Transient disruptions of plasma membrane integrity - 'wounds' - are frequently suffered by cells of gut, skin, muscle and the aorta, organs that are normally subjected to mechanical stress in vivo. As a protection against such potentially fatal mechanically induced injuries, cells may employ specialized submembranuous proteins that mechanically reinforce the plasma membrane and thus prevent wounding or, should wounding occur, they may assemble a cytoskeletal structure to aid wound healing. Membrane wounds may provide a route out of the cytoplasm for basic fibroblast growth factor, explaining how a growth factor that lacks a conventional signal peptide sequence can act extracellularly.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology