Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Q re nucleus membrane lipids

  1. Jul 18, 2016 #1
    Various sources describe the origin of the eukaryotes as occurring when a bacterial cell ingested an archaea cell, which then symbiotically became the nucleus of the created cell, and which was then the LUCA (Latest Universal Common Ancestor) of all the eukaryotes. The cell membranes of the bacteria domain have a distinctly different kind of lipid then the archaea cell membranes. The cell membranes of eukarya cells have similar lipids as the bacteria.

    I have tried to find the answer to the following question online, but I have failed to find it.

    Question: What are are the lipids like on the double membrane of a eukaryote cell's nucleus?

    From the theory regarding its origin, I would expect the outer layer of the nucleus membrane to have lipids like the bacteria and the eukarya cell membranes, while the inner nucleus membrane would have lipids like the archaea cell membranes. Can anyone confirm this with a reference, or provide a reference that says this is wrong.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2016 #2

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  4. Jul 18, 2016 #3
    Hi Jim:

    Thanks very much for your help.

  5. Jul 18, 2016 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    2017 Award

    This is incorrect. An archaeon ingested a bacteria, and the bacteria became the mitochondria, not the nucleus. The origin of the nucleus is still unclear AFAIK.

    Eukaryotic and bacterial plasma membranes are indeed more similar to each other than they are to archaea, and this has posed some interesting evolutionary questions. Here's a link to a section of a http://www.nature.com/nature/journa....html#the-origin-of-eukaryotic-cell-membranes that discusses the issue (if the link doesn't automatically point you to the right section, navigate to the section entitled "the origin of eukaryotic cell membranes"). Part of the answer may be related to the fact that present-day archaea primarily live in fairly extreme environments (e.g. very high temperatures) that may require different membrane structures than bacteria and eukaryotes that live in less extreme environments.

    All membrane structures in eukaryotes, including the nucleus, are bacteria-like rather than archaea-like.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  6. Jul 19, 2016 #5
    Hi @Ygggdrasil:

    Thank you much for correcting my misunderstanding. I am looking forward to reading the article you cited, but it will take a while since I do not have ready access to Nature, and I will have to rely on my local library to get a copy for me.

    I find it quite mysterious that if the archaea cell ingested a bacteria that the resulting cell membrane would bacteria-like. It is not the first time that the entire way I have been thinking about some scientific area has turned out to be completely wrong.

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Threads - nucleus membrane lipids Date
The nucleus of a neuron Apr 16, 2017
Nucleoli and nucleus Mar 23, 2016
Are there two or three types of membrane proteins? Feb 29, 2016
What is a meta nucleus in context of biology? Jan 18, 2013
Micro-environment in cell nucleus Jul 10, 2004