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The Cell:

Transport Mechanisms and Cell


Permeability
PhysioEx 1

Overview of Membrane Transport


Plasma Membrane
Selectively permeable
It controls what can enter or leave the cell

Transport through the plasma membrane


occurs in two ways
Passive Processes
No energy (ATP) is required
Concentration, electrical or pressure gradients drive the
movement between the interior and exterior of the cell

Active Processes
Cell provides the energy, via ATP, to power the transport process
Transport particles against (up) their concentration gradient
Active transport and vesicular transport are examples of active
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processes

Diffusion
The movement of molecules from a region of
their higher concentration to a region of
their lower concentration
The driving force is the kinetic energy of the
molecules

Passive Processes
Simple Diffusion
The unassisted diffusion of solutes (dissolved
substances) through a differentially permeable
membrane

Facilitated Diffusion
Diffusion of solutes through a differentially permeable
membrane with the assistance of membrane protein
carriers
Channel-Mediated Facilitated Diffusion
Carrier-Mediated Facilitated Diffusion

Osmosis
Filtration
Usually occurs only across capillary walls

Diffusion
Simple Diffusion
The movement of particles as a result of their constant, random
motion

Net Diffusion
The net movement of molecules will be from an area of higher
concentration to lower concentration (down the concentration
gradient)
When equilibrium in the solute concentration across the membrane
is reached, solutes will continue to cross the membrane, however
there is no net diffusion (no net change in concentration)

Simple Diffusion
In general, molecules diffuse passively
through the plasma membrane if they
Are small enough to pass through its pores (and
are aided by an electrical and/or concentration
gradient) or
Can dissolve in the lipid portion of the plasma
membrane

Facilitated Diffusion
Some molecules are lipid insoluble or too large to pass
through plasma membrane pores
Instead they pass through the membrane by a passive transport
process called facilitated diffusion

Facilitated Diffusion
This process involves the solutes binds to carrier proteins in
the plasma membrane and are then transported along or down their
concentration gradient
For example, glucose is moved across the plasma membrane via
facilitated diffusion

Because facilitated diffusion relies on carrier proteins, solute


transport varies with the number of available membrane transport
proteins

Small ions cross the membrane by moving through waterfilled protein channels
Since movement is from an area of higher concentration to one of
lower concentration (down their concentration gradient), no
energy (ATP) needed

Diffusion Rates
Factors that affect rate of diffusion through a membrane
Temperature
temp., motion of particles

Molecular weight
Larger molecules move slower

Steepness of conc. gradient


difference, rate

Membrane surface area


area, rate

Membrane permeability
permeability, rate

Correct diffusion rates are very important to cell survival


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Passive Processes
Osmosis
The passive net movement of water through a selectively
permeable membrane from an area of higher water
concentration to an area of lower water concentration
Only occurs when a membrane is permeable to water but
not permeable to a solute
Another way to look at osmosis
It is the net movement of water from an area of lower solute
concentration to an area of higher solute concentration

Water moves through water channels called


aquaporins (AQPs)
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Osmosis
Diffusion of water through a
selectively permeable
membrane
From an area of more water
(side B = less dissolved solute)
to an area of less water (side
A = more dissolved solute)

Aquaporins
Channel proteins in a cell
membrane
The greater the number of
aquaporins, the greater the
rate of osmosis

Small blue dots = water molecules


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Large yellow dots = glucose molecules

Osmotic Pressure
Amount of hydrostatic
pressure required to
stop osmosis =
osmotic pressure
Osmosis slows to a
stop due to filtration of
water back across
membrane due to
hydrostatic pressure
Small blue dots = water molecules
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Large yellow dots = glucose molecules

Osmolarity
Osmolarity
The total concentration of all solute particles in a solution
Is equal to the # osmoles/liter solution

One osmole
Is 1 mole of dissolved particles
For example
1 M glucose contains 1 mole glucose molecules, thus 1 osm/L
1 M NaCl contains 1 mole Na+ ions and 1 mole Cl- ions/L
Both affect osmosis, thus 1 M NaCl = 2 osm/L

Physiological solutions are expressed in


milliosmoles per liter (mOsm/L)
For example
Blood plasma and tissue fluid = 300 mOsm/L

Osmolarity affects osmotic pressure and tonicity12

Tonicity
The ability of a solution to change the shape
or tone of cells by altering their internal
water volume (via osmosis)
Is based on how the solution affects cell
volume, which depends on
Solute Concentration and
Solute Permeability of the plasma membrane

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Tonicity
Hypotonic Solution
A solution that is more dilute (contains a lower concentration of
nonpenetrating solutes) than the cells in the solution
Cells placed in a hypotonic solution absorb water, swell and may burst
(lyse) as water rushes into them

