Limited access

Upgrade to access all content for this subject

The lipid raft hypothesis states that specialized microdomains exist within the plasma membrane which regulates​ the lateral movement and clustering of specific classes of transmembrane proteins. These so-called lipid rafts are rich in glycosphingolipids as well as cholesterol.

How might the incorporation of cholesterol within the plasma membrane create these specialized domains?

A

The rigid, hydrophobic ring structure of cholesterol stiffens and subsequently thickens distinct sections of the plasma membrane by interleaving between the long acyl chains of sphingolipids.

B

Hydroxyl groups allow cholesterol to strengthen indirect interactions between phosphate head groups, which allow clustering of sphingolipids.

C

Cholesterol is a cofactor for GPI-anchored proteins, which cause clustering of particular lipid molecules.

D

Cholesterol is metabolized by enzymes that prevent cholesterol-mediated dissociation of scaffolding proteins necessary for lipid raft formation and maintenance.

Select an assignment template