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Sample records for membrane protein crystallization

  1. Biomolecular membrane protein crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reddy Bolla, Jani; Su, Chih-Chia; Yu, Edward W.

    2012-07-01

    Integral membrane proteins comprise approximately 30% of the sequenced genomes, and there is an immediate need for their high-resolution structural information. Currently, the most reliable approach to obtain these structures is X-ray crystallography. However, obtaining crystals of membrane proteins that diffract to high resolution appears to be quite challenging, and remains a major obstacle in structural determination. This brief review summarizes a variety of methodologies for use in crystallizing these membrane proteins. Hopefully, by introducing the available methods, techniques, and providing a general understanding of membrane proteins, a rational decision can be made about now to crystallize these complex materials.

  2. Crystal Dehydration in Membrane Protein Crystallography.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Weatherby, Juan; Moraes, Isabel

    2016-01-01

    Crystal dehydration has been successfully implemented to facilitate the structural solution of a number of soluble and membrane protein structures over the years. This chapter will present the currently available tools to undertake controlled crystal dehydration, focusing on some successful membrane protein cases. Also discussed here will be some practical considerations regarding membrane protein crystals and the relationship between different techniques in order to help researchers to select the most suitable technique for their projects. PMID:27553236

  3. Membrane Protein Crystallization Using Laser Irradiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adachi, Hiroaki; Murakami, Satoshi; Niino, Ai; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Takano, Kazufumi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Yamaguchi, Akihito; Sasaki, Takatomo

    2004-10-01

    We demonstrate the crystallization of a membrane protein using femtosecond laser irradiation. This method, which we call the laser irradiated growth technique (LIGHT), is useful for producing AcrB crystals in a solution of low supersaturation range. LIGHT is characterized by reduced nucleation times. This feature is important for crystallizing membrane proteins because of their labile properties when solubilized as protein-detergent micelles. Using LIGHT, high-quality crystals of a membrane transporter protein, AcrB, were obtained. The resulting crystals were found to be of sufficiently high resolution for X-ray diffraction. The results reported here indicate that LIGHT is a powerful tool for membrane protein crystallization, as well as for the growth of soluble proteins.

  4. Crystallization of Membrane protein under Microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henning, C.; Frank, J.; Laubender, G.; Fromme, P.

    2002-01-01

    Proteins are biological molecules which catalyse all essential reactions of cells. The knowledge on the structure of these molecular machines is necessary for the understanding of their function. Many diseases are caused by defects of membrane proteins. In order to develop new medical therapies the construction principle of the proteins must be known. The main difficulty in the determination of the structure of these membrane protein complexes is the crystallisation. Membrane proteins are normally not soluble in water and have therefore to be solubilised from the membranes by use of detergents. The whole protein-detergent micelle must be crystallised to maintain the functional integrity of the protein complexes. These difficulties are the reasons for the fact that crystals of membrane proteins are difficult to grow and most of them are badly ordered, being not appropriate for X-ray structure analysis. The crystallisation of proteins under microgravity leads to the growth of better-ordered crystals by reduction of nucleation rate and the undisturbed growth of the hovering seeds by the absence of sedimentation and convection. The successful crystallistation of a membrane protein under microgravity has been performed during the space shuttle missions USML2 and STS95 in the Space Shuttle with Photosystem I as model protein. Photosystem I is a large membrane protein complex which catalyses one of the first and fundamental steps in oxygen photosynthesis. The crystals of Photosystem I, grown under microgravity were twenty times larger than all Photosystem I crystals which have been grown on earth. They were the basis for the determination of an improved X-ray structure of Photo- system I. These experiments opened the way for the structure enlightenment of more membrane proteins on the basis of microgravity experiments. On board of the International Space Station ideal conditions for the crystallisation of proteins under zero gravity are existing.

  5. Crystallization of Membrane Proteins by Vapor Diffusion

    PubMed Central

    Delmar, Jared A.; Bolla, Jani Reddy; Su, Chih-Chia; Yu, Edward W.

    2016-01-01

    X-ray crystallography remains the most robust method to determine protein structure at the atomic level. However, the bottlenecks of protein expression and purification often discourage further study. In this chapter, we address the most common problems encountered at these stages. Based on our experiences in expressing and purifying antimicrobial efflux proteins, we explain how a pure and homogenous protein sample can be successfully crystallized by the vapor diffusion method. We present our current protocols and methodologies for this technique. Case studies show step-by-step how we have overcome problems related to expression and diffraction, eventually producing high quality membrane protein crystals for structural determinations. It is our hope that a rational approach can be made of the often anecdotal process of membrane protein crystallization. PMID:25950974

  6. Crystallizing Membrane Proteins Using Lipidic Mesophases

    PubMed Central

    Caffrey, Martin; Cherezov, Vadim

    2009-01-01

    A detailed protocol for crystallizing membrane proteins that makes use of lipidic mesophases is described. This has variously been referred to as the lipid cubic phase or in meso method. The method has been shown to be quite general in that it has been used to solve X-ray crystallographic structures of prokaryotic and eukaryotic proteins, proteins that are monomeric, homo- and hetero-multimeric, chromophore-containing and chromophore-free, and α-helical and β-barrel proteins. Its most recent successes are the human engineered β2-adrenergic and adenosine A2A G protein-coupled receptors. Protocols are provided for preparing and characterizing the lipidic mesophase, for reconstituting the protein into the monoolein-based mesophase, for functional assay of the protein in the mesophase, and for setting up crystallizations in manual mode. Methods for harvesting micro-crystals are also described. The time required to prepare the protein-loaded mesophase and to set up a crystallization plate manually is about one hour. PMID:19390528

  7. Detergent-Specific Membrane Protein Crystallization Screens

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiener, Michael

    2007-01-01

    A suite of reagents has been developed for three-dimensional crystallization of integral membranes present in solution as protein-detergent complexes (PDCs). The compositions of these reagents have been determined in part by proximity to the phase boundaries (lower consolute boundaries) of the detergents present in the PDCs. The acquisition of some of the requisite phase-boundary data and the preliminary design of several of the detergent- specific screens was supported by a NASA contract. At the time of expiration of the contract, a partial set of preliminary screens had been developed. This work has since been extended under non-NASA sponsorship, leading to near completion of a set of 20 to 30 different and unique detergent- specific 96-condition screens.

