Membrane Microdomain Disassembly Inhibits MRSA Antibiotic Resistance
Increasing evidence supports the existence of lateral nanoscopic lipid domains in plasma membranes, known as lipid rafts. These domains preferentially recruit membrane proteins and lipids to facilitate their interactions and thereby regulate transmembrane signaling and cellular homeostasis. The functionality of raft domains is intrinsically dependent on their selectivity for specific membrane components; however, while the physicochemical determinants of raft association for lipids are known, very few systematic studies have focused on the structural aspects that guide raft partitioning of proteins. In this review, we describe biophysical and thermodynamic aspects of raft-mimetic liquid ordered phases, focusing on those most relevant for protein partitioning. Further, we detail the variety of experimental models used to study protein-raft interactions. Finally, we review the existing literature on mechanisms for raft targeting, including lipid post-translational modifications, lipid binding, and transmembrane domain features. We conclude that while protein palmitoylation is a clear raft-targeting signal, few other general structural determinants for raft partitioning have been revealed, suggesting that many discoveries lie ahead in this burgeoning field.