Special Issue "Cellular Membrane Domains and Organization"
A special issue of Biomolecules (ISSN 2218-273X).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 July 2018).
Interests: protein–lipid interactions; caveolin; structural analysis of membrane proteins
Interests: membrane transporters enzymology; ABC proteins; P-glycoprotein; cholesterol transport; fluorescent cholesterol probes
Biological membranes are one of the bases of life, as they establish structural frontiers within cells and between cells and their environment, this compartmentalization, being accompanied by various biochemical opportunities thanks to the anisotropy they provide within the surrounding extra and intracellular reaction medium. In addition, the inherent bi-dimensionality of membranes also includes another level of anisotropy by presenting various heterogeneities. Indeed, it appears now more and more convincingly that lateral heterogeneity, made of membrane lipid domains, along with transversal heterogeneity, consisting in both general and local asymmetry of the bilayer, are relevant and important features of membrane organization, in both structural and functional perspectives. Although lipid domains are an intrinsic property of lipid mixtures, they lead to pivotal functional repercussions in cell physiology due to the involvement of membrane proteins. In fact, relevancy of membrane domains uncovers at least three integration levels, with (i) at molecular level, lipid–protein specific interactions modulating biochemical activity of a receptor or a transporter, (ii) at membrane level, protein segregation and protein–protein interactions modulating their effects in a signaling cascade, (iii) at cellular level, local induction of membrane curvature leading to endocytosis or vesicle secretion, only to mention few typical examples. However, in biological membranes, the seminal question to know which of lipids and proteins are responsible for the driving force for membrane domains formation and regulation has a dual answer, with entangled and mutual roles for both of them. Even in some cases where a “marker” protein has been reported (the most well-known example being caveolin for caveolae), it is not straightforward to determine whether this protein has a role of formation inducer, structure stabilizer, or functional effector. In particular, a remarkable property of membrane domains is their diversity of nature, mainly in term of size, lifetime, and lipid and protein composition. Additionally, and likely as a consequence, another trait of membrane domains is the large variety of experimental approaches and technical tools devoted to evidence and study them.
Clearly, the field of membrane lipid domains is rich and complex, and thus so fascinating. This field of research witnesses the achievement of a modern view of membrane biophysics and biology, but it also leads to numerous questions associated with these new concepts. It is thus expected that the various contributions in this Special Issue will shed attractive and stimulating new light on various aspects of this multidisciplinary and exciting field of research, subjected to intense investigational efforts that now go from mammalian cells to other kingdoms of life such as fungi/yeasts, plants and bacteria.
Dr. Nadège Jamin
Dr. Stéphane Orlowski
Manuscript Submission Information
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- lipid domains
- membrane organization
- lateral and transversal heterogeneities
- membrane protein segregation
- lipid-protein interactions
- detergent-resistant membranes
- membrane rafts
- membrane curvature and budding
- membrane regulation of signaling cascades