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Prog Lipid Res. 2012 Jul;51(3):272-99. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2012.04.001. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

Lipids of plant membrane rafts.

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Laboratoire de Biogenèse Membranaire, UMR 5200 CNRS, Université de Bordeaux, 146 Rue Léo Saignat, 33076 Bordeaux, France.


Lipids tend to organize in mono or bilayer phases in a hydrophilic environment. While they have long been thought to be incapable of coherent lateral segregation, it is now clear that spontaneous assembly of these compounds can confer microdomain organization beyond spontaneous fluidity. Membrane raft microdomains have the ability to influence spatiotemporal organization of protein complexes, thereby allowing regulation of cellular processes. In this review, we aim at summarizing briefly: (i) the history of raft discovery in animals and plants, (ii) the main findings about structural and signalling plant lipids involved in raft segregation, (iii) imaging of plant membrane domains, and their biochemical purification through detergent-insoluble membranes, as well as the existing debate on the topic. We also discuss the potential involvement of rafts in the regulation of plant physiological processes, and further discuss the prospects of future research into plant membrane rafts.

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