, Volume 63, Issue 9, pp 1038-1059
Date: 20 Apr 2006

P-glycoprotein and ‘lipid rafts’: some ambiguous mutual relationships (floating on them, building them or meeting them by chance?)

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P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is an active membrane transporter responsible for cell detoxification against numerous amphiphilic compounds, leading to multidrug resistance in tumor cells. It displays entangled connections with its membrane environment since it recognizes its substrates within the cytosolic leaflet and it also translocates some endogenous lipids to the exoplasmic leaflet. Regarding its relationships with membrane microdomains, ‘lipid rafts’, a literature analysis concludes that (i) P-gp also exists in rafts and non-raft membrane domains, depending on the cell considered, the experimental conditions and the method used to test it; (ii) cholesterol has a positive influence on P-gp function, and this may be a direct effect of the free cholesterol present in membrane or an indirect effect mediated by the cholesterol-enriched microdomains; (iii) when present in rafts, P-gp interacts with protein partners regulating its activity; (iv) P-gp is a lipid translocase that handles the raft-constituting lipids with particular efficiency, and it also influences membrane trafficking in the cell.

Received 18 November 2005; received after revision 23 December 2005; accepted 12 January 2006