Credit: INTELECOM /SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Glucose transported through cell membrane mediated by membrane transport proteins. In some cases, substances are either too large or lipid-insoluble meaning they can ?t be dissolved by the lipid portion of the cell membrane and thus can ?t pass through the membrane pores by means of simple diffusion. A good example is glucose, which travels to cells from the blood. The diffusion process in such cases involves transport across the cell membrane mediated by proteins. This is known as facilitated diffusion. These proteins create a water-filled channel through which ions and certain small, polar hydrophilic molecules those which attract and have an affinity for water- can pass. This transport may be regulated by gates which open and close under different conditions. Larger polar molecules like glucose require a carrier protein to facilitate their transport. This transport by carrier proteins may also be activated or inactivated by various stimuli.

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Keywords: cell, cell membrane, diffusion, facilitated diffusion, glucose, interstitial fluid, intracellular fluid, molecule, transport protein

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Cell membrane transport proteins

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