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Lipid transfer proteins in the study of artificial and natural membranes

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Summary

Lipid transfer proteins, differing in their specificity for the transfer of lipids and for the surfaces on which they act, have been purified from various mammalian tissues and subsequently characterized. Several of their properties make them useful research tools. They have been used alone or with other techniques to study the distribution and mobility of phospholipids in artificial vesicles and in natural membranes, and have been used to create asymmetric phospholipid vesicles.

Lipid transfer proteins are capable of altering the lipid composition of membranes by introducing new lipids or by depletion of existing lipids. Some of the transfer proteins can effect a net transfer of phospholipids, glycosphingolipids and cholesterol from one structure to another, whereas others appear to act primarily in promoting exchange. Some lipid transfer proteins are capable of introducing spin labeled and fluorescent lipid analogs into the outer surface of membranes. Because lipid transfer proteins do not seem to alter membrane lipid asymmetry or permeability of membranes, they are useful tools for studying the effect of lipid substitution on membrane-mediated transport processes and on various membrane-bound enzyme systems.

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Abbreviations

PA:

phosphatidic acid

PC:

phosphatidylcholine

PE:

phosphatidylethanolamine

PI:

phosphatidylinositol

PG:

phosphatidylglycerol

PS:

phosphatidylserine

DPG:

diphosphatidylglycerol

SPH:

sphingomyelin

Gm t :

II3-α-N-Acetylneuraminosylgangliotetraglycosylceramide

GbOse4Cer:

globotetraglycosylceramide

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Career Investigator of C.O.N.I.C.E.T. (Argentina)

Career Investigator of the American Heart Association.

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Bloj, B., Zilversmit, D.B. Lipid transfer proteins in the study of artificial and natural membranes. Mol Cell Biochem 40, 163–172 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00224610

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Keywords

  • Lipid
  • Cholesterol
  • Lipid Composition
  • Research Tool
  • Mammalian Tissue