Transmembrane protein

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A transmembrane protein is an amphiphatic protein with hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions which span the lipid bilayer. The hydrophobic regions of a transmembrane protein are buried inside the lipid bilayer whereas its hydrophillic regions are exposed on the outside[1]. These proteins can either be 'single-pass' meaning it crosses the membrane once or 'multipass' and therefore crosses the bilayer more than once. Transmembrane proteins are usually either a single alpha helix, multiple alpha helices or a beta sheet that has been rolled and is referred to as a beta barrel[2].  


  1. Alberts, B., et al. Molecular Biology of The Cell. 6th ed. New York: Garland Science; 2015.
  2. Alberts et al (2008) Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th edition, New York Garland Science, Chapter 10, pages 629-630

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