Protein-lipid interactions in membrane trafficking at the Golgi complex

M. A. De Matteis, A. Godi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The integrated interplay between proteins and lipids drives many key cellular processes, such as signal transduction, cytoskeleton remodelling and membrane trafficking. The last of these, membrane trafficking, has the Golgi complex as its central station. Not only does this organelle orchestrates the biosynthesis, transport and intracellular distribution of many proteins and lipids, but also its own function and structure is dictated by intimate functional and physical relationships between protein-based and lipid-based machineries. These machineries are involved in the control of the fundamental events that govern membrane traffic, such as in the budding, fission and fusion of transport intermediates, in the regulation of the shape and geometry of the Golgi membranes themselves, and, finally, in the generation of "signals" that can have local actions in the secretory system, or that may affect other cellular systems. Lipid-protein interactions rely on the abilities of certain protein domains to recognize specific lipids. These interactions are mediated, in particular, through the headgroups of the phospholipids, although a few of these protein domains are able to specifically interact with the phospholipid acyl chains. Recent evidence also indicates that some proteins and/or protein domains are more sensitive to the physical environment of the membrane bilayer (such as its curvature) than to its chemical composition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-274
Number of pages11
JournalBBA - Biomembranes
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dr. Chris Berrie for critical reading of the manuscript and Elena Fontana for artwork preparation. This work has been supported in part by the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC), Telethon Italia, a European TMR network, and the Italian Ministry for Universities and Research (MIUR).


  • Diacylglycerol
  • Golgi complex
  • Lipids
  • Membrane traffic
  • Phosphoinositides


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