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Brain Res. 2003 Mar 7;965(1-2):83-90.

Ultrastructural localization of flotillin-1 to cholesterol-rich membrane microdomains, rafts, in rat brain tissue.

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  • 1Gunma University School of Health Sciences, 3-39-15 Showa-machi, Maebashi 371-8514, Japan.

Abstract

There is much interest in research on cholesterol-rich membrane microdomains, rafts, in the field of neurobiology. However, no one has shown the ultrastructure of rafts in tissues. We examined the ultrastructure of rafts in rat brain tissue by pre-embedding immunoelectron microscopy using flotillin-1 antibody, which is a biochemical marker of lipid rafts, and BCtheta, which is nicked and biotinylated theta-toxin, and binds to membrane cholesterol of rafts. Flotillin-1- and BCtheta-labeled areas were patchy and prominent on the plasma membranes of small processes and synapses in the neuropil. The size of flotillin-1 labeling was 40-200 nm. In addition, the membrane of lysosome and Golgi apparatus were frequently labeled for flotillin-1 with a patchy pattern. Flotillin-1 and BCtheta were mostly colocalized in double immunolabeling on a part of the plasma membranes of small processes and secondary lysosome membranes. We first indicate that flotillin-1 localizes to BCtheta-positive cholesterol-rich membrane microdomains in vivo, and that flotillin-1 and BCtheta could be ultrastructural raft markers in neural tissue.

PMID:
12591123
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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