How do you explain the change in membrane permeability as temperature increases?

Generally, increasing the temperature increases membrane permeability. At temperatures below 0 oC the phospholipids in the membrane don't have much energy and so they can't move much, which means that they're closely packed together and the membrane is rigid. Between 0 oC and 45 oC the permeability increases as phospholipids start to move around more, as they have more energy, and therefore they're no longer as tightly packed, meaning that the membrane is partially permeable. At temperatures about 45 oC the phospholipid bilayer starts to melt and the membrane becomes more permaeable. Water inside the cell expands, putting pressure on the membrane, and transport proteins deform (due to denaturing of proteins) so they can't control what enters or leaves the cell. 

Answered by Ella F. Biology tutor


See similar Biology A Level tutors
Illustration of a video tutorial

Need help with Biology?

One to one online tuition can be a great way to brush up on your Biology knowledge.

Have a Free Meeting with one of our hand picked tutors from the UK’s top universities

Find a tutor

Related Biology A Level answers

All answers ▸

How does base deletion in the DNA code produce a nonfunctional protein?

What is meant by the semi-conservative replication of DNA?

How can diuretics be used to decrease blood pressure?

How come the antibodies in our blood and lymphatic system do not attack our own, but only specific antigens?

We're here to help

contact us iconContact usWhatsapp logoMessage us on Whatsapptelephone icon+44 (0) 203 773 6020
Facebook logoInstagram logoLinkedIn logo

© MyTutorWeb Ltd 2013–2022

Terms & Conditions|Privacy Policy