Other chapters in this book describe emerging findings concerning the roles of lipid rafts in physiological and pathological processes. The lipid components of rafts not only define their structure, but also influence the various signaling pathways associated with the rafts. It is well known that the lipid composition of cell membranes can be modified by various dietary lipids (Field et al., 1989). If raft lipids are subject to modification by diet, then presumably the signaling functions of the rafts are also affected by the diets. Although there is considerable evidence that dietary cholesterol and (to a lesser extent) sphingolipids can affect the functions of a variety of cell types, there have been few if any studies specifically addressing the effects of dietary lipids on raft-based signaling. However, given the multitude of signaling processes that involve lipid rafts (Fig. 1), it is important for investigators in a diverse array of fields to design studies aimed at establishing how dietary factors affect raft-based signaling in various cell types. The data obtained in such studies will have important implications for human health. In this chapter, I therefore consider a few ways in which dietary lipids and other dietary factors might affect lipid rafts in the context of cell types and signal transduction pathways involved in several prominent diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)