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Visualizing Cholesterol

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Science's STKE  15 Aug 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 45, pp. tw3
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.45.tw3

Cholesterol is an important lipid that contributes to membrane fluidity and the formation of membrane microdomains. Changes in cholesterol levels can alter signaling processes in cells. Cholesterol is commonly considered to be a constituent of the plasma membrane. Clarke et al. challenge this view with data from human and rat skeletal muscle immunostained with an antibody that recognizes cholesterol. They find that the cholesterol-specific antibody recognizes primarily a structure that morphologically resembles the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Furthermore, the cholesterol antibody colocalized with an antibody against the Ca2+ ATPase of the sarcoplasmic reticulum and did not overlap with an antibody against the plasma membrane-localized dihydropyridine receptor.

Clarke, M.S.F., Vanderburg, C.R., Bamman, M.M., Caldwell, R.W., and Feeback, D.L. (2000) In situ localization of cholesterol in skeletal muscle by use of a monoclonal antibody. J. Appl. Physiol. 89: 731-741. [Abstract] [Full Text]

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