Membranes, including the cell or plasma membrane and cytoplasmic membranes, serve to contain the contents of cells and their organelles, and consist of lipids and proteins. The lipids – which include phospholipids, glycolipids and sterols – form a bilayer, in which hydrophobic phospholipid tails join end to end, leaving the hydrophilic heads exposed to the outside.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    New structures of the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucagon receptors in complex with peptide and nonpeptide ligands provide a comprehensive, detailed picture of the molecular mechanisms of action of family B GPCRs. This opens the door for true structure-based drug discovery aimed at both novel orthosteric and allosteric subsites of the receptors.

    • Thue W Schwartz
    •  & Thomas M Frimurer
  • Comments and Opinion |

    X-ray crystallography, the workhorse of structural biology, has been revolutionized by the advent of serial femtosecond crystallography using X-ray free electron lasers. Here, the fast pace and history of discoveries are discussed together with current challenges and the method's great potential to make new structural discoveries, such as the ability to generate molecular movies of biomolecules at work.

    • Petra Fromme
  • News and Views |

    Cell-wall biogenesis in bacteria involves multiple intersecting gene networks. A powerful approach that allies synthetic lethality with small-molecule discovery has now been used to probe these networks and has revealed that the pathway for D-alanylation of teichoic acids in Staphylococcus aureus is a viable target for new antibacterials.

    • Finbarr Hayes