The organization and dynamics of proteins and lipids in the plasma membrane, and their role in membrane functionality, have been subject of a long-lasting debate. Specifically, it is unclear to what extent membrane proteins are affected by their immediate lipid environment and vice versa. Studies on model membranes and plasma membrane vesicles indicated preferences of proteins for lipid phases characterized by different acyl chain order; however, whether such phases do indeed exist in live cells is still not known. Here, we refine a previously developed micropatterning approach combined with single molecule tracking to quantify the influence of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored (GPI-anchored) protein CD59 on its molecular environment directly in the live cell plasma membrane. We find that locally enriched and immobilized CD59 presents obstacles to the diffusion of fluorescently labeled lipids with a different phase-partitioning behavior independent of cell cholesterol levels and type of lipid. Our results give no evidence for either specific binding of the lipids to CD59 or the existence of nanoscopic ordered membrane regions associated with CD59.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited