Which of the following factors does not affect membrane permeability?
a) The polarity of membrane phospholipids
c) The amount of cholesterol in the membrane
d) The saturation of hydrocarbon tails in membrane phospholipids
The correct option is A.
The membrane permeability is not affected by the polarity of membrane phospholipids.
Phospholipids consist of both a polar head and a nonpolar hydrocarbon tail. These both are necessary for their ability to form membrane bilayers.
Membrane permeability is regulated by the cell. It ensures the entry of useful substances such as water, ions, and salts into the cell and preventing the toxic material from entering into the cell.
The plasma membrane mostly consists of phospholipids. Each phospholipid molecule is consists of two fatty acids and a phosphate group. Hydrocarbons make up the tails known as the fatty acids of the phospholipids.
The saturation of fatty acid is an essential factor that affects the permeability of the plasma membrane. A fatty acid is saturated when each carbon in the chain has a hydrogen bond.
Therefore, the chain is said to be saturated. In an unsaturated fatty acid, not every carbon is bonded to a hydrogen atom. Therefore, Hydrocarbon tail saturation is vital in impacting how permeable the plasma membrane of a cell is.