Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol:95 issue:7 pages:3966-3971
The viral glycoprotein hemagglutinin (HA) and the endogenous glycosylphosphatidglinositol-anchored protein Thy-1 are efficiently targeted to the axonal surface of fully polarized hippocampal neurons in culture, Here we have shown that in these cells HA and Thy-1 interact with sphingolipid-cholesterol rafts and are included in detergent-insoluble glycolipid-enriched complexes. Axonal HA and Thy-1, but not two dendritic membrane proteins, resisted extraction to detergents at 4 degrees C. Both HA and Thy-1 became detergent-soluble in neurons with reduced levels of cholesterol or sphingolipids. Missorting of the axonal Thy-1 but not of a dendritic membrane protein occurred in sphingolipid-deprived cells, These results indicate that neurons sort a subset of axolemmal proteins by a mechanism that requires the formation of protein-lipid rafts. The involvement of rafts in axonal membrane sorting may explain the neurological deficits observed in patients with certain types of Niemann-Pick disease.