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Test Taking Tip

Often complex cell biology is hidden within a question seemingly about a clinical scenario. If you can parse the implied question from the background without wasting time on superfluous information, you will have the best chance at efficiently making progress through tough questions.


Which cell wall component increases membrane fluidity?

  • Cholesterol

What are the 3 main lipid classes found in the cell membrane?

  • Phospholipids, cholesterol, and glycolipids

What percentages of protein, carbohydrate, and lipid compose the plasma membrane?

  • Protein: 60%, carbohydrate: 1% to 10%, and lipid: 40%

What are the most common phospholipids in the plasma membrane?

  • Phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylcholine

Which portion of the cell wall provides capacitance (ability to store charge)?

  • Lipid portion of plasma membrane

Which portion provides ability to resist charge?

  • Protein portion

What is the difference between surface antigens in the ABO system versus HLA system?

  • ABO = glycolipids

  • HLA = glycoproteins

Name the adhesion molecules that anchor a cell to other cells or the extracellular matrix:

  • Desmosomes/hemidesmosomes

Cell-cell occluding junctions that form an impermeable barrier:

  • Tight junctions

Toxic portion of lipopolysaccharide complex:

  • Lipid A


Name the thin filaments that interact with myosin:

  • Actin

Name the thick filaments that slide along actin utilizing ATP:

  • Myosin

Intermediate filament found in hair and nails:

  • Keratin

Intermediate filament found in muscle:

  • Desmin

Intermediate filament found in fibroblasts:

  • Vimentin

Form specialized cellular structures such as mitotic spindles, cilia, and neuronal axons; forms lattice inside the cell to aid in transport of organelles in cell:

  • Microtubules

Specialized microtubule that form spindle fibers during cell division:

  • Centriole

Structural component of cell that synthesizes exported proteins:

  • Rough endoplasmic reticulum

Structural component of cell that detoxifies drugs and is involved with lipid/steroid synthesis:

  • Smooth endoplasmic reticulum

Structural component of a cell that uses carbohydrates to modify proteins and targets proteins to lysosomes:

  • Golgi apparatus

Structure inside the cell that has a double ...

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