Lateral movements of membrane glycoproteins restricted by dynamic cytoplasmic barriers

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Nov 1991:
Vol. 254, Issue 5036, pp. 1379-1382
DOI: 10.1126/science.1835798


Cell membranes often are patchy, composed of lateral domains. These domains may be formed by barriers within or on either side of the membrane bilayer. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class 1 molecules that were either transmembrane- (H-2Db) or glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored (Qa2) were labeled with antibody-coated gold particles and moved across the cell surface with a laser optical tweezers until they encountered a barrier, the barrier-free path length (BFP). At room temperature, the BFPs of Qa2 and H-2Db were 1.7 +/- 0.2 and 0.6 +/- 0.1 (micrometers +/- SEM), respectively. Barriers persisted at 34 degrees C, although the BFP for both MHC molecules was fivefold greater at 34 degrees C than at 23 degrees C. This indicates that barriers to lateral movement are primarily on the cytoplasmic half of the membrane and are dynamic.

Stay Connected to Science