Lipid rafts are sterol and sphingolipid rich membrane domains that possibly may play roles in multiple cellular processes. These domains are still the matter of debate and it is still unknown by which mechanism if any and organisms promote their formation. This study centers on the ease of in vitro formation of lipid rafts-like structures as it relates to the relative availability of sphingolipids, phospholipids, cholesterol, and membrane proteins. Following a 12 h incubation period, isolation and extraction of the lipid rafts-like assemblies, the composition of the structures was evaluated using HPLC. Cholesterol and sphingomyelin were detected at 206 nm and phosphatidylcholine was detected at 254 nm. Identification of lactose permease, a typical membrane protein, was done using FTIR. The thermal stability of the produced structures was also determined. Results show that the addition of cholesterol significantly increased both the amount of insoluble lipid rafts-like structures and their stability, and that the availability of a minimum amount of sphingolipid was necessary to produce larger amounts of more stable structures. However, the addition of phospholipids hindered the formation of lipid rafts-like assemblies and those formed were generally less stable.
Nguyen, T. T. M., Chintamsetti, V. R., & Chennuru, S. (2016). The Stability of Lipid Rafts-Like Micro-Domains Is Dependent on the Available Amount of Cholesterol. Journal of Biophysical Chemistry, 07(03), 74–85. https://doi.org/10.4236/jbpc.2016.73007