What causes a membrane protein to be held in the lipid bilayer?

1 Answer
Nov 14, 2015

Integral membrane protein relies on hydrophobic topology of its transmembrane domain.
Peripheral membrane protein can rely on hydrophobic domain, lipid anchor, or other protein-lipid interaction.


More on preipheral membrane protein (also read [Ref3]):

  • Proteins can undergo prenylation (adding farnesyl or geranylgeranyl group), or lipidation (myristoylation , palmitoylation) which assists in anchoring protein domains to the membrane.
  • Other protein-lipid interaction includes specific protein-lipid interaction and electrostatic interaction. An example of specific protein-lipid interaction is C2 domain which can interact with components like phosphatidylcholine inside cell membrane.

[Ref1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmembrane_domain
[Ref2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Membrane_topology
[Ref3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peripheral_membrane_protein#Membrane_binding_mechanisms
[Ref4] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1742-4658.2007.06056.x/epdf