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Int J Alzheimers Dis. 2010 Dec 27;2011:603052. doi: 10.4061/2011/603052.

Lipid Rafts: Linking Alzheimer's Amyloid-β Production, Aggregation, and Toxicity at Neuronal Membranes.

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1
Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.

Abstract

Lipid rafts are membrane microdomains, enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids, into which specific subsets of proteins and lipids partition, creating cell-signalling platforms that are vital for neuronal functions. Lipid rafts play at least three crucial roles in Alzheimer's Disease (AD), namely, in promoting the generation of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide, facilitating its aggregation upon neuronal membranes to form toxic oligomers and hosting specific neuronal receptors through which the AD-related neurotoxicity and memory impairments of the Aβ oligomers are transduced. Recent evidence suggests that Aβ oligomers may exert their deleterious effects through binding to, and causing the aberrant clustering of, lipid raft proteins including the cellular prion protein and glutamate receptors. The formation of these pathogenic lipid raft-based platforms may be critical for the toxic signalling mechanisms that underlie synaptic dysfunction and neuropathology in AD.

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