Single molecule studies of membrane structure in live cells
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Interactions between a cell and its environment must be transmitted through its plasma membrane. As such, the membrane must have mechanisms to control the localization and interactions of its constituent proteins. I will discuss single molecule tracking (at observation rates up 40500 Hz) and scanning optical force microscopy studies of integral membrane proteins and lipids in the plasma membrane of live cells. It is found that the membrane-associated actin cytoskeleton adds the ability to control the diffusion of molecules in the two-dimensional fluid membrane. The consequences of this for cellular signaling will be discussed.