Lipid Rafts As a Membrane-Organizing Principle

Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstrasse 108, 01307 Dresden, Germany.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 01/2010; 327(5961):46-50. DOI: 10.1126/science.1174621
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cell membranes display a tremendous complexity of lipids and proteins designed to perform the functions cells require. To coordinate these functions, the membrane is able to laterally segregate its constituents. This capability is based on dynamic liquid-liquid immiscibility and underlies the raft concept of membrane subcompartmentalization. Lipid rafts are fluctuating nanoscale assemblies of sphingolipid, cholesterol, and proteins that can be stabilized to coalesce, forming platforms that function in membrane signaling and trafficking. Here we review the evidence for how this principle combines the potential for sphingolipid-cholesterol self-assembly with protein specificity to selectively focus membrane bioactivity.

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Available from: Kai Simons, Jun 24, 2015
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