The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 252, Issue 4–5, pp 213–226 | Cite as

Membrane Dynamics in Health and Disease: Impact on Cellular Signalling

  • Pranav Adhyapak
  • Shobhna KapoorEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Membrane and Receptor Dynamics


Biological membranes display a staggering complexity of lipids and proteins orchestrating cellular functions. Superior analytical tools coupled with numerous functional cellular screens have enabled us to query their role in cellular signalling, trafficking, guiding protein structure and function–all of which rely on the dynamic membrane lipid properties indispensable for proper cellular functions. Alteration of these has led to emergence of various pathological conditions, thus opening an area of lipid-centric therapeutic approaches. This perspective is a short summary of the dynamic properties of membranes essential for proper cellular functions, dictating both protein and lipid functions, and mis-regulated in diseases. Towards the end, we focus on some challenges lying ahead and potential means to tackle the same, mainly underscored by multi-disciplinary approaches.

Graphic Abstract


Membrane lipid structure Lipid domains Lipid-protein interactions Lipid diffusion Membrane-targeting drugs 



Liquid ordered domains


Liquid disordered domains/phase


Photoactivated localization microscopy


Stimulated emission depletion


Near-field scanning optical microscopy


Förster resonance energy transfer


Interferometric scattering microscopy


Small-angle neutron scattering


Single particle tracking


Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy


Spot variation fluorescence correlation spectroscopy


Giant unilamellar vesicles


Atomic force microscopy


Pleckstrin homology


Coat protein I




G protein-coupled receptor


Guanosine triphosphate


Phosphatidyl inositol 4, 5 bisphosphate


Immunoglobulin E


High affinity IgE receptor


Phosphatidyl serine


Phosphatidyl ethanolamine


Cluster of differentiation 44


Cluster of differentiation 24


Epidermal growth factor receptor


Phosphatidyl inositols

Arp 2/3

Actin related proteins 2/3


Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome protein


Trehalose Dimycolate


Membrane lipid therapy


Phosphoinositide 3 kinase


Cell division control protein 42


Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1


Cysteine-aspartic proteases


Fas-associated death domain-containing protein


Death-inducing signalling complex


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha


Diacyl glycerol



We thank Dr. Rishikesh Narayan for comments on this manuscript. The work in our lab is supported by DBT-Ramalingaswami fellowship and DST Inspire Faculty Award awarded to SK. PA acknowledges DBT for PhD fellowship.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Research Involving Human and Animal Participants

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryIndian Institute of Technology BombayPowaiIndia

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