Polyunsaturated Eicosapentaenoic Acid Displaces Proteins from Membrane Rafts by Altering Raft Lipid Composition
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) such as eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5 (n-3)) inhibit T lymphocyte activation probably by displacing acylated signaling proteins from membrane lipid rafts. Under physiological conditions, saturated fatty acyl residues of such proteins partition into the cytoplasmic membrane lipid leaflet with high affinity for rafts that are enriched in saturated fatty acyl-containing lipids. However, the biochemical alteration causing displacement of acylated proteins from rafts in PUFA-treated T cells is still under debate but could principally be attributed to altered protein acylation or changes in raft lipid composition. We show that treatment of Jurkat T cells with polyunsaturated eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5 (n-3)) results in marked enrichment of PUFAs (20:5; 22:5) in lipids from isolated rafts. Moreover, PUFAs were significantly incorporated into phosphatidylethanolamine that predominantly resides in the cytoplasmic membrane lipid leaflet. Notably, palmitate-labeled Src family kinase Lck and the linker for activation of T cells (LAT) were both displaced from lipid rafts indicating that acylation by PUFAs is not required for protein displacement from rafts in PUFA-treated T cells. In conclusion, these data provide strong evidence that displacement of acylated proteins from rafts in PUFA-treated T cells is predominantly due to altered raft lipid composition.