Lipid-Protein Interactions in Plasma Membrane Organization and Function

Annu Rev Biophys. 2022 May 9:51:135-156. doi: 10.1146/annurev-biophys-090721-072718. Epub 2022 Jan 4.


Lipid-protein interactions in cells are involved in various biological processes, including metabolism, trafficking, signaling, host-pathogen interactions, and transmembrane transport. At the plasma membrane, lipid-protein interactions play major roles in membrane organization and function. Several membrane proteins have motifs for specific lipid binding, which modulate protein conformation and consequent function. In addition to such specific lipid-protein interactions, protein function can be regulated by the dynamic, collective behavior of lipids in membranes. Emerging analytical, biochemical, and computational technologies allow us to study the influence of specific lipid-protein interactions, as well as the collective behavior of membranes on protein function. In this article, we review the recent literature on lipid-protein interactions with a specific focus on the current state-of-the-art technologies that enable novel insights into these interactions.

Keywords: collective membrane properties; cryo-EM; lipid-binding motifs; membrane biophysics; molecular dynamics; super-resolution imaging.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biological Phenomena*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Lipids / analysis
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins* / chemistry
  • Protein Conformation


  • Lipids
  • Membrane Proteins