Non-vesicular lipid transport steps play a crucial role in lipid trafficking and potentially include spontaneous exchange. Since membrane contact facilitates this lipid transfer, it is most likely to occur at membrane contact sites (MCS). However, to date it is unknown whether closely attached biological membranes exchange lipids spontaneously. We have set up a system for studying the exchange of lipids at MCS formed between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the plasma membrane. Contact sites were stably anchored and the lipids cholesterol and phosphatidylcholine (PC) were not capable of transferring spontaneously into the opposed bilayer. We conclude that physical contact between two associated biological membranes is not sufficient for transfer of the lipids PC and cholesterol.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 5, 2015
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