Ceramide-induced alterations in the lateral organization of membrane proteins can be involved in several biological contexts, ranging from apoptosis to viral infections. In order to investigate such alterations in a simple model, we used a combined approach of atomic force microscopy, scanning fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and confocal fluorescence imaging to study the partitioning of different membrane components in sphingomyelin/dioleoyl-phosphatidylcholine/cholesterol/ceramide supported bilayers. Such model membranes exhibit coexistence of liquid-disordered, liquid-ordered (raft-like) and ceramide-rich lipid phases. Our results show that components with poor affinity toward the liquid-ordered phase, such as several fluorescent lipid analogues or the synaptic protein Synaptobrevin 2, are excluded from ceramide-rich domains. Conversely, we show for the first time that the raft-associated protein placental alkaline phosphatase (GPI-PLAP) and the ganglioside GM1 are enriched in such domains, while exhibiting a strong decrease in lateral diffusion. Analogue modulation of the local concentration and dynamics of membrane proteins/receptors by ceramide can be of crucial importance for the biological functions of cell membranes.
|Number of pages
|Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
|Published - May 2008