Engineering membrane lipids in live cells

Engineering membrane lipids in live cells

BACKGROUND 

The lack of tools to manipulate membrane lipid composition in live cells have hindered our ability to understand the function of lipids in membranes surrounding cells and their internal compartments. Pharmacological inhibition of lipid synthesis remains the most widely used approach to manipulate cell membrane lipids. However, these methods work for a limited lipid classes, are non-selective and do not permit efficient introduction of unnatural lipids. Lipid exchange using cyclodextrins (CDs) is a promising approach but its application is limited to model organisms. Eukaryotic plasma membrane is complex and therefore the ability to manipulate its lipid composition would provide a useful tool to study the membrane-mediated diseases.

DESCRIPTION 
Dr. London and colleagues at SBU have developed a technique that uses modified CDs (MaCDs) to enable efficient replacement of phospho and sphingo -lipids in the plasma membrane of live eukaryotic cells using exogenous lipids. Further the technique was demonstrated to be highly efficient in carrying out lipid exchange while also maintaining the membrane integrity.
ADVANTAGES 

An efficient membrane lipid exchange technology l Applicable to wide variety of lipid classes l Enables lipid manipulation without altering membrane integrity l Enables introduction of novel or unnatural lipids

APPLICATION 

To study lipid function and physical properties in live cells l To study cell membrane –mediated diseases

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

Additional reading: Efficient replacement of plasma membrane outer leaflet phospholipids and sphingolipids in cells with exogenous lipids. Li et. al., PNAS, vol. 113, p14025-14030, 2016.

DEVELOPMENT STAGE 
Proof of concept data is available.
PATENT STATUS 

PCT application (# PCT/US2017/018666) pending covering methods and compositions.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

INVENTORS 

Erwin London Ph. D.
Professor

Guangtao Li
Senior Research Scientist

CASE MANAGER 

Valery Matthys, Ph. D.
valery.matthys@stonybrook.edu
6316326561

LICENSING STATUS 

Available for License

LICENSING POTENTIAL 
We seek to develop and commercialize, by an exclusive or non-exclusive license agreement and/or sponsored research, with a company active in the area.
TECHNOLOGY ID 
8730
PRIMARY KEY 
1157719
KEYWORDS 

Cholesterol l Sphingolipids l Biological Membranes l Lipid exchange

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