What functions does the cell membrane perform?

1 Answer
Oct 20, 2017

Cell membrane is a dynamic entity. It performs a lot of functions.

  • Ion pumps operate across the membrane, so that extracellular sodium concentration remains elevated.
  • Sodium channels allow plasma membrane to depolarise and repolarise in appropriate time.
  • Cell secretion can take place when plasma membrane fuses with secretory vesicles.
  • Infolding of plasma membrane on the other hand helps in phagocytosis and pinocytosis.
  • Cell membrane may increase surface area by projecting microvilli .
  • Cell membrane of cells like RBCs possess antigens which determine blood group.
  • Lipid soluble materials easily diffuse through cell membrane, including respiratory gases.
  • Plasma membrane helps in anchoring the cytoskeletal structures like spindle apparatus .
  • There are enzymes integral to plasma membrane, hence it catalyses reactions like breaking down ATP into ADP and inorganic phosphate.
  • Plasma membrane can receive signaling molecules like protein hormones due to presence of membrane receptors .