  8. NMR of Membrane Proteins: Beyond Crystals.

    PubMed

    Rajesh, Sundaresan; Overduin, Michael; Bonev, Boyan B

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins are essential for the flow of signals, nutrients and energy between cells and between compartments of the cell. Their mechanisms can only be fully understood once the precise structures, dynamics and interactions involved are defined at atomic resolution. Through advances in solution and solid state NMR spectroscopy, this information is now available, as demonstrated by recent studies of stable peripheral and transmembrane proteins. Here we highlight recent cases of G-protein coupled receptors, outer membrane proteins, such as VDAC, phosphoinositide sensors, such as the FAPP-1 pleckstrin homology domain, and enzymes including the metalloproteinase MMP-12. The studies highlighted have resulted in the determination of the 3D structures, dynamical properties and interaction surfaces for membrane-associated proteins using advanced isotope labelling strategies, solubilisation systems and NMR experiments designed for very high field magnets. Solid state NMR offers further insights into the structure and multimeric assembly of membrane proteins in lipid bilayers, as well as into interactions with ligands and targets. Remaining challenges for wider application of NMR to membrane structural biology include the need for overexpression and purification systems for the production of isotope-labelled proteins with fragile folds, and the availability of only a few expensive perdeuterated detergents.Step changes that may transform the field include polymers, such as styrene maleic acid, which obviate the need for detergent altogether, and allow direct high yield purification from cells or membranes. Broader demand for NMR may be facilitated by MODA software, which instantly predicts membrane interactive residues that can subsequently be validated by NMR. In addition, recent developments in dynamic nuclear polarization NMR instrumentation offer a remarkable sensitivity enhancement from low molarity samples and cell surfaces. These advances illustrate the current

  9. Membrane protein structures without crystals, by single particle electron cryomicroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Vinothkumar, Kutti R

    2015-01-01

    It is an exciting period in membrane protein structural biology with a number of medically important protein structures determined at a rapid pace. However, two major hurdles still remain in the structural biology of membrane proteins. One is the inability to obtain large amounts of protein for crystallization and the other is the failure to get well-diffracting crystals. With single particle electron cryomicroscopy, both these problems can be overcome and high-resolution structures of membrane proteins and other labile protein complexes can be obtained with very little protein and without the need for crystals. In this review, I highlight recent advances in electron microscopy, detectors and software, which have allowed determination of medium to high-resolution structures of membrane proteins and complexes that have been difficult to study by other structural biological techniques. PMID:26435463

  10. Protein crystals on phase-separating model membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manley, Suliana; Horton, Margaret; Leszczynski, Szymon; Gast, Alice

    2006-03-01

    We study the interplay between the crystallization of proteins tethered to membranes and separation within the membranes of giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) composed of DOPC, sphingomyelin (SM), and cholesterol. These model membranes phase separate into coexisting liquid domains below a miscibility transition temperature. This phase separation captures some aspects of the formation of lipid rafts in cell membranes and demonstrates the influence of membrane composition on raft formation. Real cell membranes have a much more complicated structure. There are additional physical constraints present in cell membranes, such as their attachment to the cytoskeleton and the presence of membrane bound proteins. The self-association of membrane proteins can influence the membrane phase behavior. We begin to investigate these effects on model tethered protein- loaded membranes by incorporating a small amount of biotin-X- DPPE into our GUVs. The biotinylated lipid partitions into a cholesterol-poor phase; thus, streptavidin binds preferentially to one of the membrane phases. As streptavidin assembles to form crystalline domains, it restricts the membrane mobility. We examine the effect of this protein association on lipid phase separation, as well as the effect of the lipid phase separation on the crystallization of the tethered proteins.

  11. Three-Dimensional Crystals of Membrane Proteins: Bacteriorhodopsin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, Hartmut; Oesterhelt, Dieter

    1980-03-01

    The intrinsic membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin has been crystallized by salt precipitation after solubilization by octyl glucoside. Two different crystal forms were obtained, depending on the nature of the salt used and the pH. Needles formed in the presence of sodium phosphate and in ammonium sulfate solutions above pH 4.8. Cubes appeared in sodium citrate solutions or ammonium sulfate. Unlike the cubic crystals, the birefringent needles showed strong linear dichroism, which allowed determination of the orientation of the chromophore's transition moment. The procedure described here may be of general use in crystallographic studies of membrane proteins.

  12. Crystallizing Membrane Proteins in Lipidic Mesophases. A Host Lipid Screen

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Dianfan; Lee, Jean; Caffrey, Martin

    2011-11-30

    The default lipid for the bulk of the crystallogenesis studies performed to date using the cubic mesophase method is monoolein. There is no good reason, however, why this 18-carbon, cis-monounsaturated monoacylglycerol should be the preferred lipid for all target membrane proteins. The latter come from an array of biomembrane types with varying properties that include hydrophobic thickness, intrinsic curvature, lateral pressure profile, lipid and protein makeup, and compositional asymmetry. Thus, it seems reasonable that screening for crystallizability based on the identity of the lipid creating the hosting mesophase would be worthwhile. For this, monoacylglycerols with differing acyl chain characteristics, such as length and olefinic bond position, must be available. A lipid synthesis and purification program is in place in the author's laboratory to serve this need. In the current study with the outer membrane sugar transporter, OprB, we demonstrate the utility of host lipid screening as a means for generating diffraction-quality crystals. Host lipid screening is likely to prove a generally useful strategy for mesophase-based crystallization of membrane proteins.

