Fall 2016 - MBB 722 G100

Biological Membranes (3)

Class Number: 1434

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2016: Wed, Fri, 8:30–10:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 17, 2016
    Sat, 12:00–3:00 p.m.



A review of recent literature on the structure, dynamics, function and biosynthesis of membrane lipids and proteins.


Grounding in the principles of membrane organization and a review of recent research on the structure, dynamics and function of membranes, membrane lipids and proteins.

4 lecture hours/week; 0 tutorial hour/week; 0 lab hours  

1. Paradigms of membrane organization and physical properties, chemical structures of lipids; hydrophobic effect, model membranes
2. Membrane Lipid dynamics and phase properties, effects of cholesterol
3. Characterization of membranes using physical techniques: diffraction, magnetic resonance (NMR/ESR)
4. Lipid Polymorphism, shape theory
5. Protein rotational and translational dynamics
6. Membrane surface potential
7. Membrane asymmetry and lipid microdomains (RAFTS) – methods, characterization and function(s)
8. Topography analysis of integral membrane proteins
      · hydropathy analysis
      · helix-helix interactions 
      · folding and insrtion pathways for helix bundles and beta barrels
9. Integral membrane protein – lipid interactions: principles
10. Modulation of integral membrane protein conformation by specific lipid or ligand interactions
      · mechanosensitive ion channels
      · rhodopsin
      · voltage-gated ion channels 
11. Peripheral membrane proteins, structure and lipid interactions
      · Lipid covalent anchors
      · Lipid binding modules: amphipathic helix anchors
12. Peripheral proteins perturb lipid bilayers - curvature induction; fusion


  • Assignments 40%
  • One in-class presentation 20%
  • Attendance/participation 10%
  • Research paper on same topic as presentation 30%


A course in protein structure/function is highly recommended.



Luckey, Mary, Membrane Structural Biology with Biochemical and Biophysical Foundations, 2nd Ed., 2014. Cambridge University Press.
ISBN: 978-1-107-03063-3

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