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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015 Apr;1853(4):830-40. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2014.11.010. Epub 2014 Nov 15.

The nanoscale organization of the B lymphocyte membrane.

Author information

1
BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies, University of Freiburg, Germany; Department of Molecular Immunology, Biology III, University of Freiburg, Germany; Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, Germany. Electronic address: maity@immunbio.mpg.de.
2
BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies, University of Freiburg, Germany; Department of Molecular Immunology, Biology III, University of Freiburg, Germany; Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, Germany.
3
BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies, University of Freiburg, Germany; Department of Molecular Immunology, Biology III, University of Freiburg, Germany; Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, Germany. Electronic address: michael.reth@bioss.uni-freiburg.de.

Abstract

The fluid mosaic model of Singer and Nicolson correctly predicted that the plasma membrane (PM) forms a lipid bi-layer containing many integral trans-membrane proteins. This model also suggested that most of these proteins were randomly dispersed and freely diffusing moieties. Initially, this view of a dynamic and rather unorganized membrane was supported by early observations of the cell surfaces using the light microscope. However, recent studies on the PM below the diffraction limit of visible light (~250nm) revealed that, at nanoscale dimensions, membranes are highly organized and compartmentalized structures. Lymphocytes are particularly useful to study this nanoscale membrane organization because they grow as single cells and are not permanently engaged in cell:cell contacts within a tissue that can influence membrane organization. In this review, we describe the methods that can be used to better study the protein:protein interaction and nanoscale organization of lymphocyte membrane proteins, with a focus on the B cell antigen receptor (BCR). Furthermore, we discuss the factors that may generate and maintain these membrane structures.

KEYWORDS:

B cell antigen receptor; Nanocluster; Protein islands

PMID:
25450974
PMCID:
PMC4547082
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbamcr.2014.11.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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