Sphingolipids and Membrane Domains Laboratory

Group leader
Félix M. Goñi
+34 94 601 2542

Biofisika Institute (CSIC-UPV/EHU)
Science Park of the UPV/EHU
Barrio Sarriena s/n. 48940 Leioa, Bizkaia (Spain)

Research goal

Sphingolipids are relatively minor components of cell membranes, but the last two decades have witnessed an increased interest in these molecules, and particularly the simplest of them ceramide and sphingosine, due to (a) their proposed role in cell signalling, and (b) their unusual biophysical properties. The latter include the tendency of ceramides to form non-lamellar structures, to permeabilise bilayers, and to promote transbilayer (flip-flop) motion of lipids. These properties were discovered in our lab. More recently we have characterised the interaction of ceramide and cholesterol, and the formation of gel-phase structures containing ceramide and cholesterol that could exist in cell membranes.

Group members

Monasterio BG, Jiménez-Rojo N, García-Arribas AB, Riezman H, Goñi FM, Alonso A.

CHO/LY-B cell growth under limiting sphingolipid supply: Correlation between lipid composition and biophysical properties of sphingolipid-restricted cell membranes. FASEB J. 2021 Jun;35(6):e21657.
doi: 10.1096/fj.202001879RR

González-Ramírez EJ, García-Arribas AB, Sot J, Goñi FM, Alonso A.

C24:0 and C24:1 sphingolipids in cholesterol-containing, five- and six-component lipid membranes. Sci Rep. 2020 Aug 24;10(1):14085.
doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-71008-8

Ahyayauch H, García-Arribas AB, Masserini ME, Pantano S, Goñi FM, Alonso A.

β-Amyloid (1-42) peptide adsorbs but does not insert into ganglioside-containing phospholipid membranes in the liquid-disordered state: modelling and experimental studies. Int J Biol Macromol. 2020 Dec 1;164:2651-2658.
doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.08.165

Siavashi R, Phaterpekar T, Leung SSW, Alonso A, Goñi FM, Thewalt JL.

Lamellar Phases Composed of Phospholipid, Cholesterol, and Ceramide, as Studied by 2H NMR. Biophys J. 2019 Jul 23;117(2):296-306.
doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2019.05.027

González-Ramírez EJ, Artetxe I, García-Arribas AB, Goñi FM, Alonso A.

Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Bilayers of Ternary Lipid Compositions Containing Equimolar Ceramide and Cholesterol. Langmuir. 2019 Apr 16;35(15):5305-5315.
doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b00324

Goñi FM.

"Rafts": A nickname for putative transient nanodomains. Chem Phys Lipids. 2019 Jan;218:34-39. PMID: 30924341
doi: 10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2018.11.006. 6.

Manni MM, Sot J, Arretxe E, Gil-Redondo R, Falcón-Pérez JM, Balgoma D, Alonso C, Goñi FM, Alonso A.

The fatty acids of sphingomyelins and ceramides in mammalian tissues and cultured cells: Biophysical and physiological implications. Chem Phys Lipids. 2018 Dec;217:29-34.
doi: 10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2018.09.010

Fanani ML, Busto JV, Sot J, Abad JL, Fabrías G, Saiz L, Vilar JMG, Goñi FM, Maggio B, Alonso A.

Clearly Detectable, Kinetically Restricted Solid-Solid Phase Transition in cis-Ceramide Monolayers. Langmuir. 2018 Oct 2;34(39):11749-11758.
doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b02198

Arsov Z, González-Ramírez EJ, Goñi FM, Tristram-Nagle S, Nagle JF.

Phase behavior of palmitoyl and egg sphingomyelin. Chem Phys Lipids. 2018 Jul;213:102-110.
doi: 10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2018.03.003.

Alonso A, Goñi FM.

The Physical Properties of Ceramides in Membranes. Annu Rev Biophys. 2018 May 20;47:633-654. PMID: 29689259.
doi: 10.1146/annurev-biophys-070317-033309. 2.