The architecture of the plasma membrane is not only determined by the lipid and protein composition, but is also influenced by its attachment to the underlying cytoskeleton. Herein, we show that microscopic phase separation of “raft-like” lipid mixtures in pore-spanning bilayers is strongly determined by the underlying highly ordered porous substrate. In detail, lipid membranes composed of DOPC/sphingomyelin/cholesterol/Gb3 were prepared on ordered pore arrays in silicon with pore diameters of 0.8, 1.2 and 2 μm, respectively, by spreading and fusion of giant unilamellar vesicles. The upper part of the silicon substrate was first coated with gold and then functionalized with a thiol-bearing cholesterol derivative rendering the surface hydrophobic, which is prerequisite for membrane formation. Confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscopy was used to investigate the phase behavior of the obtained pore-spanning membranes. Coexisting liquid-ordered- (lo) and liquid-disordered (ld) domains were visualized for DOPC/sphingomyelin/cholesterol/Gb3 (40:35:20:5) membranes. The size of the lo-phase domains was strongly affected by the underlying pore size of the silicon substrate and could be controlled by temperature, and the cholesterol content in the membrane, which was modulated by the addition of methyl-β-cyclodextrin. Binding of Shiga toxin B-pentamers to the Gb3-doped membranes increased the lo-phase considerably and even induced lo-phase domains in non-phase separated bilayers composed of DOPC/sphingomyelin/cholesterol/Gb3 (65:10:20:5).
If you can't find a tool you're looking for, please click the link at the top of the page to "Go to old article view". Alternatively, view our Knowledge Base articles for additional help. Your feedback is important to us, so please let us know if you have comments or ideas for improvement.