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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Jul-Aug;1778(7-8):1583-90. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2008.01.021. Epub 2008 Feb 11.

Protein-promoted membrane domains.

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Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Elche, Spain.


The current notion of biological membranes encompasses a very complex structure, made of dynamically changing compartments or domains where different membrane components partition. These domains have been related to important cellular functions such as membrane sorting, signal transduction, membrane fusion, neuronal maturation, and protein activation. Many reviews have dealt with membrane domains where lipid-lipid interactions direct their formation, especially in the case of raft domains, so in this review we considered domains induced by integral membrane proteins. The nature of the interactions involved and the different mechanisms through which membrane proteins segregate lipid domains are presented, in particular with regard to those induced by the nAChR. It may be concluded that coupling of favourable lipid-lipid and lipid-protein interactions is a general condition for this phenomenon to occur.

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