Lipid Rafts: Contentious Only From Simplistic Standpoints

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2006 Jun;7(6):456-62. doi: 10.1038/nrm1925.


The hypothesis that lipid rafts exist in plasma membranes and have crucial biological functions remains controversial. The lateral heterogeneity of proteins in the plasma membrane is undisputed, but the contribution of cholesterol-dependent lipid assemblies to this complex, non-random organization promotes vigorous debate. In the light of recent studies with model membranes, computational modelling and innovative cell biology, I propose an updated model of lipid rafts that readily accommodates diverse views on plasma-membrane micro-organization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Membrane Microdomains / chemistry*
  • Membrane Microdomains / ultrastructure*
  • Models, Biological