The lipid bilayer of the plasma membrane is thought to be compartmentalized by the presence of lipid-protein microdomains. In eukaryotic cells, microdomains composed of sterols and sphingolipids, commonly known as lipid rafts, are believed to exist, and reports on the presence of sterol- or protein-mediated microdomains in bacterial cell membranes are also appearing. Despite increasing attention, little is known about microdomains in the plasma membrane of pathogenic microorganisms. This review attempts to provide an overview of the current state of knowledge of lipid rafts in pathogenic fungi and bacteria. The current literature on characterization of microdomains in pathogens is reviewed, and their potential role in growth, pathogenesis, and drug resistance is discussed. Better insight into the structure and function of membrane microdomains in pathogenic microorganisms might lead to a better understanding of their pathogenesis and development of raft-mediated approaches for therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology
- Lipid rafts
- Plasma membrane