number of important properties of proteins.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Nov 11, 2013
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Pages
509
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ISBN
9781461518631
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Life Sciences / Biochemistry
Science / Life Sciences / Biophysics
Science / Life Sciences / Botany
Science / Life Sciences / Zoology / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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The last 10 years have seen an enormous growth in our understanding of the molecular organisation of biological membranes. Experimental methods have been devised to meas ure the translational and rotational mobility of lipids and proteins, thereby furnishing a quantitative basis for the concept of membrane fluidity. Likewise, the asymmetry of bi layer membranes as evidenced by the asymmetric insertion of proteins and lipids has been put on firm experimental ground. At higher molecular resolution it has been possible to provide a detailed pi2ture of the molecular conformation and dynamics of lipids and, to some extent, even of small peptides embedded in a bilayer matrix. Many of these achieve ments would not have been possible without the application of modem spectroscopic methods. Since these techniques are scattered in a variety of specialized textbooks the present monograph attempts to describe the key spectroscopic methods employed in present-day membrane research at an intermediate level. There is no question that the elusive detailed structure of the biological membrane demands a multiplicity of experi mental approaches and that no single spectroscopic method can cover the full range of physical phenomena encountered in a membrane. Much confusion in the literature has arisen by undue generalizations without considering the frequency range or other limi tations of the methods employed. It is to be hoped that the present monograph with its comprehensive description of most modem spectroscopic techniques, will contribute to- .
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