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Structure. 2011 Nov 9;19(11):1543-8. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2011.10.010.

Cell membranes: the lipid perspective.

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Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstraße 108 Dresden, Germany.


Although cell membranes are packed with proteins mingling with lipids, remarkably little is known about how proteins interact with lipids to carry out their function. Novel analytical tools are revealing the astounding diversity of lipids in membranes. The issue is now to understand the cellular functions of this complexity. In this Perspective, we focus on the interface of integral transmembrane proteins and membrane lipids in eukaryotic cells. Clarifying how proteins and lipids interact with each other will be important for unraveling membrane protein structure and function. Progress toward this goal will be promoted by increasing overlap between different fields that have so far operated without much crosstalk.

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