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Biological membranes constitute a chemical barrier to the environment and are thus the prerequisite for the establishment and maintenance of a controlled intracellular milieu, the cytoplasm. In eukaryotes, membranes are also responsible for the formation of chemically distinct intracellular compartments. The lipid bilayer membranes contain a great diversity of proteins that fulfill different functions and serve as an interface to the environment and between different compartments. Among these membrane proteins are receptors involved in signaling cascades and pathogen defense reactions, enzymes such as the apparatus for cell wall biosynthesis, and transporters responsible for the import and export of solutes and ions and the establishment of electrochemical gradients across membranes, thereby connecting the different metabolic pathways of the cellular compartments and organelles.
(Schwacke et al., 2003) ARAMEMNON, a novel database for Arabidopsis integral membrane proteins. Plant Physiol.