  13. Detection of Membrane Protein Two-Dimensional Crystals in Living Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gualtieri, E.J.; Guo, F.; Kissick, D.J.; Jose, J.; Kuhn, R.J.; Jiang, W.; Simpson, G.J.

    2011-01-01

    It is notoriously difficult to grow membrane protein crystals and solve membrane protein structures. Improved detection and screening of membrane protein crystals are needed. We have shown here that second-order nonlinear optical imaging of chiral crystals based on second harmonic generation can provide sensitive and selective detection of two-dimensional protein crystalline arrays with sufficiently low background to enable crystal detection within the membranes of live cells. The method was validated using bacteriorhodopsin crystals generated in live Halobacterium halobium bacteria and confirmed by electron microscopy from the isolated crystals. Additional studies of alphavirus glycoproteins indicated the presence of localized crystalline domains associated with virus budding from mammalian cells. These results suggest that in vivo crystallization may provide a means for expediting membrane protein structure determination for proteins exhibiting propensities for two-dimensional crystal formation. PMID:21190673

  14. Effects of impurities on membrane-protein crystallization in different systems

    SciTech Connect

    Kors, Christopher A.; Wallace, Ellen; Davies, Douglas R.; Li, Liang; Laible, Philip D.; Nollert, Peter

    2009-10-01

    The effects of commonly encountered impurities on various membrane-protein crystallization regimes are investigated and it is found that the lipidic cubic phase crystallization methodology is the most robust, tolerating protein contamination levels of up to 50%, with little effect on crystal quality. If generally applicable, this tolerance may be exploited (i) in initial crystallization trials to determine the ‘crystallizability’ of a given membrane-protein and (ii) to subject partially pure membrane-protein samples to crystallization trials. When starting a protein-crystallization project, scientists are faced with several unknowns. Amongst them are these questions: (i) is the purity of the starting material sufficient? and (ii) which type of crystallization experiment is the most promising to conduct? The difficulty in purifying active membrane-protein samples for crystallization trials and the high costs associated with producing such samples require an extremely pragmatic approach. Additionally, practical guidelines are needed to increase the efficiency of membrane-protein crystallization. In order to address these conundrums, the effects of commonly encountered impurities on various membrane-protein crystallization regimes have been investigated and it was found that the lipidic cubic phase (LCP) based crystallization methodology is more robust than crystallization in detergent environments using vapor diffusion or microbatch approaches in its ability to tolerate contamination in the forms of protein, lipid or other general membrane components. LCP-based crystallizations produced crystals of the photosynthetic reaction center (RC) of Rhodobacter sphaeroides from samples with substantial levels of residual impurities. Crystals were obtained with protein contamination levels of up to 50% and the addition of lipid material and membrane fragments to pure samples of RC had little effect on the number or on the quality of crystals obtained in LCP

  15. Effects of impurities on membrane-protein crystallization in different systems

    PubMed Central

    Kors, Christopher A.; Wallace, Ellen; Davies, Douglas R.; Li, Liang; Laible, Philip D.; Nollert, Peter

    2009-01-01

    When starting a protein-crystallization project, scientists are faced with several unknowns. Amongst them are these questions: (i) is the purity of the starting material sufficient? and (ii) which type of crystallization experiment is the most promising to conduct? The difficulty in purifying active membrane-protein samples for crystallization trials and the high costs associated with producing such samples require an extremely pragmatic approach. Additionally, practical guidelines are needed to increase the efficiency of membrane-protein crystallization. In order to address these conundrums, the effects of commonly encountered impurities on various membrane-protein crystallization regimes have been investigated and it was found that the lipidic cubic phase (LCP) based crystallization methodology is more robust than crystallization in detergent environments using vapor diffusion or microbatch approaches in its ability to tolerate contamination in the forms of protein, lipid or other general membrane components. LCP-based crystallizations produced crystals of the photosynthetic reaction center (RC) of Rhodobacter sphaeroides from samples with substantial levels of residual impurities. Crystals were obtained with protein contamination levels of up to 50% and the addition of lipid material and membrane fragments to pure samples of RC had little effect on the number or on the quality of crystals obtained in LCP-based crystallization screens. If generally applicable, this tolerance for impurities may avoid the need for samples of ultrahigh purity when undertaking initial crystallization screening trials to determine preliminary crystallization conditions that can be optimized for a given target protein. PMID:19770503

  16. Protein-detergent interactions in single crystals of membrane proteins studied by neutron crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Timmins, P.A.; Pebay-Peyroula, E.

    1994-12-31

    The detergent micelles surrounding membrane protein molecules in single crystals can be investigated using neutron crystallography combined with H{sub 2}O/D{sub 2}O contrast variation. If the protein structure is known then the contrast variation method allows phases to be determined at a contrast where the detergent dominates the scattering. The application of various constraints allows the resulting scattering length density map to be realistically modeled. The method has been applied to two different forms of the membrane protein porin. In one case both hydrogenated and partially deuterated protein were used, allowing the head group and tail to be distinguished.

  17. Monoolein lipid phases as incorporation and enrichment materials for membrane protein crystallization.

    SciTech Connect

    Wallace, E.; Dranow, D.; Laible, P. D.; Christensen, J.; Nollert, P.