Hypertonic Solution
A solution with a higher concentration of nonpenetrating solutes than in the
cells in the solution
Cells immersed in hypertoinic solutions lose water, shrink and shrivel
(crenate)

Isotonic Solution
The concentration of non-penetrating solutes is the same on both sides of
the membrane
A solution that does not cause a net loss or gain of water into or out of a cell
The cell retains its shape

The bodys extracellular fluids and most intravenous


solutions (solutions infused into the body via a vein) are
isotonic

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Effects of Tonicity on RBCs

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Filtration
The passive process by which water and solutes pass
through a plasma membrane from an area of higher
hydrostatic (fluid) pressure into an area of lower
hydrostatic pressure

Hydrostatic Pressure
The force exerted on the membrane by water
In capillaries, blood pressure forces water, salts, nutrients
and solutes into tissue fluid, while larger particles like blood
cells and protein are held back
Filtration of wastes from the blood occurs in the kidneys
Kidney dialysis membrane
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Carrier-Mediated Transport
Carrier-Mediated Transport
Uses carrier proteins to carry solutes across the
membrane
Specific ions or organic substances bind to integral membrane
proteins which carry them across the plasma membrane

Characteristics of Carrier-Mediated Transport


Specificity
Carriers are specific to the substance

Saturation Limits
The availability of the substance and the carrier proteins

Regulation
The binding of other substances (i.e. hormones) can affect the
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activity of the carrier protein

Carrier Mediated Transport


As the concentration of a solute increases
The rate of transport increases up to the point
when all protein carriers are occupied and rate
of transport levels off at the transport maximum

Types of Carrier Mediated Transport


Facilitated Diffusion (Passive)
Active Transport

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Membrane Carriers
Uniporter
Carries only one solute at a time
Method used for calcium removal from cells

Cotransport (symporter)
Carries 2 or more solutes simultaneously in same
direction
Na+ and glucose are absorbed together in kidney and intestine

Countertransport (antiporter)
Carries 2 or more solutes in opposite directions
Sodium-potassium pump found in many cells brings in K+ and
removes Na+ from cell

All 3 types of carriers can be involved in facilitated


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diffusion or active transport

Carrier Mediated Transport


Facilitated Diffusion
Passive transport of solute across membrane down its
concentration gradient
Solute binds to carrier, carrier changes shape and
releases solute on other side of membrane
No energy needed

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Active Transport
Active Transport
Carrier-mediated transport of solute across the membrane
against its concentration gradient
Energy is required

The solute binds to the receptor site on the carrier


The binding stimulates ATP phosphorylation of the
carrier
The carrier changes shape and releases solute on other side
of membrane

Examples of active transport include


The sodium-potassium pump
Movement of calcium out of cell
Movement of amino acids into cell

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Sodium-Potassium Pump
Three Na+ bind to the cytoplasmic side of the
carrier protein
The binding stimulates ATP phosphorylation of the carrier
The carrier changes shape and releases three Na+ into
the ECF

Two K+ bind to the ECF side of the carrier


The carrier resumes it regular shape and releases K+
inside the cell

The net result is, 3 Na+ exit the cell and 2 K+ enter
the cell
Na+ and K+ constantly leak through the membrane
requiring action of Na+-K+ Pump
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Sodium-Potassium Pump

Functions of Na+ -K+ Pump


Regulation

of cell volume
Maintenance of a membrane potential in all cells

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Molecular Weight
Solute

MW

Na+/ClUrea
Glucose
Albumin

22.99/35.5
60.07
180
>200

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Sodium-Potassium Pump
Video of the Sodium-Potassium Pump:
http://highered.mcgrawhill.com/olcweb/cgi/pluginpop.cgi?
it=swf::535::535::/sites/dl/free/0072437316
/120068/bio03.swf::Sodium-Potassium
%20Exchange%20Pump

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Summary of Passive
Processes
Process
Simple
Diffusion

Energy
Source
Kinetic
energy

Example
Movement of O2 through
phospholipid bilayer

Facilitated Kinetic
Diffusion energy

Movement of glucose
into cells

Osmosis

Movement of H2O
through phospholipid
bilayer or AQPs

Kinetic
energy

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Summary of Active Processes


Process

Energy
Source

Example

Primary Active Transport

ATP

Pumping of ions across membranes

Secondary Active Transport

Ion gradient

Movement of polar or charged


solutes across membranes

Exocytosis

ATP

Secretion of hormones and


neurotransmitters

Phagocytosis (endocytosis)

ATP

White blood cell phagocytosis

Pinocytosis (endocytosis)

ATP

Absorption by intestinal cells

Receptor-mediated
(endocytosis)

ATP

Hormone and cholesterol uptake

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End of Chapter

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