Mannosyl glycolipids with perfluoroalkyl membrane anchors have been synthesised. When inserted into vesicles, these mannosyl lipids either dispersed evenly over the surface or, in the presence of cholesterol, phase-separated into artificial lipid rafts. At 1% mol/mol, the affinity of dispersed mannosyl lipids for Con A was 3-fold weaker than in solution, perhaps reflecting steric blocking by the surface. However increasing membrane loading 5-fold increased Con A affinity by up to 75% and indicated weak intramembrane chelation of Con A. Despite this observation, concentrating the mannosyl lipids into artificial lipid rafts did not significantly improve affinity for Con A. This lack of a cluster glycoside effect was ascribed to lipid congestion inhibiting intra-raft chelation of Con A, and implies that glycolipids located in lipid rafts may not necessarily be preorganised for multivalent binding.
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