Lipid rafts in plants

Planta. 2005 Dec;223(1):5-19. doi: 10.1007/s00425-005-0096-9. Epub 2005 Sep 1.


About two decades ago a provocative hypothesis evolved suggesting that the plasma membrane (PM) of mammalian and probably other eukaryotic cells constitutes a mosaic of patches comprising particular molecular compositions. These scattered lipid bilayer microdomains are supposedly enriched in sterols as well as sphingolipids and depleted in unsaturated phospholipids. In addition, the PM microdomains are proposed to host glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-anchored polypeptides and a subset of integral and peripheral cell surface proteins while excluding others. Though the actual in vivo existence of such "lipid rafts" remains controversial, a range of fundamental biological functions has been put forward for these PM microenvironments. A variety of recent studies provide preliminary evidence that lipid rafts may also occur in plant cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Membrane Microdomains / physiology*
  • Plant Cells*
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena