- The concept of lipid rafts describes the lateral compartmentalization of cellular membranes into domains of different compositions and physical properties (1). Raft themselves are relatively tightly packed domains enriched in sterols, sphingolipids, saturated lipids, and specialized raft-preferring membrane proteins (2). These patches in living cells are hypothesized to be nanoscopic and dynamic, serving key roles in biological processes including signal transduction, lipid and protein sorting, and viral entry during host cell infection.
- Long-chain fatty acid (LCFA) transport is fundamental to human pathophysiology, and its impairment has been implicated in cardiovascular disease, cancer, and obesity-linked diabetes (1–4). Physiologically, LCFAs are an energy source, precursors to regulatory molecules, and components of complex lipids such as triacylglycerols (TAGs), phospholipids, and cholesteryl esters, which occur in plasma lipoproteins and living cells. Most physiological LCFAs contain 16 or 18 carbons with up to three double bonds (5, 6) and associate with lipid surfaces at diffusion-controlled rates with kon ~109 M−1sec−1.