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The still valid fluid mosaic model for molecular organization of biomembranes: accumulating data confirm it

DISCOVERIES (ISSN 2359-7232),2013, October-December

CITATION:
Leabu M. The still valid fluid mosaic model for molecular organization of biomembranes: accumulating data confirm it. Discoveries 2013, Oct-Dec; 1(1): e7.
DOI: 10.15190/d.2013.7

Submitted: November 26, 2013; Revised: December 25, 2013; Accepted: December 25, 2013; Published: December 31, 2013; 

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The still valid fluid mosaic model for molecular organization of biomembranes: accumulating data confirm it


, PhD*


Affiliation:
University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila”, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine; “Victor Babes” National Institute of Pathology; University of Bucharest, Research Center for Applied Ethics

*Correspondence to: Mircea Leabu, PhD, “Victor Babes” National Institute of Pathology, 99101, Splaiul Independentei, 050096, Bucharest, Romania; E-mail: mircea.leabu@ivb.ro


Abstract

More than forty years passed since Singer and Nicolson launched the fluid mosaic model related to molecular organization and dynamics of cell membranes, applicable to endomembranes as well. During this period of time, that will reach half a century soon, accumulating data all confirm, but not infirm the brilliant idea of such a model. Sometimes, the results developed the model in a very impacting manner, as was the case with the introduction of the membrane microdomain concept (mainly lipid rafts organization). From a didactical point of view, membrane microdomain organization suggests the mosaic’s “bricks” are even more complex than mere proteins or protein aggregates (the initial ones determining the parents of the model to design it). Current times, with high resolution equipments and techniques allowing live cell investigation, have opened new approaches resulting in enhancement of our understanding about biomembranes organization, dynamics and functioning. This paper will analyze some of the most recent data about membrane molecular organization and dynamics of biomembrane components, as well as interpretation of these data to see if they could modify the concept related to the fluid mosaic model. In a text assessment specific to papers in soft sciences, I will show the anticipatory and wise presentation of the fluid mosaic model by Singer and Nicolson, which has made it as a still valid one.

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References

1. Singer SJ, Nicolson GL. The fluid mosaic model of the structure of cell membranes. Science 1972; 175(4023): 720-731
2. Kusumi A, Fujiwara TK, Chadda R, Xie M, Tsunoyama TA, Kalay Z et al. Dynamic organizing principles of the plasma membrane that regulate signal transduction: commemorating the fortieth anniversary of Singer and Nicolson's fluid-mosaic model. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2012; 28: 215-250.
3. Singer SJ, Nicolson GL. The structure and chemistry of mammalian cell membranes. Am J Pathol. 1971; 65(2): 427-437.
4. Singer SJ. The molecular organization of membranes. Annu Rev Biochem. 1974; 43(0): 805-833.
5. Morange M. What history tells us XXX. The emergence of the fluid mosaic model of membranes. J Biosci. 2013; 38(1): 3-7.
6. Nicolson GL. The Fluid-Mosaic Model of Membrane Structure: Still relevant to understanding the structure, function and dynamics of biological membranes after more than 40years. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 pii: S0005-2736(13)00393-3.
7. Simons K, Ikonen E. Functional rafts in cell membranes. Nature 1997; 387(6633): 569-572.
8. Sonnino S, Prinetti A. Membrane domains and the "lipid raft" concept. Curr Med Chem. 2013; 20(1): 4-21.
9. Kennedy SJ. Structures of membrane proteins. J Membr Biol. 1978; 42(3):265-279.
10. Singer SJ. Some early history of membrane molecular biology. Annu Rev Physiol. 2004; 66: 1-27.
11. Spisni E, Tomasi V, Cestaro A, Tosatto SC. Structural insights into the function of human caveolin 1. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005; 338(3): 1383-1390.

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