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Mixtures of dihydrocholesterol and phospholipids form immiscible liquids in monolayer membranes at the air-water interface under specified conditions of temperature and 2-dimensional pressure. In recent work it has been discovered that a number of these mixtures exhibit two upper miscibility critical points. Pairs of upper critical points can be accounted(More)
Mammalian cells control their membrane composition by regulating the vesicular transport of membrane-bound sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs) from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to Golgi. Transport is blocked by cholesterol, which triggers SCAP, the SREBP escort protein, to bind to Insigs, which are ER retention proteins. The cholesterol(More)
Animal cells control their membrane lipid composition within narrow limits, but the sensing mechanisms underlying this control are largely unknown. Recent studies disclosed a protein network that controls the level of one lipid-cholesterol. This network resides in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). A key component is Scap, a tetrameric ER membrane protein that(More)
Egress of lipoprotein-derived cholesterol from lysosomes requires two lysosomal proteins, polytopic membrane-bound Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) and soluble Niemann-Pick C2 (NPC2). The reason for this dual requirement is unknown. Previously, we showed that the soluble luminal N-terminal domain (NTD) of NPC1 (amino acids 25-264) binds cholesterol. This NTD is(More)
Defects in Niemann-Pick, Type C-1 protein (NPC1) cause cholesterol, sphingolipids, phospholipids, and glycolipids to accumulate in lysosomes of liver, spleen, and brain. In cultured fibroblasts, NPC1 deficiency causes lysosomal retention of lipoprotein-derived cholesterol after uptake by receptor-mediated endocytosis. NPC1 contains 1278 amino acids that(More)
Cholesterol synthesis in animals is controlled by the regulated transport of sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi, where the transcription factors are processed proteolytically to release active fragments. Transport is inhibited by either cholesterol or oxysterols, blocking cholesterol synthesis.(More)
A handoff model has been proposed to explain the egress from lysosomes of cholesterol derived from receptor-mediated endocytosis of LDL. Cholesterol is first bound by soluble Niemann-Pick C2 (NPC2) protein, which hands off the cholesterol to the N-terminal domain of membrane-bound NPC1. Cells lacking NPC1 or NPC2 accumulate LDL-derived cholesterol in(More)
Animal cell membranes pose conceptual problems related to the physical chemistry of liquids. An avenue to the solution of some of these problems has been opened by the discovery of liquid-liquid immiscibility in synthetic membranes composed of cholesterol and phospholipids. This discovery has led to the development of a thermodynamic model involving(More)
Recent studies have shown that cooperative interactions in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes between Scap, cholesterol, and Insig result in switch-like control over activation of SREBP-2 transcription factors. This allows cells to rapidly adjust rates of cholesterol synthesis and uptake in response to even slight deviations from physiological set-point(More)
A thermodynamic model of cholesterol-phospholipid complexes is used as a starting point for calculating fluctuations in membranes containing cholesterol and phospholipids. The calculations describe fluctuations in the concentration of complexes formed between cholesterol and phospholipids with longer saturated fatty acid chains. The fluctuations in complex(More)