    2011-01-01

    The crystallization of membrane proteins in amphiphile-rich materials such as lipidic cubic phases is an established methodology in many structural biology laboratories. The standard procedure employed with this methodology requires the generation of a highly viscous lipidic material by mixing lipid, for instance monoolein, with a solution of the detergent solubilized membrane protein. This preparation is often carried out with specialized mixing tools that allow handling of the highly viscous materials while minimizing dead volume to save precious membrane protein sample. The processes that occur during the initial mixing of the lipid with the membrane protein are not well understood. Here we show that the formation of the lipidic phases and the incorporation of the membrane protein into such materials can be separated experimentally. Specifically, we have investigated the effect of different initial monoolein-based lipid phase states on the crystallization behavior of the colored photosynthetic reaction center from Rhodobacter sphaeroides. We find that the detergent solubilized photosynthetic reaction center spontaneously inserts into and concentrates in the lipid matrix without any mixing, and that the initial lipid material phase state is irrelevant for productive crystallization. A substantial in-situ enrichment of the membrane protein to concentration levels that are otherwise unobtainable occurs in a thin layer on the surface of the lipidic material. These results have important practical applications and hence we suggest a simplified protocol for membrane protein crystallization within amphiphile rich materials, eliminating any specialized mixing tools to prepare crystallization experiments within lipidic cubic phases. Furthermore, by virtue of sampling a membrane protein concentration gradient within a single crystallization experiment, this crystallization technique is more robust and increases the efficiency of identifying productive crystallization

  18. A novel microseeding method for the crystallization of membrane proteins in lipidic cubic phase.

    PubMed

    Kolek, Stefan Andrew; Bräuning, Bastian; Shaw Stewart, Patrick Douglas

    2016-04-01

    Random microseed matrix screening (rMMS), in which seed crystals are added to random crystallization screens, is an important breakthrough in soluble protein crystallization that increases the number of crystallization hits that are available for optimization. This greatly increases the number of soluble protein structures generated every year by typical structural biology laboratories. Inspired by this success, rMMS has been adapted to the crystallization of membrane proteins, making LCP seed stock by scaling up LCP crystallization conditions without changing the physical and chemical parameters that are critical for crystallization. Seed crystals are grown directly in LCP and, as with conventional rMMS, a seeding experiment is combined with an additive experiment. The new method was used with the bacterial integral membrane protein OmpF, and it was found that it increased the number of crystallization hits by almost an order of magnitude: without microseeding one new hit was found, whereas with LCP-rMMS eight new hits were found. It is anticipated that this new method will lead to better diffracting crystals of membrane proteins. A method of generating seed gradients, which allows the LCP seed stock to be diluted and the number of crystals in each LCP bolus to be reduced, if required for optimization, is also demonstrated. PMID:27050265

  19. Conformational Exchange in a Membrane Transport Protein Is Altered in Protein Crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Freed, Daniel M.; Horanyi, Peter S.; Wiener, Michael C.; Cafiso, David S.

    2010-09-27

    Successful macromolecular crystallography requires solution conditions that may alter the conformational sampling of a macromolecule. Here, site-directed spin labeling is used to examine a conformational equilibrium within BtuB, the Escherichia coli outer membrane transporter for vitamin B{sub 12}. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra from a spin label placed within the N-terminal energy coupling motif (Ton box) of BtuB indicate that this segment is in equilibrium between folded and unfolded forms. In bilayers, substrate binding shifts this equilibrium toward the unfolded form; however, EPR spectra from this same spin-labeled mutant indicate that this unfolding transition is blocked in protein crystals. Moreover, crystal structures of this spin-labeled mutant are consistent with the EPR result. When the free energy difference between substates is estimated from the EPR spectra, the crystal environment is found to alter this energy by 3 kcal/mol when compared to the bilayer state. Approximately half of this energy change is due to solutes or osmolytes in the crystallization buffer, and the remainder is contributed by the crystal lattice. These data provide a quantitative measure of how a conformational equilibrium in BtuB is modified in the crystal environment, and suggest that more-compact, less-hydrated substates will be favored in protein crystals.

  20. Conformational Exchange in a Membrane Transport Protein Is Altered in Protein Crystals

    SciTech Connect

    D Freed; P Horanyi; M Wiener; D Cafiso

    2011-12-31

    Successful macromolecular crystallography requires solution conditions that may alter the conformational sampling of a macromolecule. Here, site-directed spin labeling is used to examine a conformational equilibrium within BtuB, the Escherichia coli outer membrane transporter for vitamin B{sub 12}. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra from a spin label placed within the N-terminal energy coupling motif (Ton box) of BtuB indicate that this segment is in equilibrium between folded and unfolded forms. In bilayers, substrate binding shifts this equilibrium toward the unfolded form; however, EPR spectra from this same spin-labeled mutant indicate that this unfolding transition is blocked in protein crystals. Moreover, crystal structures of this spin-labeled mutant are consistent with the EPR result. When the free energy difference between substates is estimated from the EPR spectra, the crystal environment is found to alter this energy by 3 kcal/mol when compared to the bilayer state. Approximately half of this energy change is due to solutes or osmolytes in the crystallization buffer, and the remainder is contributed by the crystal lattice. These data provide a quantitative measure of how a conformational equilibrium in BtuB is modified in the crystal environment, and suggest that more-compact, less-hydrated substates will be favored in protein crystals.

  1. Membrane protein crystallization in micelles conjugated by nucleoside base-pairing: A different concept.

    PubMed

    Hosamani, Basavaprabhu; Kale, Raju R; Sharma, Hemlata; Wachtel, Ellen; Kesselman, Ellina; Danino, Dganit; Friedman, Noga; Sheves, Mordechai; Namboothiri, Irishi N N; Patchornik, Guy

