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Trends Plant Sci. 2000 Nov;5(11):489-94.

Self-regulation of the lipid content of membranes by non-bilayer lipids: a hypothesis.

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Institute of Plant Biology and Institute of Biochemistry, Biological Research Center, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, PO Box 521, H-6701 Szeged, Hungary.


Many biological membranes contain lipids that do not form a lamellar phase but the roles of these lipids are not well understood. An artificial membrane assembled from the main non-bilayer lipid and the major integral protein of pea thylakoids revealed that the protein spatially inhibits the formation of non-bilayer structures in the lamellae. Without this inhibition, excess lipids are secreted, creating lipid reservoirs for metabolism and/or later uptake. This determines the protein:lipid ratio in the membrane and hence the balance between structural flexibility and the stability of the key constituents that participate in cooperative interactions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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