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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001 Jun 29;1532(3):149-61.

Role of sphingolipids in the biogenesis of membrane domains.

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Department of Experimental, Environmental Medicine and Biotechnology, University of Milan-Bicocca, Via Cadore 48, 20052 Monza, Italy.


In recent years, a huge interest in sphingolipid- and cholesterol-enriched membrane domains has risen, after their involvement in fundamental membrane-associated events such as signal transmission, cell adhesion and lipid/protein sorting was postulated. Theoretical considerations and several experimental data suggest that sphingolipids play an important role in the biogenesis and function of domains. In fact, their physicochemical features, different from those of other membrane lipids, allow their interaction either with other sphingolipids or with other membrane components and external ligands. Owing to these features, sphingolipids may undergo segregation and represent a nucleation point for co-clustering with other lipids and proteins in a complex, functional domain. Moreover, sphingolipids confer dynamic properties on domains, a fundamental feature for the modulation of their postulated functions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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