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Animal Osmoregulation$
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Timothy J. Bradley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780198569961

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198569961.001.0001

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The interaction of water with organic solutes The interaction of water with organic solutes

The interaction of water with organic solutes The interaction of water with organic solutes

(p.35) 3 The interaction of water with organic solutes
Animal Osmoregulation

Timothy J. Bradley

Oxford University Press

The aqueous environments both inside and surrounding animal cells profoundly affect the structure and function of molecules and membranes. Solutes dissolved in water are surrounded by a shell of water molecules. The polarity of the water molecules in the shell is determined by the solute's ionic charge. The structure of proteins is profoundly affected by the activity of the water in which they reside, and by the types and quantities of ions present. The interactions of lipids with water are dominated by hydrophobic interactions. These interactions dictate the structure of membranes, and influence the locations and functions of proteins associated with membranes. The lipid bi-layer acts as a powerful barrier to trans-membrane movements. Proteins sited within the membrane can therefore play important roles as channels and transport moieties.

Keywords:   protein structure, membrane structure, hydrophobic, hydrophilic, membrane channels

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