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Publication Detail
Maintaining a Healthy Immune Response by Balancing the Lipid Content of Lipid Raft Microdomains
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Jury EC, McDonald G, Kabouridis PS
  • Publisher:
    Nova Science Pub Incorporated
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    105, 132
  • Chapter number:
  • Editors:
    Sillence D
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Status:
  • Book title:
    Lipid Rafts: Properties, Controversies and Roles in Signal Transduction
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Science, Lipid Rafts
Lipid rafts are cholesterol and glycosphingolipid (GSL) enriched microdomains in the plasma membrane that form areas of relative liquid-order compared to the surrounding disordered membrane. Cholesterol and GSLs are not only intrinsic components of the lipid raft structure but, because they compartmentalize signaling proteins and provide an environment facilitating immunoreceptor signal transduction, they are integral to the regulation of immune cell function; this includes T and B lymphocyte antigen-receptor-mediated signaling, apoptosis and cell surface protein recycling and endocytosis. Given their importance it is not surprising that the control of cholesterol and GSL biosynthesis is tightly regulated involving interactions with serum lipids associated with lipoproteins. How lipid rafts, and significantly how alterations in the lipids associated with them, influence immune processes is still not fully understood. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that membrane lipid composition and homeostasis can regulate the capacity of immune cells to respond correctly to micro-environmental stimuli. Alterations in such metabolic processes contribute to the immune cell dysfunction in conditions such as atherosclerosis, autoimmunity and cancer. This raises the exciting possibility that targeting membrane lipids could control or alter immune cell activation and may be an important therapeutic mechanism to control aberrant immune responses.
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