Series: Biomembranes. A Multi-Volume Treatise

Progress in understanding the nature of the biological membrane has been very rapid over a broad front, but still pockets of ignorance remain. Application of the techniques of molecular biology has provided the sequences of a very large number of membrane proteins, and has led to the discovery of superfamilies of membrane proteins of related structure. In turn, the identification of these superfamilies has led to new ways of thinking about membrane processes. Many of these processes can now be discussed in molecular terms, and unexpected relationships between apparently unrelated phenomena are bringing a new unity to the study of biological membranes. The quantity of information available about membrane proteins is now too large for any one person to be familiar with anything but a very small part of the primary literature. A series of volumes concentrating on molecular aspects of biological membranes therefore seems timely. The hope is that, when complete, these volumes will provide a convenient introduction to the study of a wide range of membrane functions.
Book Series: Transmembrane Receptors and Channels

Most recent volume

Volume 6. Transmembrane Receptors and Channels

Published: 11th March 1997 Editor: A.G. Lee
Volume 6 of Biomembranes covers transmembrane receptors and channels. A particularly important role for the membrane is that of passing messages between a cell and its environment. Part I of this volume covers receptors for hormones and growth factors. Here, as in so many other areas of cell biology, the application of the methods of molecular biology have led to the recognition of a number of families of receptors. Typically, such receptors contain an extracellular ligand binding domain, a transmembrane domain, and an intracellular catalytic domain whose activation, as a result of ligand binding, leads to generation of second messengers within the cell and stimulation of a range of cytosolic enzymes. An alternative signaling strategy, exploited in particular in the nervous system, is to use ion channels to allow controlled movement of monovalent (Na+, K+) or divalent (Ca2+) cations in or out of the cell, resulting in changes in membrane potential or alterations in the intracellular concentration of Ca2+. Part II of this volume is concerned with these ion channels and with other, often simpler, ion channel systems whose study can throw light on channel mechanism.

Additional volumes

Volume 5. ATPases

Published: 17th December 1996 Editor: A.G. Lee

Volume 4. Endocytosis and Exocytosis

Published: 17th December 1996 Editor: A.G. Lee

Volume 3. Receptors of Cell Adhesion and Cellular Recognition

Published: 25th June 1996 Editor: A.G. Lee

Volume 2. Rhodopsin and G-Protein Linked Receptors, Part A

Published: 31st July 1996 Editor: A.G. Lee

Volume 1. General Principles

Published: 28th June 1995 Editor: A.G. Lee