The Ca2+- and phospholipid-binding protein Annexin A2 is able to increase and decrease plasma membrane order.
Annexin A2 (AnxA2) is a calcium- and phospholipid-binding protein that plays roles in cellular processes involving membrane and cytoskeleton dynamics and is able to associate to several partner proteins. However, the principal molecular partners of AnxA2 are negatively charged phospholipids such as phosphatidylserine and phosphatidyl-inositol-(4,5)-phosphate. Herein we have studied different aspects of membrane lipid rearrangements induced by AnxA2 membrane binding. X-ray diffraction data revealed that AnxA2 has the property to stabilize lamellar structures and to block the formation of highly curved lipid phases (inverted hexagonal phase, HII). By using pyrene-labelled cholesterol and the environmental probe di-4-ANEPPDHQ, we observed that in model membranes, AnxA2 is able to modify both, cholesterol distribution and lipid compaction. In epithelial cells, we observed that AnxA2 localizes to membranes of different lipid order. The protein binding to membranes resulted in both, increases and/or decreases in membrane order depending on the cellular membrane regions. Overall, AnxA2 showed the capacity to modulate plasma membrane properties by inducing lipid redistribution that may lead to an increase in order or disorder of the membranes.