    2016-09-01

    The dearth of high quality, three dimensional crystals of membrane proteins, suitable for X-ray diffraction analysis, constitutes a serious barrier to progress in structural biology. To address this challenge, we have developed a new crystallization medium that relies on the conjugation of surfactant micelles via base-pairing of complementary hydrophobic nucleosides. Base-pairs formed at the interface between micelles bring them into proximity with each other; and when the conjugated micelles contain a membrane protein, crystal nucleation centers can be stabilized, thereby promoting crystal growth. Accordingly, two hydrophobic nucleoside derivatives - deoxyguanosine (G) and deoxycytidine (C), each covalently bonded to a 10 carbon chain were synthesized and added to an aqueous solution containing octyl β-d-thioglucopyranoside micelles. These hydrophobic nucleosides induced the formation of oil-rich globules after 2days incubation at 19°C or after a few hours in the presence of ammonium sulfate; however, phase separation was inhibited by 100mM GMP. The presence of the membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin in the conjugated - micellar dispersion resulted in the growth within the colorless globules of a variety of purple crystals, the color indicating a functional protein. On this basis, we suggest that conjugation of micelles via base-pair complementarity may provide significant assistance to the structural determination of integral membrane proteins. PMID:27368128

  2. High-resolution diffraction from crystals of a membrane-protein complex: bacterial outer membrane protein OmpC complexed with the antibacterial eukaryotic protein lactoferrin

    SciTech Connect

    Sundara Baalaji, N.; Acharya, K. Ravi; Singh, T. P.; Krishnaswamy, S. E-mail: mkukrishna@rediffmail.com

    2005-08-01

    Crystals of the complex formed between the bacterial membrane protein OmpC and the antibacterial protein lactoferrin suitable for high-resolution structure determination have been obtained. The crystals belong to the hexagonal space group P6, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 116.3, c = 152.4 Å. Crystals of the complex formed between the outer membrane protein OmpC from Escherichia coli and the eukaryotic antibacterial protein lactoferrin from Camelus dromedarius (camel) have been obtained using a detergent environment. Initial data processing suggests that the crystals belong to the hexagonal space group P6, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 116.3, c = 152.4 Å, α = β = 90, γ = 120°. This indicated a Matthews coefficient (V{sub M}) of 3.3 Å{sup 3} Da{sup −1}, corresponding to a possible molecular complex involving four molecules of lactoferrin and two porin trimers in the unit cell (4832 amino acids; 533.8 kDa) with 63% solvent content. A complete set of diffraction data was collected to 3 Å resolution at 100 K. Structure determination by molecular replacement is in progress. Structural study of this first surface-exposed membrane-protein complex with an antibacterial protein will provide insights into the mechanism of action of OmpC as well as lactoferrin.

  3. From Constructs to Crystals - Towards Structure Determination of β-barrel Outer Membrane Proteins.

    PubMed

    Noinaj, Nicholas; Mayclin, Stephen; Stanley, Ann M; Jao, Christine C; Buchanan, Susan K

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins serve important functions in cells such as nutrient transport, motility, signaling, survival and virulence, yet constitute only ~1% percent of known structures. There are two types of membrane proteins, α-helical and β-barrel. While α-helical membrane proteins can be found in nearly all cellular membranes, β-barrel membrane proteins can only be found in the outer membranes of mitochondria, chloroplasts, and Gram-negative bacteria. One common bottleneck in structural studies of membrane proteins in general is getting enough pure sample for analysis. In hopes of assisting those interested in solving the structure of their favorite β-barrel outer membrane protein (OMP), general protocols are presented for the production of target β-barrel OMPs at levels useful for structure determination by either X-ray crystallography and/or NMR spectroscopy. Here, we outline construct design for both native expression and for expression into inclusion bodies, purification using an affinity tag, and crystallization using detergent screening, bicelle, and lipidic cubic phase techniques. These protocols have been tested and found to work for most OMPs from Gram-negative bacteria; however, there are some targets, particularly for mitochondria and chloroplasts that may require other methods for expression and purification. As such, the methods here should be applicable for most projects that involve OMPs from Gram-negative bacteria, yet the expression levels and amount of purified sample will vary depending on the target OMP. PMID:27404000

  4. Current trends in α-helical membrane protein crystallization: An update

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Joanne L; Newstead, Simon

    2012-01-01

    α-Helical membrane proteins (MPs) are the targets for many pharmaceutical drugs and play important roles in human physiology. In recent years, significant progress has been made in determining their atomic structure using X-ray crystallography. However, a major bottleneck in MP crystallography still remains, namely, the identification of conditions that give crystals that are suitable for structural determination. In 2008, we undertook an analysis of the crystallization conditions for 121 α-helical MPs to design a rationalized sparse matrix crystallization screen, MemGold. We now report an updated analysis that includes a further 133 conditions. The results reveal the current trends in α-helical MP crystallization with notable differences since 2008. The updated information has been used to design new crystallization and additive screens that should prove useful for both initial crystallization scouting and subsequent crystal optimization. PMID:22811290

  5. Crystal structure of the membrane fusion protein CusB from Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Su, Chih-Chia; Yang, Feng; Long, Feng; Reyon, Deepak; Routh, Mathew D.; Kuo, Dennis W.; Mokhtari, Adam K.; Van Ornam, Jonathan D.; Rabe, Katherine L.; Hoy, Julie A.; Lee, Young Jin; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R.; Yu, Edward W.

    2009-01-01

    Gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, frequently utilize tripartite efflux complexes belonging to the resistance-nodulation-division family to expel diverse toxic compounds from the cell. These systems contain a periplasmic membrane fusion protein that is critical for substrate transport. We here present the x-ray structures of the CusB membrane fusion protein from the copper/silver efflux system of E. coli. This is the first structure of any membrane fusion proteins associated with heavy-metal efflux transporters. CusB bridges the inner membrane efflux pump CusA and outer membrane channel CusC to mediate resistance to Cu+ and Ag+ ions. Two distinct structures of the elongated molecules of CusB were found in the asymmetric unit of a single crystal, which suggests the flexible nature of this protein. Each protomer of CusB can be divided into four different domains, whereby the first three domains are mostly β-strands and the last domain adopts an entirely helical architecture. Unlike other known structures of membrane fusion proteins, the α-helical domain of CusB is folded into a three-helix bundle. This three-helix bundle presumably interacts with the periplasmic domain of CusC. The N and C-termini of CusB form the first β-strand domain, which is found to interact with the periplasmic domain of the CusA efflux pump. Atomic details of how this efflux protein binds Cu+ and Ag+ were revealed by the crystals of the CusB-Cu(I) and CusB-Ag(I) complexes. The structures indicate that CusB consists of multiple binding sites for these metal ions. These findings reveal novel structural features of a membrane fusion protein in the resistance-nodulation-division efflux system, and provide evidence that this protein specifically interacts with transported substrates. PMID:19695261

