Volker, Sung-Tae & Lukas publish in Current Topics in Membranes, V.75


Supported Lipid Bilayers as Models for Studying Membrane Domains

Volker Kiessling, Sung-Tae and Lukas K. Tamm

Current Topics in Membranes, Volume 75

ISSN 1063-5823



Supported lipid bilayers have been in use for over 30 years. They have been employed to study the structure, composition, and dynamics of lipid bilayer phases, the binding and distribution of soluble, integral, and lipidated proteins in membranes, membrane fusion, and interactions of membranes with elements of the cytoskeleton. This review focuses on the unique ability of supported lipid bilayers to study liquid-ordered and liquid-disordered domains in membranes. We highlight methods to produce asymmetric lipid bilayers with lipid compositions that mimic those of the extracellular and cytoplasmic leaflets of cell membranes and the functional reconstitution of membrane proteins into such systems. Questions related to interleaflet domain coupling and membrane protein activation have been addressed and answered using advanced reconstitution and imaging procedures in symmetric and asymmetric supported membranes with and without coexisting lipid phase domains. Previously controversial topics regarding anomalous and anisotropic diffusion in membranes have been resolved by using supported membrane approaches showing that the propensity of certain lipid compositions to form “rafts” are important but overlaid with “picket-fence” interactions that are imposed by a subtended cytoskeletal network.