About this Research Topic
Biomembranes are a complex and dynamic environment, whose lipid composition influences the activity of membrane proteins. Lipid regulation of membrane proteins can be grouped in three mechanisms: i) direct regulation due to lipid interaction with proteins; ii) modification of the physical properties of the membranes, which in turns affects membrane protein activity; iii) mediating the interaction between membrane proteins and their regulatory proteins within membrane microdomains (e.g. lipid rafts). Ion channels represent a crucial class of membrane proteins as they control the membrane potential in response to extracellular and intracellular stimuli and a vast repertoire of cell signaling pathways, especially in excitable cells as neurons, originate from ion channels activity. The understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the lipid-dependent regulation of ion channels is therefore crucial for the advancement in the comprehension of the physiological and pathological roles of this class of membrane proteins.
The present Research Topic will give particular emphasis to studies dedicated to lipid-protein interactions. Indeed, the recent advancements in structural biology of membrane proteins by single particle cryo-EM, together with the significant support of native mass spectrometry and of molecular dynamics simulation, had greatly fostered the identification and characterization of lipid binding sites in the structures of ion channels. These findings have finally clarified the yet unknown molecular details of ion channel modulation by lipids, or even uncovered new mechanisms of channel regulation.
In this light, the aim of this initiative is to host reviews summarizing the latest results on lipid-protein interactions, as well as original work focused either on the identification/characterization of novel lipid binding sites, and/or investigating their role in ion channel regulation. Work focusing on the other two mechanisms of lipid regulation of ion channels: the modification of the physical properties of the membranes and the role of membrane microdomains is also encouraged. We welcome submissions related to but not limited to the following sub-topics:
• Identification and/or characterization of lipid binding sites in the structures of ion channel proteins
• Characterization of the role of known and novel regulatory lipids of ion channel proteins
• Effects of lipid composition on ion channel activity
• Effects of lipid on ion channel – regulatory protein interaction
• Effects of membrane microdomains on ion channel activity
Keywords: Membrane, Lipids, Lipid-Protein Interaction, Ion Channel, Structural Biology
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.