  6. Rationalization of Membrane Protein Crystallization with Polyethylene Glycol Using a Simple Depletion Model

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Shinpei; Ataka, Mitsuo; Onuma, Kazuo; Kubota, Tomomi

    2003-01-01

    Based on the importance of crystallizing membrane proteins in a rational way, cytochrome bc1 complex (BC1) was crystallized using polyethylene glycol (PEG) as a sole crystallization agent. Interaction between protein-detergent complexes of BC1 was estimated by dynamic light scattering, and was compared with the numerical calculation using the Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek potential plus a depletion potential, without considering specific surface properties of the protein-detergent complexes. The experiments and calculation were found to be consistent and we obtained a relation between PEG molecular weight M and the range of depletion zone δ as δ ∼ M0.48±0.02. The stability of liquid phase of BC1 solutions was controlled by a ratio of (the range of depletion zone)/(the radius of a BC1 particle), which was consistent with recent theoretical predictions. The crystallization was most successful under a condition where the stability of the liquid phase changed from stable to unstable. The PEG molecular weight that fulfilled this condition coincided with the one used empirically to crystallize BC1 in the past by a number of groups. These results are compared to the fact that membrane proteins were often successfully crystallized close to the detergent cloud point. PMID:12719259

  7. Automated Electron Microscopy for Evaluating Two-dimensional Crystallization of Membrane Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Minghui; Vink, Martin; Kim, Changki; Derr, KD; Koss, John; D'Amico, Kevin; Cheng, Anchi; Pulokas, James; Ubarretxena-Belandia, Iban; Stokes, David

    2010-01-01

    Membrane proteins fulfill many important roles in the cell and represent the target for a large number of therapeutic drugs. Although structure determination of membrane proteins has become a major priority, it has proven to be technically challenging. Electron microscopy of two-dimensional (2D) crystals has the advantage of visualizing membrane proteins in their natural lipidic environment, but has been underutilized in recent structural genomics efforts. To improve the general applicability of electron crystallography, high-throughput methods are needed for screening large numbers of conditions for 2D crystallization, thereby increasing the chances of obtaining well ordered crystals and thus achieving atomic resolution. Previous reports describe devices for growing 2D crystals on a 96-well format. The current report describes a system for automated imaging of these screens with an electron microscope. Samples are inserted with a two-part robot: a SCARA robot for loading samples into the microscope holder, and a Cartesian robot for placing the holder into the electron microscope. A standard JEOL 1230 electron microscope was used, though a new tip was designed for the holder and a toggle switch controlling the airlock was rewired to allow robot control. A computer program for controlling the robots was integrated with the Leginon program, which provides a module for automated imaging of individual samples. The resulting images are uploaded into the Sesame laboratory information management system database where they are associated with other data relevant to the crystallization screen. PMID:20197095

  8. Two-Dimensional Crystallization of Integral Membrane Proteins for Electron Crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Stokes, David L.; Rice, William J.; Hu, Minghui; Kim, Changki; Ubarretxena, Iban

    2011-01-01

    Although membrane proteins make up 30% of the proteome and are a common target for therapeutic drugs, determination of their atomic structure remains a technical challenge. Electron crystallography represents an alternative to the conventional methods of X-ray diffraction and NMR and relies on the formation of two-dimensional crystals. These crystals are produced by reconstituting purified, detergent-solubilized membrane proteins back into the native environment of a lipid bilayer. This chapter reviews methods for producing two-dimensional crystals and for screening them by negative stain electron microscopy. In addition, we show examples of the different morphologies that are commonly obtained and describe basic image analysis procedures that can be used to evaluate their promise for structure determination by cryoelectron microsopy. PMID:20665267

  9. Electron Cryomicroscopy of Membrane Proteins: Specimen Preparation for Two-Dimensional Crystals and Single Particles

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt-Krey, Ingeborg; Rubinstein, John L.

    2010-01-01

    Membrane protein structure and function can be studied by two powerful and highly complementary electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) methods: electron crystallography of two-dimensional (2D) crystals and single particle analysis of detergent-solubilized protein complexes. To obtain the highest-possible resolution data from membrane proteins, whether prepared as 2D crystals or single particles, cryo-EM samples must be vitrified with great care. Grid preparation for cryo-EM of 2D crystals is possible by back-injection, the carbon sandwich technique, drying in sugars before cooling in the electron microscope, or plunge-freezing. Specimen grids for single particle cryo-EM studies of membrane proteins are usually produced by plunge-freezing protein solutions, supported either by perforated or a continuous carbon film substrate. This review outlines the different techniques available and the suitability of each method for particular samples and studies. Experimental considerations in sample preparation and preservation include the protein itself and the presence of lipid or detergent. The appearance of cryo-EM samples in different conditions is also discussed. PMID:20678942

  10. Detergents Destabilize the Cubic Phase of Monoolein: Implications for Membrane Protein Crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Misquitta, Y.; Caffrey, M.

