Membranes Are More Mosaic Than Fluid

Nature. 2005 Dec 1;438(7068):578-80. doi: 10.1038/nature04394.


The wealth of new data on membrane protein structures and functions is changing our general view of membrane architecture. Some of the key themes that are emerging are that membranes are patchy, with segregated regions of structure and function, that lipid regions vary in thickness and composition, and that crowding and ectodomains limit exposure of lipid to the adjacent aqueous regions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / chemistry*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry
  • Lipid Bilayers / metabolism
  • Membrane Fluidity / physiology*
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Models, Molecular


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Membrane Proteins