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Plasma membranes from insect midgut cells

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Author(s): Terra Walter R. | Costa Rita H. | Ferreira Clélia

Journal: Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências
ISSN 0001-3765

Volume: 78;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 255;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: microvillar membranes | perimicrovillar membranes | nutrient absorption | ion transport | water transport | midgut molecular physiology

ABSTRACT
Plasma membranes from insect midgut cells are separated into apical and basolateral domains. The apical domain is usually modified into microvilli with a molecular structure similar to other animals. Nevertheless, the microvillar structure should differ in some insects to permit the traffic inside them of secretory vesicles that may budd laterally or pinch-off from the tips of microvilli. Other microvillar modifications are associated with proton-pumping or with the interplay with an ensheathing lipid membrane (the perimicrovilllar membrane) observed in the midgut cells of hemipterans (aphids and bugs). The perimicrovillar membranes are thought to be involved in amino acid absorption from diluted diets. The microvillar and perimicrovillar membranes have densities (and protein content) that depend on the insect taxon. The role played by the microvillar and perimicrovillar proteins in insect midgut physiology is reviewed here trying to provide a coherent picture of data and highlighting further research areas.
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