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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Jul;1798(7):1427-35. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2010.03.009. Epub 2010 Mar 15.

Temperature-dependent phase behavior and protein partitioning in giant plasma membrane vesicles.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.


Liquid-ordered (Lo) and liquid-disordered (Ld) phase coexistence has been suggested to partition the plasma membrane of biological cells into lateral compartments, allowing for enrichment or depletion of functionally relevant molecules. This dynamic partitioning might be involved in fine-tuning cellular signaling fidelity through coupling to the plasma membrane protein and lipid composition. In earlier work, giant plasma membrane vesicles, obtained by chemically induced blebbing from cultured cells, were observed to reversibly phase segregate at temperatures significantly below 37 degrees C. In this contribution, we compare the temperature dependence of fluid phase segregation in HeLa and rat basophilic leukemia (RBL) cells. We find an essentially monotonic temperature dependence of the number of phase-separated vesicles in both cell types. We also observe a strikingly broad distribution of phase transition temperatures in both cell types. The binding of peripheral proteins, such as cholera toxin subunit B (CTB), as well as Annexin V, is observed to modulate phase transition temperatures, indicating that peripheral protein binding may be a regulator for lateral heterogeneity in vivo. The partitioning of numerous signal protein anchors and full length proteins is investigated. We find Lo phase partitioning for several proteins assumed in the literature to be membrane raft associated, but observe deviations from this expectation for other proteins, including caveolin-1.

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