Hemagglutinin clusters in the plasma membrane are not enriched with cholesterol and sphingolipids

Robert L. Wilson, Jessica F. Frisz, Haley A. Klitzing, Joshua Zimmerberg, Peter K. Weber, Mary L. Kraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The clusters of the influenza envelope protein, hemagglutinin, within the plasma membrane are hypothesized to be enriched with cholesterol and sphingolipids. Here, we directly tested this hypothesis by using high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry to image the distributions of antibody-labeled hemagglutinin and isotope-labeled cholesterol and sphingolipids in the plasma membranes of fibroblast cells that stably express hemagglutinin. We found that the hemagglutinin clusters were neither enriched with cholesterol nor colocalized with sphingolipid domains. Thus, hemagglutinin clustering and localization in the plasma membrane is not controlled by cohesive interactions between hemagglutinin and liquid-ordered domains enriched with cholesterol and sphingolipids, or from specific binding interactions between hemagglutinin, cholesterol, and/or the majority of sphingolipid species in the plasma membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1652-1659
Number of pages8
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 7 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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