Definitions for facilitated diffusion

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  1. Facilitated diffusion

    Facilitated diffusion is a process of passive transport, with this passive transport aided by integral membrane proteins. Facilitated diffusion is the spontaneous passage of molecules or ions across a biological membrane passing through specific transmembrane integral proteins. The facilitated diffusion may occur either across biological membranes or through aqueous compartments of an organism. Polar molecules and charged ions are dissolved in water but they cannot diffuse freely across the plasma membrane due to the hydrophobic nature of the fatty acid tails of phospholipids that make up the lipid bilayers. Only small nonpolar molecules, such as oxygen can diffuse easily across the membrane. All polar molecules are transported across membranes by proteins that form transmembrane channels. These channels are gated so they can open and close, thus regulating the flow of ions or small polar molecules. Larger molecules are transported by transmembrane carrier proteins, such as permeases that change their conformation as the molecules are carried through, for example glucose or amino acids. Polar molecules, such as retinol or lipids are poorly soluble in water. They are transported through aqueous compartments of cells or through extracellular space by water-soluble carriers as retinol binding protein. The metabolites are not changed because no energy is required for facilitated diffusion. Only permease changes its shape in order to transport the metabolites. The form of transport through cell membrane which modifies its metabolites is the group translocation transportation.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Facilitated Diffusion

    The passive movement of molecules exceeding the rate expected by simple diffusion. No energy is expended in the process. It is achieved by the introduction of passively diffusing molecules to an enviroment or path that is more favorable to the movement of those molecules. Examples of facilitated diffusion are passive transport of hydrophilic substances across a lipid membrane through hydrophilic pores that traverse the membrane, and the sliding of a DNA BINDING PROTEIN along a strand of DNA.


Translations for facilitated diffusion

  • פאַסילאַטייטיד דיפיוזשאַןYiddish

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"facilitated diffusion." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 22 Dec. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/facilitated diffusion>.

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