Structural and Biochemical Similarities Reveal a Family of Proteins Related to the MAL Proteolipid, a Component of Detergent-Insoluble Membrane Microdomains

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Mar 27;232(3):618-21. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1997.6338.


The MAL gene encodes a proteolipid protein displaying a cell type-specific pattern of expression, including T lymphocytes, myelin-forming cells, and epithelial renal MDCK cells, which has been recently identified as a component of detergent-insoluble membranes known to be enriched in glycolipids and cholesterol. Sequence alignment revealed a high degree of conservation of the MAL protein across species and evidenced the existence of a significant level of overall identity between MAL and two other proteins, BENE and the plasmolipin proteolipid. Moreover, using subcellular fractionation of transiently transfected COS-7 cells, both MAL and BENE were identified in detergent-resistant membranes. These results suggest the existence of a novel family of MAL-related proteins (including MAL, BENE, and plasmolipin) with primary structure homologies and with the distinctive features of having unusual biochemical properties such as lipid-like behaviour and/or the ability to reside in glycolipid-enriched membrane microdomains.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • COS Cells
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Membrane Transport Proteins*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Structure
  • Myelin Proteins*
  • Myelin and Lymphocyte-Associated Proteolipid Proteins
  • Proteolipids / chemistry*
  • Proteolipids / genetics
  • Proteolipids / isolation & purification
  • Rats
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • DNA Primers
  • MAL protein, human
  • Mal protein, mouse
  • Mal protein, rat
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Myelin Proteins
  • Myelin and Lymphocyte-Associated Proteolipid Proteins
  • Proteolipids

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M15800
  • GENBANK/U13617
  • GENBANK/U17077
  • GENBANK/X82557
  • GENBANK/X92505
  • GENBANK/Y07812