The modern understanding of biological membranes acknowledges the presence of a highly heterogeneous distribution of lipid components. This heterogeneity is responsible for the formation of a lateral organization of membrane components which is known to play critical roles in multiple biological processes. The impact of lateral organization on the activity of bioactive lipids is particularly interesting. Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) stands out from other plasma membrane lipids as one of the most important regulators of membrane-associated signaling events. PI(4,5)P2 is able to engage in a multitude of simultaneous cellular functions that are temporally and spatially regulated through the presence of localized transient pools of PI(4,5)P2 in the membrane. These pools are crucial for the recruitment, activation, and organization of signaling proteins and consequent regulation of downstream signaling.
Our research aims to illuminate the molecular determinants underpinning the regulation of PI(4,5)P2 organization in biomebranes. To do so, we make use of Fluorescence Spectrosocpy and Microscopy tools able to probe membrane organization at the nanoscale level.