What would the results be if a slight tear appeared in a cell membrane?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Tearing of a cell membrane is inevitable in the imperfect biological environments in which a cell lives. “Resealing” is the scientific term that is used for the process that a cell undergoes in order to repair a disrupted section of its cell membrane. This process is required to prevent the loss of intracellular fluids, nutrients, and other contents.

The resealing process of a cell’s membrane is triggered when calcium ions (Ca2+) enter the cell at the point of disruption. The entrance of the calcium ions initiates vesicles within the cell’s cytoplasm near the tear to quickly fuse to one another and the site of the tear. This is called homotypic fusion. This fusion of vesicles serves as a patch that restores the disrupted cell membrane.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team