Membrane lipid rafts and estrogenic signalling: A functional role in the modulation of cell homeostasis

Angela Maselli, Marina Pierdominici, Cristiana Vitale, Elena Ortona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has become widely accepted that along with their ability to directly regulate gene expression, estrogens also influence cell signalling and cell function via rapid membrane-initiated events. Many of these signalling processes are dependent on estrogen receptors (ER) localized to the plasma membrane. However, the mechanisms by which ER are able to trigger cell signalling when targeted to the membrane surface have to be determined yet. Lipid rafts seem to be essential for the plasma membrane localization of ER and play a critical role in their membrane-initiated effects. In this review, we briefly recapitulate the localization and function of ER in different cell types and mostly discuss the possible role of lipid rafts in this context. Further studies in this field may disclose new promising therapeutic avenues by the disruption of lipid rafts in those diseases in which membrane ER activation has been demonstrated to play a pathogenetic role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-678
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 30 2015


  • Apoptosis
  • Caveolin
  • Cell signalling
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Lipid rafts
  • Proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology
  • Medicine(all)


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