Cell surface organization by the membrane skeleton

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 1996 Aug;8(4):566-74. doi: 10.1016/s0955-0674(96)80036-6.


Single-particle tracking and laser tweezers have facilitated the observation of the mechanics of molecular interactions in the plasma membrane of living cells at the level of single (or a few) molecules at nanometer/piconewton precision. These techniques have recently revealed that the membrane skeleton provides both confining and binding effects on the movement of membrane proteins, and that it can play a pivotal role in the molecular organization of the plasma membrane, especially in the formation of special membrane domains.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cell Compartmentation
  • Cell Membrane / physiology*
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Cytological Techniques
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Diffusion
  • Elasticity
  • Lasers
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Motion


  • Membrane Proteins