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Suzuki K.G.N.,Kyoto University | Suzuki K.G.N.,The Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine inStem | Suzuki K.G.N.,Japan Science and Technology Agency
Biotechnology Journal | Year: 2012

Lipid rafts are meso-scale (5-200 nm) cell membrane domains where signaling molecules assemble and function. However, due to their dynamic nature, it has been difficult to unravel the mechanism of signal transduction in lipid rafts. Recent advanced imaging techniques have revealed that signaling molecules are frequently, but transiently, recruited to rafts with the aid of protein-protein, protein-lipid, and/or lipid-lipid interactions. Individual signaling molecules within the raft are activated only for a short period of time. Immobilization of signaling molecules by cytoskeletal actin filaments and scaffold proteins may facilitate more efficient signal transmission from rafts. In this review, current opinions of how the transient nature of molecular interactions in rafts generates digital-like signal transduction in cell membranes, and the benefits this phenomenon provides, are discussed. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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