8 December 2020

Sjoerd van DeventerAbbey Arp and Annemiek van Spriel, theme Cancer development and immune defence published in Trends in cell biology that a dynamic plasma membrane organization is a complex symphony.

Membrane protein organization is essential for proper cellular functioning and the result of a dynamic exchange between protein monomers, nanoscale protein clusters, and microscale higher-order structures. This exchange is affected by both lipid bilayer intrinsic factors, such as lipid rafts and tetraspanins, and extrinsic factors, such as cortical actin and galectins. Because membrane organizers act jointly like instruments in a symphony, it is challenging to define the 'key' organizers. Here, the researchers posit, for the first time, definitions of key intrinsic and extrinsic membrane organizers. Tetraspanin nanodomains are key organizers that are often overlooked. The researchers discuss how different key organizers can collaborate, which is important to get a full grasp of plasma membrane biology.

Figure 1. Membrane organization Is a continuous exchange affected by different organizers

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