Visualization of lipid raft membrane compartmentalization in living RN46A neuronal cells using single quantum dot tracking.

Chang JC, Rosenthal SJ
ACS Chem Neurosci. 2012 3 (10): 737-43

PMID: 23077717 · PMCID: PMC3474263 · DOI:10.1021/cn3000845

Lipid rafts are cholesterol-enriched subdomains in the plasma membrane that have been reported to act as a platform to facilitate neuronal signaling; however, they are suspected to have a very short lifetime, up to only a few seconds, which calls into question their roles in biological signaling. To better understand their diffusion dynamics and membrane compartmentalization, we labeled lipid raft constituent ganglioside GM1 with single quantum dots through the connection of cholera toxin B subunit, a protein that binds specifically to GM1. Diffusion measurements revealed that single quantum dot-labeled GM1 ganglioside complexes undergo slow, confined lateral diffusion with a diffusion coefficient of ∼7.87 × 10(-2) μm(2)/s and a confinement domain about 200 nm in size. Further analysis of their trajectories showed lateral confinement persisting on the order of tens of seconds, comparable to the time scales of the majority of cellular signaling and biological reactions. Hence, our results provide further evidence in support of the putative function of lipid rafts as signaling platforms.

MeSH Terms (8)

Animals Cell Compartmentation Cell Line, Transformed G(M1) Ganglioside Membrane Microdomains Neurons Quantum Dots Rats

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