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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2000 Jan 1;373(1):83-90.

Caveolar structure and protein sorting are maintained in NIH 3T3 cells independent of glycosphingolipid depletion.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan Medical School, Room 1560 MSRBII, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109-0676, USA.


Glycosphingolipids have been proposed to be critical components of clustered lipids within cell membranes that serve as rafts for the attachment and sorting of proteins to the cell membrane. Density gradient centrifugation was used to isolate and to ascertain the lipid composition of caveolin-enriched membranes. These membranes demonstrated a significant enrichment of sphingolipids and cholesterol containing up to 20 and 30%, respectively, of the cellular glucosylceramide and lactosylceramide. A specific inhibitor of glucosylceramide synthase, d-threo-1-phenyl-2-palmitoyl-3-pyrrolidino-propanol, was used to test the hypothesis that glycosphingolipids are required for the sorting of proteins to caveolae. When NIH 3T3 cells were depleted of their glucosylceramide based glycosphingolipid mass, the caveolar structure remained intact as determined by electron microscopy and confocal microscopy. The caveolar proteins caveolin and annexin II sorted normally to caveolae, as determined by immunoblotting and confocal microscopy. When the GPI-linked protein B61 was inducibly expressed in these cells, sorting to caveolar membranes occurred normally, even in the presence of glucosylceramide depletion. These observations suggest that protein sorting to caveolae in fibroblasts occurs independently of glycosphingolipid synthesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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