Flotillin-2 and flotillin-1, also called reggie-1 and reggie-2, are ubiquitously expressed and highly conserved proteins. Originally, they were described as neuronal regeneration proteins, but they appear to function in a wide variety of cellular processes, such as membrane receptor signaling, endocytosis, phagocytosis and cell adhesion. The molecular details of the function of flotillins in these processes have only been partially clarified. Flotillins are associated with cholesterol and sphingolipid enriched membrane microdomains known as rafts, and some findings even suggest that they define their own kind of a microdomain. The mechanism of the membrane association of flotillins appears to rely mainly on acylation (myristoylation and/or palmitoylation), localizing flotillins onto the cytosolic side of the membranes, whereas no transmembrane domains are present. In addition, flotillins show a strong tendency to form homo- and hetero-oligomers with each other. In this review, we will summarize the recent findings on the function of flotillins and discuss the mechanisms that might regulate their function, such as membrane association, oligomerization and phosphorylation.
Keywords: Membrane rafts, signal transduction, endocytosis, Alzheimer's disease, reggie, flotillin proteins, caveolae, glycosphingolipids, microdomains, HflK
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