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Do ‘lipidic particles’ represent intermembrane attachment sites?


Although freeze-fracture electron microscopy is normally analysed with the presumption that particles represent proteins embedded within the membrane, particles which appeared to represent inverted lipid micelles within membranes have been reported1–4. I have now confirmed the occurrence of particles in protein-free liposomes, but have found that they behave like intermembrane attachment sites rather than structures within a membrane.

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  1. 1

    Verkleij, A. J., Mombers, C., Leunissen-Bijvelt, J. & Ververgaert, P. J. J. Th. Nature 279, 162–163 (1979).

  2. 2

    DeKruijff, B. et al. Biochim. biophys. Acta 555, 200–209 (1979).

  3. 3

    Verkleij, A. J., Mombers, C., Gerritsen, W. J., Leunissen-Bijvelt, L. & Cullis, P. R. Biochim. biophys. Acta 555, 358–361 (1979).

  4. 4

    De Kruijff, B., Cullis, P. R. & Verkleij, A. J. Trends biol. Sci. 5, 79–81 (1980).

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