Concept

Transmembrane domain

Summary
A transmembrane domain (TMD) is a membrane-spanning protein domain. TMDs may consist of one or several alpha-helices or a transmembrane beta barrel. Because the interior of the lipid bilayer is hydrophobic, the amino acid residues in TMDs are often hydrophobic, although proteins such as membrane pumps and ion channels can contain polar residues. TMDs vary greatly in size and hydrophobicity; they may adopt organelle-specific properties. Functions of transmembrane domains Transmembrane domains are known to perform a variety of functions. These include:
  • Anchoring transmembrane proteins to the membrane. *Facilitating molecular transport of molecules such as ions and proteins across biological membranes; usually hydrophilic residues and binding sites in the TMDs help in this process. *Signal transduction across the membrane; many transmembrane proteins, such as G protein-coupled receptors, receive extracellular signals. TMDs then propagate those signals across the membran
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