Peering inside lipid rafts and caveolae

Trends Biochem Sci. 2002 Sep;27(9):435-7. doi: 10.1016/s0968-0004(02)02178-3.


Clustering of proteins into membrane microdomains, such as lipid rafts and caveolae, could act as a mechanism for regulating cell signaling and other cellular functions. Certain lipid modifications are hypothesized to target proteins to these domains on the cytoplasmic leaflet of the plasma membrane. This concept has now been tested in living cells using an assay sensitive to the lateral distribution of proteins in membranes over sub-micron distances.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caveolae / chemistry
  • Caveolae / metabolism*
  • Caveolae / ultrastructure
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Glycosphingolipids / metabolism
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism
  • Membrane Microdomains / diagnostic imaging
  • Membrane Microdomains / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Ultrasonography


  • Glycosphingolipids
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Membrane Proteins