alexa Lipids and lipid binding proteins: a perfect match.
Bioinformatics & Systems Biology

Bioinformatics & Systems Biology

Journal of Glycomics & Lipidomics

Author(s): Glatz JF

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Abstract Lipids serve a great variety of functions, ranging from structural components of biological membranes to signaling molecules affecting various cellular functions. Several of these functions are related to the unique physico-chemical properties shared by all lipid species, i.e., their hydrophobicity. The latter, however, is accompanied by a poor solubility in an aqueous environment and thus a severe limitation in the transport of lipids in aqueous compartments such as blood plasma and the cellular soluble cytoplasm. Specific proteins which can reversibly and non-covalently associate with lipids, designated as lipid binding proteins or lipid chaperones, greatly enhance the aqueous solubility of lipids and facilitate their transport between tissues and within tissue cells. Importantly, transport of lipids across biological membranes also is facilitated by specific (membrane-associated) lipid binding proteins. Together, these lipid binding proteins determine the bio-availability of their ligands, and thereby markedly influence the subsequent processing, utilization, or signaling effect of lipids. The bio-availability of specific lipid species thus is governed by the presence of specific lipid binding proteins, the affinity of these proteins for distinct lipid species, and the presence of competing ligands (including pharmaceutical compounds). Recent studies suggest that post-translational modifications of lipid binding proteins may have great impact on lipid-protein interactions. As a result, several levels of regulation exist that together determine the bio-availability of lipid species. This short review discusses the significance of lipid binding proteins and their potential application as targets for therapeutic intervention. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

This article was published in Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids and referenced in Journal of Glycomics & Lipidomics

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