What is it about?

This work explores the usefulness of a powerful technique that requires few microliters of valuable biological sample and more importantly, gives detailed chemical information about it. In this case, this technique allow us to find a specific protein located in determined site of the membrane bordering hepatocytes.

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Why is it important?

Lipid rafts are sphingomyelin/cholesterol-rich domains present in the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells. In this work we proposed the surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) together with the principal component analysis (PCA) as a novel strategy for the study of plasma membrane lipid rafts in the hepatocyte. Also, we showed the presence of the plasma membrane calcium ATPase (PMCA) that participates in the control of calcium levels in the cell, in this kind of domains. In addition, the PMCA activity measured after partial depletion of membrane cholesterol carried out by methyl-beta-cyclodextrin, correlate with the presence of cholesterol-rich domains of lipid rafts.

Perspectives

The interdisciplinary work in science permits to explore a phenomenon from different points of view, therefore, it should be promoted among the scientific community. This work confirms the huge potential of the SERS technique and permitted us to find the existence of a relevant protein, the PMCA, in lipid rafts of hepatocytes.

M.Sc. Blanca Delgado-Coello

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This page is a summary of: Label-free surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy of lipid-rafts from hepatocyte plasma membranes, Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, April 2017, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/jrs.5101.
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