T only one temperature, known as the triple point [51]. The situation

T only one temperature, known as the triple point [51]. The situation is more complex in three-component systems, especially if they contain cholesterol, and inAuthor Manuscript Author Manuscript Author Manuscript Author ManuscriptProg Lipid Res. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2017 April 01.Carquin et al.Pagebiological membranes, consisting of thousands of different lipids. Thus, from the above equation, one may expect many different coexisting phases in biological membranes. However, this is not the case. As suggested by Lingwood and Simons, this could be explained by the fact that many PM Lurbinectedin cost components are not chemically independent but form specific complexes [40]. As mentioned above, fluorescence microscopy gives evidence for such micrometric separation in GUVs and in highly-specialized biological membranes, fitting into the classical description of phase separation by phase diagrams. The importance of temperature on micrometric membrane separation is illustrated with native pulmonary surfactant membranes in Fig. 2A [16]. Typical Lo/Ld-like phase coexistence can be observed at 36 , while Ld MG-132 web domains show fluctuating borderlines at 37.5 , and severe lateral structure changes with melting of most of the Lo phase occur at 38 . Besides temperature, cholesterol and Cer are two lipids requiring a thorough consideration in the context of phase separation. Cholesterol is a key component of membrane biology and the concept of its clustering into membrane domains is attractive to explain its different functions including (i) membrane fluidity via lipid ordering; (ii) membrane deformability by modulation of PM protein interactions at the interface with cortical cytoskeleton [52]; (iii) formation and stabilization of nanometric lipid assemblies, rafts and caveolae [40, 53], as signaling platforms [54-56]; and (iv) phase coexistence in artificial membranes [57-59]. Fig. 2B shows the impact of modifying cholesterol concentration in GUVs formed from pulmonary surfactant lipid extracts. Partial cholesterol depletion (i.e. 10mol instead of 20mol ) leads to elongated irregularly shaped domains, typical of gel/fluid phase coexistence. In contrast, increasing cholesterol content induces the appearance of circular-shaped domains, reflecting Lo/Ld phase coexistence (Fig. 2B [16]). Cer constitute the backbone of all complex SLs. Regarding their physico-chemical properties, Cer present very low polarity, are highly hydrophobic and display high gel-toliquid-crystalline phase transition temperatures, well above the physiological temperature. These particular properties contribute to their in-plane phase separation into Cer-enriched domains. Hence, when mixed with other lipids, Cer can drastically modify membrane properties [60]. For instance, increase of Cer content induces the formation of micrometric domains with shape changes from circular to elongated forms (Fig. 2C [61]). These effects depend on Cer structure (i.e. acyl chain length and unsaturation), as well as on membrane lipid composition, particularly cholesterol levels. For a review on Cer biophysical properties, please see [60]. It should be noted that the formation of micrometric domains in artificial systems may not reflect the situation seen in biological membranes in which so many different lipids as well as intrinsic and extrinsic proteins are present. Thus, in cells, membrane lipid:protein interactions and membrane:cytoskeleton anchorage represent additional levels of regulation of lipid d.T only one temperature, known as the triple point [51]. The situation is more complex in three-component systems, especially if they contain cholesterol, and inAuthor Manuscript Author Manuscript Author Manuscript Author ManuscriptProg Lipid Res. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2017 April 01.Carquin et al.Pagebiological membranes, consisting of thousands of different lipids. Thus, from the above equation, one may expect many different coexisting phases in biological membranes. However, this is not the case. As suggested by Lingwood and Simons, this could be explained by the fact that many PM components are not chemically independent but form specific complexes [40]. As mentioned above, fluorescence microscopy gives evidence for such micrometric separation in GUVs and in highly-specialized biological membranes, fitting into the classical description of phase separation by phase diagrams. The importance of temperature on micrometric membrane separation is illustrated with native pulmonary surfactant membranes in Fig. 2A [16]. Typical Lo/Ld-like phase coexistence can be observed at 36 , while Ld domains show fluctuating borderlines at 37.5 , and severe lateral structure changes with melting of most of the Lo phase occur at 38 . Besides temperature, cholesterol and Cer are two lipids requiring a thorough consideration in the context of phase separation. Cholesterol is a key component of membrane biology and the concept of its clustering into membrane domains is attractive to explain its different functions including (i) membrane fluidity via lipid ordering; (ii) membrane deformability by modulation of PM protein interactions at the interface with cortical cytoskeleton [52]; (iii) formation and stabilization of nanometric lipid assemblies, rafts and caveolae [40, 53], as signaling platforms [54-56]; and (iv) phase coexistence in artificial membranes [57-59]. Fig. 2B shows the impact of modifying cholesterol concentration in GUVs formed from pulmonary surfactant lipid extracts. Partial cholesterol depletion (i.e. 10mol instead of 20mol ) leads to elongated irregularly shaped domains, typical of gel/fluid phase coexistence. In contrast, increasing cholesterol content induces the appearance of circular-shaped domains, reflecting Lo/Ld phase coexistence (Fig. 2B [16]). Cer constitute the backbone of all complex SLs. Regarding their physico-chemical properties, Cer present very low polarity, are highly hydrophobic and display high gel-toliquid-crystalline phase transition temperatures, well above the physiological temperature. These particular properties contribute to their in-plane phase separation into Cer-enriched domains. Hence, when mixed with other lipids, Cer can drastically modify membrane properties [60]. For instance, increase of Cer content induces the formation of micrometric domains with shape changes from circular to elongated forms (Fig. 2C [61]). These effects depend on Cer structure (i.e. acyl chain length and unsaturation), as well as on membrane lipid composition, particularly cholesterol levels. For a review on Cer biophysical properties, please see [60]. It should be noted that the formation of micrometric domains in artificial systems may not reflect the situation seen in biological membranes in which so many different lipids as well as intrinsic and extrinsic proteins are present. Thus, in cells, membrane lipid:protein interactions and membrane:cytoskeleton anchorage represent additional levels of regulation of lipid d.