    2003-01-01

    The in meso method for membrane protein crystallization uses a lipidic cubic phase as the hosting medium. The cubic phase provides a lipid bilayer into which the protein presumably reconstitutes and from which protein crystals nucleate and grow. The solutions used to spontaneously form the protein-enriched cubic phase often contain significant amounts of detergents that were employed initially to purify and to solubilize the membrane protein. By virtue of their surface activity, detergents have the potential to impact on the phase properties of the in meso system and, by extension, the outcome of the crystallization process. The purpose of this study was to quantify the effects that a popular series of nonionic detergents, the n-alkyl-β-d-glucopyranosides, have on the phase behavior of hydrated monoolein, the lipid upon which the in meso method is based. Phase identity and phase microstructure were characterized by small-angle x-ray diffraction on samples prepared to mimic in meso crystallization conditions. Measurements were made in the 0–40°C range. Samples prepared in the cooling direction allow for the expression of metastability, a feature of liquid crystalline phases that might be exploited in low-temperature crystallization. The results show that the cubic phase is relatively insensitive to small amounts of alkyl glucosides. However, at higher levels the detergents trigger a transition to the lamellar phase in a temperature- and salt concentration-dependent manner. These effects have important implications for in meso crystallization. A diffraction-based method for assaying detergents is presented. PMID:14581209

  11. Visualization of membrane protein crystals in lipid cubic phase using X-ray imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, Anna J.; Armour, Wes; Axford, Danny; Basham, Mark; Connolley, Thomas; Hall, David R.; Horrell, Sam; McAuley, Katherine E.; Mykhaylyk, Vitaliy; Wagner, Armin; Evans, Gwyndaf

    2013-07-01

    A comparison of X-ray diffraction and radiographic techniques for the location and characterization of protein crystals is demonstrated on membrane protein crystals mounted within lipid cubic phase material. The focus in macromolecular crystallography is moving towards even more challenging target proteins that often crystallize on much smaller scales and are frequently mounted in opaque or highly refractive materials. It is therefore essential that X-ray beamline technology develops in parallel to accommodate such difficult samples. In this paper, the use of X-ray microradiography and microtomography is reported as a tool for crystal visualization, location and characterization on the macromolecular crystallography beamlines at the Diamond Light Source. The technique is particularly useful for microcrystals and for crystals mounted in opaque materials such as lipid cubic phase. X-ray diffraction raster scanning can be used in combination with radiography to allow informed decision-making at the beamline prior to diffraction data collection. It is demonstrated that the X-ray dose required for a full tomography measurement is similar to that for a diffraction grid-scan, but for sample location and shape estimation alone just a few radiographic projections may be required.

  12. Structure determination of an integral membrane protein at room temperature from crystals in situ

    SciTech Connect

    Axford, Danny; Foadi, James; Hu, Nien-Jen; Choudhury, Hassanul Ghani; Iwata, So; Beis, Konstantinos; Evans, Gwyndaf; Alguel, Yilmaz

    2015-05-14

    The X-ray structure determination of an integral membrane protein using synchrotron diffraction data measured in situ at room temperature is demonstrated. The structure determination of an integral membrane protein using synchrotron X-ray diffraction data collected at room temperature directly in vapour-diffusion crystallization plates (in situ) is demonstrated. Exposing the crystals in situ eliminates manual sample handling and, since it is performed at room temperature, removes the complication of cryoprotection and potential structural anomalies induced by sample cryocooling. Essential to the method is the ability to limit radiation damage by recording a small amount of data per sample from many samples and subsequently assembling the resulting data sets using specialized software. The validity of this procedure is established by the structure determination of Haemophilus influenza TehA at 2.3 Å resolution. The method presented offers an effective protocol for the fast and efficient determination of membrane-protein structures at room temperature using third-generation synchrotron beamlines.

  13. Experimental phasing for structure determination using membrane-protein crystals grown by the lipid cubic phase method

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Dianfan; Pye, Valerie E.; Caffrey, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Very little information is available in the literature concerning the experimental heavy-atom phasing of membrane-protein structures where the crystals have been grown using the lipid cubic phase (in meso) method. In this paper, pre-labelling, co-crystallization, soaking, site-specific mercury binding to genetically engineered single-cysteine mutants and selenomethionine labelling as applied to an integral membrane kinase crystallized in meso are described. An assay to assess cysteine accessibility for mercury labelling of membrane proteins is introduced. Despite the marked increase in the number of membrane-protein structures solved using crystals grown by the lipid cubic phase or in meso method, only ten have been determined by SAD/MAD. This is likely to be a consequence of the technical difficulties associated with handling proteins and crystals in the sticky and viscous hosting mesophase that is usually incubated in glass sandwich plates for the purposes of crystallization. Here, a four-year campaign aimed at phasing the in meso structure of the integral membrane diacylglycerol kinase (DgkA) from Escherichia coli is reported. Heavy-atom labelling of this small hydrophobic enzyme was attempted by pre-labelling, co-crystallization, soaking, site-specific mercury binding to genetically engineered single-cysteine mutants and selenomethionine incorporation. Strategies and techniques for special handling are reported, as well as the typical results and the lessons learned for each of these approaches. In addition, an assay to assess the accessibility of cysteine residues in membrane proteins for mercury labelling is introduced. The various techniques and strategies described will provide a valuable reference for future experimental phasing of membrane proteins where crystals are grown by the lipid cubic phase method.

  14. Solution structure of detergent micelles at conditions relevant to membrane protein crystallization.

    SciTech Connect

    Littrell, K.; Thiyagarajan, P.; Tiede, D.; Urban, V.

    1999-07-02

    In this study small angle neutron scattering was used to characterize the formation of micelles in aqueous solutions of the detergents DMG and SPC as a function of detergent concentration and ionic strength of the solvent. The effects on the micelle structure of the additives glycerol and PEG, alone as well as in combination typical for actual membrane protein crystallization, were also explored. This research suggests that the micelles are cigar-like in form at the concentrations studied. The size of the micelles was observed to increase with increasing ionic strength but decrease with the addition of glycerol or PEG.

