Membranes and Their Functions

Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Explain how the structure of cell membranes leads to its various functions including selective permeability and transport, and cell signaling.

The plasma membrane, which is also called the cell membrane, has many functions, but the most basic one is to define the borders of the cell and keep the cell functional. The plasma membrane is selectively permeable. This means that the membrane allows some materials to freely enter or leave the cell, while other materials cannot move freely, but require the use of a specialized structure, and occasionally, even energy investment for crossing.


Text adapted from: OpenStax, Concepts of Biology. OpenStax CNX. May 18, 2016


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