Main Profile

At A Glance

2.4.2 Explain how phospholipids maintain the structure of the cell membrane

Phospholipids are made up of a phosphate group which is polar and water soluble, attached to a glycerol. The glycerol is then attached to two fatty acids which are non-polar and not water soluble. The phosphate 'head' is hydrophilic (water-loving) while the fatty acids 'tails' are hydrophobic (water- hating). Therefore, the phospholipids orientate themselves in a bilayer with the 'heads' pointing outwards towards either the cytoplasm or extracellular fluid. The 'tails' point inwards and create a water-free zone in the middle of the bilayer.If the cell membrane encounters a disturbance, though the components may temporarily move apart, the phospholipids will reorientate themselves in the bilayer (as a result of their hydrophilic phosphate 'heads' and hydrophobic fatty acid 'tails') and thus maintain the structure of the cell membrane.
Length: 02:01

Contact

Questions about 2.4.2 Explain how phospholipids maintain the structure of the cell membrane

Want more info about 2.4.2 Explain how phospholipids maintain the structure of the cell membrane? Get free advice from education experts and Noodle community members.

  • Answer

Ask a New Question