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Keywords:

  • cell membranes;
  • lipid rafts;
  • detergent-resistant membranes;
  • in situ atomic force microscopy
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The cover image shows lipid rafts (green) in cell membranes (blue) as visualized by in situ atomic force microscopy. The lipid rafts from human erythrocytes are studied under physiological conditions at room temperature. The results indicate several important aspects of lipid rafts. Most of the lipid rafts are of irregular shapes in the size range of 100–300 nm. The detergent-resistant membranes consist of cholesterol microdomains, and are not likely the same as lipid rafts. Cholesterol contributes significantly to the formation and stability of protein domains, and Band III is determined to be an important protein of lipid rafts in erythrocyte membranes. This work provides direct evidence for the presence, size, and main constitutive protein of lipid rafts with a resolution down to a few nanometers. For more information, please read the Full Paper “Direct Evidence of Lipid Rafts by in situ Atomic Force Microscopy” by Z. Tang, H. Wang, and co-workers, beginning on page 1243.