Lipid rafts-protein association and the regulation of protein activity

Arch Biochem Biophys. 2004 Jun 15;426(2):208-24. doi: 10.1016/


Lipid rafts are membrane microdomains enriched in saturated phospholipids, sphingolipids, and cholesterol. They have a varied but distinct protein composition and have been implicated in diverse cellular processes including polarized traffic, signal transduction, endo- and exo-cytoses, entrance of obligate intracellular pathogens, and generation of pathological forms of proteins associated with Alzheimer's and prion diseases. Raft proteins can be permanently or temporarily associated to lipid rafts. Here, we review recent advances on the biochemical and cell biological characterization of rafts, and on the emerging concept of the temporary residency of proteins in rafts as a regulatory mechanism of their biological activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Fluidity
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism*
  • Membrane Microdomains / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Protein Binding


  • Membrane Lipids
  • Membrane Proteins