Two types of detergent-insoluble, glycosphingolipid/cholesterol-rich membrane domains from isolated myelin


Address correspondence to Dr Joan M. Boggs, Department of Structural Biology and Biochemistry, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1X8, Canada.


Two different types of low-density detergent-insoluble glycosphingolipid-enriched membrane domain (DIG) fractions were isolated from myelin by extraction with Triton X-100 (TX-100) in 50 mM sodium phosphate buffer at room temperature (20°C) (procedure 1), in contrast to a single low-density fraction obtained by extraction with TX-100 in Tris buffer containing 150 mM NaCl and 5 mM EDTA at 4°C (procedure 2). Procedure 1 has been used in the past by others for myelin extraction to preserve the cytoskeleton and/or radial component of oligodendrocytes and myelin, whereas procedure 2 is now more commonly used to isolate myelin DIG fractions. The two DIG fractions obtained by procedure 1 gave opaque bands, B1 and B2, at somewhat lower and higher sucrose density respectively than myelin itself. The single DIG fraction obtained by procedure 2 gave a single opaque band at a similar sucrose density to B1. Both B1 and B2 had characteristics of lipid rafts, i.e. high galactosylceramide and cholesterol content and enrichment in GPI-linked 120-kDa neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM)120, as found by others for the single low-density DIG fraction obtained by procedure 2. However, B2 had most of the myelin GM1 and more of the sulfatide than B1, and they differed significantly in their protein composition. B2 contained 41% of the actin, 100% of the tubulin, and most of the flotillin-1 and caveolin in myelin, whereas B1 contained more NCAM120 and other proteins than B2. The single low-density DIG fraction obtained by procedure 2 contained only low amounts of actin and tubulin. B1 and B2 also had size-isoform selectivity for some proteins, suggesting specific interactions and different functions of the two membrane domains. We propose that B1 may come from non-caveolar raft domains whereas B2 may derive from caveolin-containing raft domains associated with cytoskeletal proteins. Some kinases present were active on myelin basic protein suggesting that the DIGs may come from signaling domains.