AAT Bioquest

Why is cell membrane fluidity important?

Posted January 17, 2022


Maintaining optimal cell membrane fluidity is important for several reasons including:

  • Proper functioning of the cell
  • To enable membrane lipids and proteins to diffuse from the site of synthesis to areas of the cell where they are needed
  • To facilitate the interaction between membrane proteins, which is crucial for cell signaling and other function
  • To enable membranes to fuse with one another and mix molecules under appropriate conditions
  • To ensure the even distribution of membrane molecules between daughter cells after cell division

All living cells maintain cell membrane fluidity within a certain range.

Cell membrane fluidity may be affected by length of the fatty acid tail, degree of saturation of fatty acid tails, cholesterol content of the bilayer and temperature.

Additional resources

Membrane fluidity matters: hyperthermia from the aspects of lipids and membranes

CellPaint™ TSP membrane stain

Plasma Membrane