n. (context protein English) A protein (or assembly of proteins) that is permanently attached to a biological membrane.
An integral membrane protein (IMP) is a type of membrane protein that is permanently attached to the biological membrane. All transmembrane proteins are IMPs, but not all IMPs are transmembrane proteins. IMPs comprise a significant fraction of the proteins encoded in an organism's genome. Proteins that cross the membrane are surrounded by "annular" lipids (see annular lipid shell), which are defined as lipids that are in direct contact with a membrane protein. Such proteins can be separated from the biological membranes only using detergents, nonpolar solvents, or sometimes denaturing agents.