Use of Forster's resonance energy transfer microscopy to study lipid rafts. Academic Article uri icon


  • Rafts in cell membranes have been a subject of much debate and many models have been proposed for their existence and functional significance. Recent studies using Forster's resonance energy transfer (FRET) microscopy have provided one of the first glimpses into the organization of putative raft components in living cell membranes. Here we discuss how and why FRET microscopy provides an appropriate non-invasive methodology to examine organization of raft components in cell membranes; a combination of homo and hetero-FRET microscopy in conjunction with detailed theoretical analyses are necessary for characterizing structures at nanometre scales. Implications of the physical characteristics of the organization of GPI-anchored proteins in cell membranes suggest new models of lipid-based assemblies in cell membranes based on active principles.

publication date

  • December 30, 2005