26th October 2019

sparknotes
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What is the function of the phospholipid bilayer?

The lipid bilayer is a universal component of all cell membranes. Its role is critical because its structural components provide the barrier that marks the boundaries of a cell. The structure is called a "lipid bilayer" because it is composed of two layers of fat cells organized in two sheets.

What is the role of phospholipids in cell membranes?

Phospholipids form the basic structure of a cell membrane, called the lipid bilayer. Scattered in the lipid bilayer are cholesterol molecules, which help to keep the membrane fluid consistent. Membrane proteins are important for transporting substances across the cell membrane.

What is special about a phospholipid?

In general, the hydrophobic end is a fatty acid "tail" (actually there are two such tails) and the hydrophilic phosphate end is considered the 'head'. Given this unique structure, phospholipids are structured to interact with both hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecules.
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