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Exercise 7. Determination of the Protein Content of Mammalian Red Blood Cell Plasma Membrane using Gel Electrophoresis


A. Introduction

Our understanding of the structure of biological membrane is based on the Fluid Mosaic Model, first proposed by Singer and Nicolson. According to this model, biological membrane is composed of a fluid lipid bilayer in which is embedded a variety of proteins. The variety of proteins present in a membrane depends on the location and function of the membrane. Plasma membrane will have a specific set of relatively unique proteins, depending on the type of cell. The question we are addressing in this lab is "What is the protein composition of the plasma membrane of red blood cells?" To answer this question, we will analyze our red blood cell plasma membrane samples using a gel electrophoresis technique called SDS-PAGE.