Lipid composition of microdomains is altered in a cell model of Gaucher disease

Leanne K. Hein, Stephen Duplock, John J. Hopwood, Maria Fuller

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42 Citations (Scopus)


The formation of cholesterol and sphingolipids into specialized liquid-ordered membrane microdomains (rafts) has been proposed to function in the intracellular sorting and transport of proteins and lipids. Defined by biochemical criteria, rafts resist solubilization in nonionic detergents, enabling them to be isolated as detergent-resistant membranes (DRM). In this study, we characterized the lipid composition of DRM from a cell model of the sphingolipid storage disorder, Gaucher disease, in which the catabolism of the sphingolipid glucosylceramide (GC) is impaired. In this cell model, we showed that GC accumulated primarily in the DRM, with smaller secondary increases in ceramide, dihexosylceramide, trihexosylceramide, and phosphatidylglycerol. This suggested that not only was lipid metabolism altered as a consequence of the cells' inability to degrade GC, but this affected the DRM rather than other regions of the membrane. This increase in lipids in the DRM may be responsible for the altered lipid and protein sorting seen in Gaucher disease. Analysis of individual lipid species revealed preservation of the shorter and fully saturated fatty acid species in the DRM, suggesting that the highly ordered and tightly packed nature of the DRM is maintained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1725-1734
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Aug 2008


  • Detergent-resistant membranes
  • Glucosylceramide
  • Lysosomal storage disorder
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Membrane rafts
  • Phospholipids
  • Sphingolipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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