Membrane nanoclusters – tails of the unexpected
Sezgin E, Davis SJ, Eggeling C. (2015), Cell. 161, 433-4
The existence, nature, and role of highly ordered membrane domains, often referred to as lipid rafts, have been highly debated by cell biologists for many years. In this issue, Raghupathy et al. describe molecular mechanisms leading to the formation of ordered lipid-protein clusters.
Key figure: Ordered Membrane Domain Formation
Raghupathy et al. (2015) provide evidence for inter-leaflet coupling as a mechanism of membrane nanoclustering of lipid-anchored molecules such as GPI-APs but only in the presence of long saturated acyl chain anchored molecules on both sides, cholesterol, and more importantly, immobilization of one of the partners – for example, by the cortical actin cytoskeleton.