The fungal plasma membrane is organized into specialized domains that vary in size, stability, and composition. Membrane compartment of Can1(MCC)/eisosome domains that were recently discovered in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae are interesting because they represent a novel type of membrane domain that is important for plasma membrane organization, sphingolipid homeostasis, and cell wall morphogenesis. The MCC portion was identified as stable punctate patches that correspond to furrows in the plasma membrane that are about 300 nm long and 50 nm deep. These domains contain integral membrane proteins, including the tetraspan proteins Sur7 and Nce102. The eisosome portion includes proteins peripherally associated with the cytoplasmic side of the MCC, including the Bin/amphiphysin/Rvs-domain proteins Pil1 and Lsp1, which assemble into filaments that curve the membrane to form the furrows. By comparing MCC/eisosome domains in diverse fungi, researchers are identifying common features that further our understanding of their unique biogenesis, structure, and function.
Keywords: Candida albicans; PI4,5P2; Schizosaccharomyces pombe; ergosterol; lipid raft.