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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2005 Oct 15;442(2):160-8. Epub 2005 Aug 29.

Cholesterol distribution in plasma membranes of beta1 integrin-expressing and beta1 integrin-deficient fibroblasts.

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  • 1Faculty of Biology, Sofia University, 1421 Sofia, Bulgaria.


The effect of integrin receptors on the level and transmembrane localization of cholesterol molecules was investigated in beta1 integrin-expressing (beta1) and beta1 integrin-deficient (beta1 null) cells. We found that the content of specific raft components-cholesterol, sphingomyelin, and caveolin-was increased in integrin-expressing cells. Integrin presence affected as well the transmembrane distribution of cholesterol-a higher percent was found in the plasma membrane outer monolayer of beta1 compared to beta1 null cells. Sphingomyelin depletion reduced the presence of cholesterol in the outer membrane monolayer of both cell lines, but the differences in cholesterol asymmetry, observed between beta1 and beta1 null cells before sphingomyelinase treatment were preserved. These findings implied that integrin receptors affected the non-random transmembrane distribution of cholesterol. Finally, a higher percent of detergent-resistant membranes was obtained from beta1 integrin-expressing cells, suggesting that the presence of these receptors in the membranes influenced the formation and/or stabilization of lipid raft domains.

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