Compositional lipid microdomains ("lipid rafts") in mammalian plasma membranes are believed to facilitate many important cellular processes. While several physically distinct scenarios predicting the presence of finite-sized microdomains in vivo have been proposed in the past, direct experimental verification or falsification of model predictions has remained elusive. Herein, we demonstrate that the combination of the spatial correlation and temporal fluctuation spectra of the lipid domains can be employed to unambiguously differentiate between the existing theoretical scenarios. Furthermore, the differentiation of the raft formation mechanisms using this methodology can be achieved by collecting data at physiologically relevant conditions without the need to tune control parameters.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)