Lipids and Biomembranes

ID #1641

During lecture, we discussed how membrane fluidity is temperature dependant and that at LOW temperatures, the membrane is stable and at HIGH temperatures, the membrane is fluid. But I remember you saying that the more the fatty acid tails can interact with its neighbors, the more stable the membrane is. But at a high temperature inside a membrane, won't the fatty acid tails be interacting with each other ALOT more than at a low temperature because the fatty acid tails are moving so rapidly?

No, actually fatty acid tail interaction only occurs when the tails get close to each other. This is primarily due to hydrophobic interactions, which are dependent on close association of molecules. The more wildly they move, the less they can interact with their neighbors.

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