M. Burns, K. Wisser, J. Wu, I. Levental, S. L. Veatch
Biophysical Journal 113 (6): 1212-1222 (9/19/17)
Cells can alter the lipid content of their plasma membranes upon changes in their environment to maintain and adjust membrane function. Recent work suggests that some membrane functions arise because cellular plasma membranes are poised close to a miscibility transition under growth conditions. Here we report experiments utilizing giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs) to explore how membrane transition temperature varies with growth temperature in a zebrafish cell line (ZF4) that can be adapted for growth between 20 and 32°C. We find that GPMV transition temperatures adjust to be 16.7 ± 1.2°C below growth temperature for four growth temperatures investigated and that adjustment occurs over roughly 2 days when temperature is abruptly lowered from 28 to 20°C. We also find that GPMVs have slightly different lipidomes when isolated from cells adapted for growth at 28 and 20°C. Similar to past work in vesicles derived from mammalian cells, fluctuating domains are observed in ZF4-derived GPMVs, consistent with their having critical membrane compositions. Taken together, these experimental results suggest that cells in culture biologically tune their membrane composition in a way that maintains specific proximity to a critical miscibility transition.