Transmembrane proteins are a heterogeneous class of proteins that cover the whole membrane of the cell and act as vital gatekeepers between the intracellular and extracellular domains. They are essential for many different cellular functions, such as adhesion, signaling, and transport.


Transmembrane Proteins Function

Transmembrane proteins are embedded within the phospholipid bilayer, a two-layered sheet of phospholipids that envelops all cells. The bilayer interacts with transmembrane proteins. The phospholipids comprise the membrane's structure, possessing hydrophilic (loving water) head groups and hydrophobic (hating water) tails. The membrane's hydrophobic core is formed by the hydrophobic tails aligning inward, while its hydrophilic surfaces are formed by the hydrophilic head groups facing outward.


Transmembrane proteins have the ability to move across the membrane repeatedly or all at once. While multi-pass transmembrane proteins have numerous transmembrane domains, single-pass transmembrane proteins only have one. These hydrophobic amino acid-based transmembrane domains help to interface with the hydrophobic core of the membrane.


Transmembrane proteins fulfill a variety of functions, including:


Transport: Moving molecules across the cell membrane is made easier by the transport function of transmembrane proteins. Either active transport, assisted diffusion, or passive diffusion can be used to carry out this procedure. Molecular transfer from a high concentration area to a low concentration area without the use of energy is known as passive diffusion. To help molecules pass across the membrane, transmembrane proteins are used in facilitated diffusion. In contrast, molecules moving against their concentration gradient by active transport need energy.


Signaling: As signaling receptors, transmembrane proteins take in signals from the extracellular milieu and transmit them to the intracellular milieu. Hormones and neurotransmitters are examples of signaling chemicals that bind to transmembrane proteins and initiate intracellular signaling pathways.


Adhesion: Transmembrane proteins are essential for the maintenance of tissue structure and function because they mediate cell-cell adhesion and cell-matrix adhesion. They make it easier for cells to connect to the extracellular matrix and to each other.


Examples of Transmembrane Proteins

The vast array of transmembrane proteins encompasses a diverse range of functions. Some notable examples include:


G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs): GPCRs constitute the largest family of transmembrane proteins, responsible for binding to a variety of signaling molecules, including hormones, neurotransmitters, and odorants. Upon binding, they activate intracellular signaling pathways.


Ion channels: Ion channels facilitate the transport of ions across the cell membrane, regulating the cell's electrical potential and controlling the movement of ions into and out of the cell.


Transporters: Transporters specialize in the transport of a wide range of molecules across the cell membrane, including glucose, amino acids, and drugs.


Significance of Transmembrane Proteins

Transmembrane proteins are essential to life as they are involved in a wide range of cellular functions. Their involvement spans a number of diseases; cancer, heart disease, and neurological problems are among those that are facilitated by mutations in transmembrane proteins.


Additionally, transmembrane proteins are useful targets for pharmaceuticals. Numerous medications work by attaching themselves to transmembrane proteins and adjusting their activity. For example, certain drugs for high blood pressure block ion channels, while other cancer medicines act on growth factor receptors.



Transmembrane proteins, fascinating molecules essential for life, are involved in a wide spectrum of cellular processes and serve as important drug targets. As we continue to delve into the intricacies of transmembrane proteins, we will gain a deeper understanding of cellular functioning and pave the way for novel therapeutic approaches to various diseases.


Transmembrane Proteins at Creative BioMart

Creative BioMart is proud to bring a comprehensive collection of transmembrane proteins from various genes, tags, and species to facilitate scientific inquiries, drug discoveries, and biotechnological research. Products include: Active Recombinant Human CCR4 Full Length Transmembrane protein (1-360 aa), His-tagged (VLPs), Active Recombinant Human CCR8 Full Length Transmembrane protein, His-tagged (VLPs), Active Recombinant Human CLDN6 Full Length Transmembrane protein, His-tagged (VLPs), Active Recombinant Human GPRC5D Full Length Transmembrane protein, His-tagged (VLPs), Active Recombinant Dog MS4A1 Full Length Transmembrane protein, His-tagged (VLPs), etc.