Why are glycogen molecules unable to diffuse across the cell surface membrane?

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zigocarn
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Why are glycogen molecules unable to diffuse across the cell surface membrane?
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Kvothe the Arcane
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The phospholipid bilayer is not permeable to such large molecules.
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JMorty97
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(Original post by Kvothe the arcane)
The phospholipid bilayer is not permeable to such large molecules.
Yep, much too big. Would need to be facilitated by membrane proteins.
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thegodofgod
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(Original post by zigocarn)
Why are glycogen molecules unable to diffuse across the cell surface membrane?
Molecular mass. According to Lipinski's rule of 5, molecular mass (among other factors) plays a large role in determining permeability across a membrane. If a molecule has a mass > 500 Daltons, it is likely to be relatively impermeable. Glycogen has a molecular mass in the thousands, so it would be impermeable.

On top of its large molecular mass, it is also very hydrophilic, with many hydrogen bond donors and acceptors, which further reduces membrane permeability of glycogen.
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