Tailor-made glycosphingolipids as a toolkit to investigate domain formation and lipid-protein interactions

The aim of this proposal is to investigate how the ceramide structure of the glycosphingolipid Gb3, the specific receptor for Shiga toxin (STx), influences the spatial distribution and diffusion of the glycolipids and other lipids in lipid bilayers mimicking the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane. We will synthesize head group labeled Gb3 molecules that do not interfere with the binding capability of STx. We will make use of pore spanning membranes and adhered GUVs to investigate STx-induced membrane reorganization also as a function of lateral membrane tension.