Molecular crowding on the cell surface

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Science  01 Jan 1988:
Vol. 239, Issue 4835, pp. 61-64
DOI: 10.1126/science.2962287


Strong steric interactions among proteins on crowded living cell surfaces were revealed by measurements of the equilibrium spatial distributions of proteins in applied potential gradients. The fraction of accessible surface occupied by mobile surface proteins can be accurately represented by including steric exclusion in the statistical thermodynamic analysis of the data. The analyses revealed enhanced, concentration-dependent activity coefficients, implying unanticipated thermodynamic activity even at typical cell surface receptor concentrations.

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