How do molecules move across the plasma membrane?

1 Answer
Apr 15, 2018


Molecules move across the plasma/cell membrane through diffusion. If they are not small enough, they have to broken down by other substances, such as enzymes, which are biological catalysts.

If they are small enough, usually, the easiest way for them to move is through diffusion. This means that they will move from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration.

But, this doesn't work for some nutrients, such as in the case of nitrates #(NO_3^-)#. A plant wanting to get those ions will need to use energy, and usually enzymes are needed to carry those nutrients through the membrane and into the plant.

Here are two pictures of the two processes: