Rafts and the battleships of defense: The multifaceted microdomains for positive and negative signals in immune cells

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Citations (Scopus)


Recognition of the heterogeneity of the cell membrane was one of the most important scientific achievements in the last decades. Since coining the term " lipid rafts" , continuous development of advanced microscopic and spectroscopic techniques has vastly expanded our view on these cell membrane microdomains that appear to have almost as many faces as researchers that look at them; they are variable in stability, size and composition that can change in a highly dynamic manner both by recruiting and expelling components as well as by coalescing and breaking up into smaller units. They have, however, one common feature: all eukaryotic cells present some variation of lipid rafts. Cells of the immune system are not exception to this, regardless of their lymphoid or myeloid origin their membranes show a domain structure and these domains serve to condense or reject particular transmembrane, GPI-linked and intracellularly membrane-anchored proteins as function requires. Here we provide a concise overview about the various weapons and shields that immune cells concentrate into their rafts, which have come into sight during the past years. The positive and negative regulatory roles of these microdomains are essential both in the functions of innate immunity and processes concatenated in the adaptive immune response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-12
Number of pages11
JournalImmunology letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2010


  • Cellular immunity
  • Co-receptors
  • Cytokine receptors
  • Downstream signaling
  • Humoral immunity
  • Immune receptors
  • Inflammation
  • Lipid rafts
  • Membrane microdomains
  • Phagocytosis
  • Raft targeting therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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