Question

It requires a force of ~20 piconewtons (pN) to pull a P-selectin molecule out of a...

It requires a force of ~20 piconewtons (pN) to pull a P-selectin molecule out of a pure lipid bilayer. To pull P- selectin out of the plasma membrane requires >100 pN. Why do you think it takes so much more force to pull P-selectin out of the plasma membrane than out of a lipid bilayer?

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Answer #1

Plasma membrane is a fluid mosaic like structure. It contains many proteins, carbohydrates or combinations of both floating in lipid bilayer fluid. So p selectin must be attached to the lipid embedded protein based upon its affinity towards it and its hydrophobic domain may be not embedded in the lipid hence the force to separate is less. Coming to second school of thought that hydrophobic domain of p selectin is now embedded in lipid bilayer in absentia of affinity protein only so more force is required to pull out.

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