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J Cell Biol. 2000 Sep 4;150(5):1113-24.

Annexins in cell membrane dynamics. Ca(2+)-regulated association of lipid microdomains.

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Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.


The sarcolemma of smooth muscle cells is composed of alternating stiff actin-binding, and flexible caveolar domains. In addition to these stable macrodomains, the plasma membrane contains dynamic glycosphingolipid- and cholesterol-enriched microdomains, which act as sorting posts for specific proteins and are involved in membrane trafficking and signal transduction. We demonstrate that these lipid rafts are neither periodically organized nor exclusively confined to the actin attachment sites or caveolar regions. Changes in the Ca(2+) concentration that are affected during smooth muscle contraction lead to important structural rearrangements within the sarcolemma, which can be attributed to members of the annexin protein family. We show that the associations of annexins II, V, and VI with smooth muscle microsomal membranes exhibit a high degree of Ca(2+) sensitivity, and that the extraction of annexins II and VI by detergent is prevented by elevated Ca(2+) concentrations. Annexin VI participates in the formation of a reversible, membrane-cytoskeleton complex (Babiychuk, E.B., R.J. Palstra, J. Schaller, U. Kämpfer, and A. Draeger. 1999. J. Biol. Chem. 274:35191-35195). Annexin II promotes the Ca(2+)-dependent association of lipid raft microdomains, whereas annexin V interacts with glycerophospholipid microcompartments. These interactions bring about a new configuration of membrane-bound constituents, with potentially important consequences for signaling events and Ca(2+) flux.

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