Manipulation of cell membrane phospholipids by methylated alpha-CD

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Methylated α-CD (MeACD) loaded with exogenous lipids was used to replace the endogenous phospholipids and sphingolipids from cell plasma membrane outer leaflet of living mammalian cells in a procedure developed by the group of E. London, Stony Brook University (NY, US) [1]. They proved that MeACD binds a variety of phospholipids and sphingolipids and can carry out efficient lipid exchange in model membranes as well as in membranes of A549 lung carcinoma cells.

As MeBCD has become a general tool to remove or replenish cholesterol from/to living cells, MeACD can be a similar tool for manipulation of phospholipids and sphingolipids without interacting with cholesterol. MeACD-mediated lipid exchange can help to study how the lipid composition influences biological functions.


  1. Li, J.H. Kim, Z. Huang, J.R. St. Clair, D.A. Brown, and E. London
    Efficient replacement of plasma membrane outer leaflet phospholipids and sphingolipids in cells with exogenous lipids
    PNAS 2016, 113, 14025–14030

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