cell membrane

plural cell membranes

Definition of cell membrane

: a membrane of a cell especially : a semipermeable limiting layer of cell protoplasm consisting of a fluid phospholipid bilayer with intercalated proteins : plasma membrane Despite being much maligned in the popular press, cholesterol plays a crucial role in organizing cell membranes and controlling their physical properties. — Amanda Yarnell … a cascade of reactions culminating in the transfer of a phosphate group to a protein complex that carries ions across the cell membrane. Science News

Examples of cell membrane in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web McCormick and his colleagues were extremely surprised when his computer models showed that P-glycoprotein could bind amyloid-beta and move it through the cell membrane. Dallas News, 29 June 2021 Yet the verdant spheres are a different organism altogether: Chlorella, an alga that occasionally takes refuge within the confines of the paramecium’s cushy cell membrane. Quanta Magazine, 7 June 2021 Trillions of these molecules hunt down cancer cells, latching onto protein receptors on the cell membrane. Carla K. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, 4 June 2021 One of these signature structures is lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a long chain of sugars anchored to the cell membrane of many types of bacteria. Stephanie Melchor, Scientific American, 29 Mar. 2021 In a 2010 study, zinc coupled with an ionophore (a chemical that transports an ion across a cell membrane) was found to inhibit the replication of SARS. Allysia Finley, WSJ, 5 Oct. 2020 In the presence of bacteria like E. coli, copper releases reactive ions that punch holes in the cell membrane, invade, and then shred the DNA and proteins within. Andrew Zaleski, STAT, 24 Sep. 2020 According to their hypothesis, as the cell membrane moves backward, these proteins contract and propel the cell forward. Lucy Hicks, Science | AAAS, 23 Sep. 2020 Zinc is required for cell membrane repair, cell growth, and the maintenance of healthy skin. Cynthia Sass, Rd, Health.com, 24 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cell membrane.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cell membrane

1840, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for cell membrane

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The first known use of cell membrane was in 1840

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Last Updated

8 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cell membrane.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cell%20membrane. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for cell membrane

cell membrane


Kids Definition of cell membrane

: the thin outside layer that surrounds the cytoplasm of a cell and controls the movement of materials into and out of the cell

cell membrane


Medical Definition of cell membrane

: a membrane of a cell especially : plasma membrane


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