Supplementary Figures from Criticality of plasma membrane lipids reflects activation state of macrophage cells

Signalling is of particular importance in immune cells, and upstream in the signalling pathway,, many membrane receptors are functional only as complexes, co-locating with particular lipid species. Work over the last 15 years has shown that plasma membrane lipid composition is close to a critical point of phase separation, with evidence that cells adapt their composition in ways that alter the proximity to this thermodynamic point. Macrophage cells are a key component of the innate immune system, responsive to infections, regulating the local state of inflammation. We investigate changes in the plasma membrane’s proximity to the critical point, as a response to stimulation by various pro- and anti-inflammatory agents. Pro-inflammatory (IFN-γ, Kdo-LipidA, LPS) perturbations induce an increase in the transition temperature of the GMPVs; anti-inflammatory IL4 has the opposite effect. These changes recapitulate complex plasma membrane composition changes, and are consistent with lipid criticality playing a master regulatory role: being closer to critical conditions increases membrane protein activity.