Review

A Role for Lipid Shells in Targeting Proteins to Caveolae, Rafts, and Other Lipid Domains

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Science  07 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5574, pp. 1821-1825
DOI: 10.1126/science.1068886

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Abstract

The surface membrane of cells is studded with morphologically distinct regions, or domains, like microvilli, cell-cell junctions, and coated pits. Each of these domains is specialized for a particular function, such as nutrient absorption, cell-cell communication, and endocytosis. Lipid domains, which include caveolae and rafts, are one of the least understood membrane domains. These domains are high in cholesterol and sphingolipids, have a light buoyant density, and function in both endocytosis and cell signaling. A major mystery, however, is how resident molecules are targeted to lipid domains. Here, we propose that the molecular address for proteins targeted to lipid domains is a lipid shell.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: richard.anderson{at}utsouthwestern.edu

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