Endocytosis of lipid rafts: an identity crisis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Membrane rafts enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids have been hypothesized to be key mediators of sorting and signaling functions of associated molecules. Apart from a limited number of biophysical studies in living cell membranes, raft-association has been defined by a simple biochemical criterion, namely the ability to partition with detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs). Here we examine the evidence for the specification of internalization mechanisms and endocytic pathways by rafts as defined by this criterion. We have surveyed the endocytic trafficking of a variety of molecules such as lipids, toxins, glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins, and DRM-associated transmembrane proteins.

publication date

  • June 2002