carrier molecule

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1 A molecule that plays a role in transporting electrons through the electron transport chain. Carrier molecules are usually proteins bound to a nonprotein group; they can undergo oxidation and reduction relatively easily, thus allowing electrons to flow through the system. There are four types of carrier: flavoproteins (e.g. FAD), cytochromes, iron-sulphur proteins (e.g. ferredoxin), and ubiquinone.

2 A lipid-soluble molecule that can bind to lipid-insoluble molecules and transport them across membranes. Carrier molecules have specific sites that interact with the molecules they transport. Several different molecules may compete for transport by the same carrier. See transport protein.

Subjects: Biological Sciences.

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