Journal of cell science

The myelin proteolipid plasmolipin forms oligomers and induces liquid-ordered membranes in the Golgi complex.

PMID 26002055


Myelin comprises a compactly stacked massive surface area of protein-poor thick membrane that insulates axons to allow fast signal propagation. Increasing levels of the myelin protein plasmolipin (PLLP) were correlated with post-natal myelination; however, its function is unknown. Here, the intracellular localization and dynamics of PLLP were characterized in primary glial and cultured cells using fluorescently labeled PLLP and antibodies against PLLP. PLLP localized to and recycled between the plasma membrane and the Golgi complex. In the Golgi complex, PLLP forms oligomers based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) analyses. PLLP oligomers blocked Golgi to plasma membrane transport of the secretory protein vesicular stomatitis virus G protein (VSVG), but not of a VSVG mutant with an elongated transmembrane domain. Laurdan staining analysis showed that this block is associated with PLLP-induced proliferation of liquid-ordered membranes. These findings show the capacity of PLLP to assemble potential myelin membrane precursor domains at the Golgi complex through its oligomerization and ability to attract liquid-ordered lipids. These data support a model in which PLLP functions in myelin biogenesis through organization of myelin liquid-ordered membranes in the Golgi complex.