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Journal of Lipids
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 730209, 11 pages
Review Article

Impact of oxLDL on Cholesterol-Rich Membrane Rafts

Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, 840 South Wood Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

Received 15 September 2010; Accepted 29 November 2010

Academic Editor: Alessandro Prinetti

Copyright © 2011 Irena Levitan and Tzu-Pin Shentu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Numerous studies have demonstrated that cholesterol-rich membrane rafts play critical roles in multiple cellular functions. However, the impact of the lipoproteins on the structure, integrity and cholesterol composition of these domains is not well understood. This paper focuses on oxidized low-density lipoproteins (oxLDLs) that are strongly implicated in the development of the cardiovascular disease and whose impact on membrane cholesterol and on membrane rafts has been highly controversial. More specifically, we discuss three major criteria for the impact of oxLDL on membrane rafts: distribution of different membrane raft markers, changes in membrane cholesterol composition, and changes in lipid packing of different membrane domains. We also propose a model to reconcile the controversy regarding the relationship between oxLDL, membrane cholesterol, and the integrity of cholesterol-rich membrane domains.