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E-Conference: Defining Calcium Entry Signals

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What are lipid rafts?

7 June 2004

Randen L Patterson

A good comment. Yes, I was thinking of cold-detergent preps etc, which can be used to isolate what WERE traditionally thought of as lipid rafts. Perhaps a better way of describing these regions to which I am referring is as "cytoskeletal rich, detergent insoluble fractions", at least from a biochemical aspect.

From a physiological aspect, it seems that lipids-rich regions would have to be in the vicinity of calcium entry channels, not only for receptor signaling in local domains, but likely for channel regulation as well. Although speculative, the lipids demonstrated to be involved in these processes(PIP2, PIP3, PA, etc.) are also found in high levels in "lipid rafts"... Might they be related?

I would argue one point:
Although lipid domains change on a ms timescale, what is to say that the lipid domain need be present for the entire length of a signal for a long-term signal to be generated. Couldn't the transient "passing-by" of a lipid-rich domain provide enough substrate for the process, until the "passing-by" of the next lipid rich region?

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