The "lipid flip" may sound like a rock and roll dance craze from the 1960s. However, it actually is a key biochemical process in which fatty materials termed lipids move into cells -- movements that are pointing toward improvements in gene therapy, new medications for preventing the complications of Alzheimer's disease, and other health boons.
In an article scheduled for the Sept. 19 issue of ACS' Bioconjugate Chemistry, Vladimir Sidorov and colleagues report development of a new non-invasive method for monitoring the activity of lipid-flipping enzymes. Colorfully named flippases, flopases, and scramblases, these enzymes control the process in which lipid molecules literally summersault from the outer layer of a cell membrane to the inner layer where they can move into the cell itself. The actions of those enzymes can influence blood clotting, whether a cell lives or programs itself for death, and other processes.
In their study, the researchers describe drawbacks in existing methods for monitoring lipid. Their new laboratory method overcomes those problems, and permits monitoring of the lipid flip in actual cell membranes in real time, as the process unfolds.
Article: "New Noninvasive Methodology for Real-Time Monitoring of Lipid Flip"
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