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Isolation and Analysis of Lipid Rafts from Neural Cells and Tissues.

Grassi, Sara; Giussani, Paola; Mauri, Laura; Prioni, Simona; Prinetti, Alessandro.
Methods Mol Biol; 2187: 1-25, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32770498
Lipid rafts are membrane areas characterized by the clustering of selected membrane lipids, as the result of their phase separation forming a liquid-ordered phase floating in the lipid-disordered bulk membrane. van Meer and Simons hypothesized the existence of lipid rafts to explain the differential composition of the apical and basolateral domains of polarized epithelial cells and proposed that association of given proteins with lipid rafts along the traffic route might represent an important mechanism for protein sorting. However, great attention was paid to the lipid raft theory after Simons and Ikonen highlighted the enrichment of several proteins involved in signal transduction in "detergent-insoluble, glycolipid-enriched complexes," and postulated that lipid rafts might serve as hubs in regulating intracellular signaling. Most notably, the feature of detergent-insolubility was incorporated in the definition of lipid rafts used in 1997 by these authors. "Lipid rafts" and "detergent-resistant membranes" became almost synonymous after the publication, in 1992, of the seminal paper by Brown and Rose, describing the separation of a low-density, Triton X-100-insoluble fraction from epithelial cells, enriched in GSL and apical GPI-anchored proteins and depleted of basolateral membrane marker proteins. This paper provided a working definition of lipid rafts and a putative biochemical method for their separation. More than 2000 papers have been published using "the Triton method." Evidences obtained by the use of alternative biochemical methods for the isolation of lipid rafts and of methods enabling to analyze the dynamics of lipid rafts in intact cells highlighted the several limitations of the Triton X-100 method. On the other hand, the main findings obtained by this method have not been confuted, and the method is still widely used.In this chapter, we will discuss the most relevant methodological aspects related to the preparation of detergent-resistant membrane fractions, with a special focus on neural cells and tissues.
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