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Membrane protein facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
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Crystal structure of Potassium channel Kv1.2/2.1 Chimera. Calculated hydrocarbon boundaries of the lipid bilayer are indicated by red and blue dots.

A membrane protein is a protein molecule that is attached to, or associated with the membrane of a cell or an organelle.

20–30% of all genes in genomes code for membrane proteins. They are targets of over 50% of all modern medicinal drugs.


Membrane proteins perform a variety of functions vital to the survival of organisms:

  • Membrane receptor proteins relay signals between the cell's internal and external environments.
  • Membrane transport proteins move molecules and ions across the membrane.
  • Membrane enzymes have many activities.
  • Cell adhesion molecules allow cells to identify each other and interact. For example proteins involved in immune response.

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Membrane protein Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.