  15. Crystal Structure of the Membrane Fusion Protein CusB from Escherichia coli

    SciTech Connect

    Su, Chih-Chia; Yang, Feng; Long, Feng; Reyon, Deepak; Routh, Mathew D.; Kuo, Dennis W.; Mokhtari, Adam K.; Van Ornam, Jonathan D.; Rabe, Katherine L.; Hoy, Julie A.; Lee, Young Jin; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R.; Yu, Edward W.

    2010-03-29

    Gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, frequently utilize tripartite efflux complexes belonging to the resistance-nodulation-division family to expel diverse toxic compounds from the cell. These systems contain a periplasmic membrane fusion protein (MFP) that is critical for substrate transport. We here present the x-ray structures of the CusB MFP from the copper/silver efflux system of E. coli. This is the first structure of any MFPs associated with heavy-metal efflux transporters. CusB bridges the inner-membrane efflux pump CusA and outer-membrane channel CusC to mediate resistance to Cu{sup +} and Ag{sup +} ions. Two distinct structures of the elongated molecules of CusB were found in the asymmetric unit of a single crystal, which suggests the flexible nature of this protein. Each protomer of CusB can be divided into four different domains, whereby the first three domains are mostly {beta}-strands and the last domain adopts an entirely helical architecture. Unlike other known structures of MFPs, the {alpha}-helical domain of CusB is folded into a three-helix bundle. This three-helix bundle presumably interacts with the periplasmic domain of CusC. The N- and C-termini of CusB form the first {beta}-strand domain, which is found to interact with the periplasmic domain of the CusA efflux pump. Atomic details of how this efflux protein binds Cu{sup +} and Ag{sup +} were revealed by the crystals of the CusB-Cu(I) and CusB-Ag(I) complexes. The structures indicate that CusB consists of multiple binding sites for these metal ions. These findings reveal novel structural features of an MFP in the resistance-nodulation-division efflux system and provide direct evidence that this protein specifically interacts with transported substrates.

  16. Laboratory information management system for membrane protein structure initiative--from gene to crystal.

    PubMed

    Troshin, Petr V; Morris, Chris; Prince, Stephen M; Papiz, Miroslav Z

    2008-12-01

    Membrane Protein Structure Initiative (MPSI) exploits laboratory competencies to work collaboratively and distribute work among the different sites. This is possible as protein structure determination requires a series of steps, starting with target selection, through cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and finally structure determination. Distributed sites create a unique set of challenges for integrating and passing on information on the progress of targets. This role is played by the Protein Information Management System (PIMS), which is a laboratory information management system (LIMS), serving as a hub for MPSI, allowing collaborative structural proteomics to be carried out in a distributed fashion. It holds key information on the progress of cloning, expression, purification and crystallization of proteins. PIMS is employed to track the status of protein targets and to manage constructs, primers, experiments, protocols, sample locations and their detailed histories: thus playing a key role in MPSI data exchange. It also serves as the centre of a federation of interoperable information resources such as local laboratory information systems and international archival resources, like PDB or NCBI. During the challenging task of PIMS integration, within the MPSI, we discovered a number of prerequisites for successful PIMS integration. In this article we share our experiences and provide invaluable insights into the process of LIMS adaptation. This information should be of interest to partners who are thinking about using LIMS as a data centre for their collaborative efforts. PMID:18991141

  17. An Unexpected Outcome of Surface Engineering An Integral Membrane Protein: Improved Crystallization of Cytochrome Ba(3) From Thermus Thermophilus

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, B.; Luna, V.M.; Chen, Y.; Stout, C.D.; Fee, J.A.

    2009-06-01

    Past work has shown that it is feasible to mutate surface residues of soluble proteins and to a lesser extent membrane proteins in order to improve their crystallization behavior. Described here is a successful application of this approach to the integral membrane protein Thermus thermophilus cytochrome ba(3) oxidase. Two mutant forms of this enzyme (I-K258R and I-K258R/II-E4Q) were created in which symmetrical crystal contacts within crystals of wild-type enzyme were modified. These mutant proteins had greatly shortened crystallization times, decreasing from approximately 30 d for the wild type to 1-3 d for the mutants, and crystallization was highly reproducible. Native-like proteins crystallize in space group P4(3)2(1)2, whereas the mutant proteins crystallize in space group P4(1)2(1)2 with a different packing arrangement. Crystals of the P4(3)2(1)2 form occasionally diffracted to 2.4-2.3 A resolution following controlled dehydration, while those of the P4(1)2(1)2 form routinely diffracted to between 3.0 and 2.6 A for crystals that had been cryoprotected but not dehydrated.

  18. Improving protein crystal quality by selective removal of a Ca{sup 2+}-dependent membrane-insertion loop

    SciTech Connect

    Neau, David B.; Gilbert, Nathaniel C.; Bartlett, Sue G.; Dassey, Adam; Newcomer, Marcia E.

    2007-11-01

    Protein engineering dramatically enhances the quality of crystals of a Ca{sup 2+}-dependent membrane-binding protein. Lipoxygenases (LOXs) catalyze the regiospecific and stereospecific dioxygenation of polyunsaturated membrane-embedded fatty acids. A Ca{sup 2+}-dependent membrane-binding function was localized to the amino-terminal C2-like domain of 8R-lipoxygenase (8R-LOX) from the soft coral Plexaura homomalla. The 3.2 Å crystal structure of 8R-LOX and spectroscopic data suggested that Ca{sup 2+} stabilizes two membrane-insertion loops. Analysis of the protein packing contacts in the crystal lattice indicated that the conformation of one of the two loops complicated efforts to improve the resolution of the X-ray data. A deletion mutant of 8R-LOX in which the corresponding membrane-insertion loop is absent (Δ41–45:GSLOX) was engineered. Removal of the membrane-insertion loop dramatically increases the protein yield from bacterial cultures and the quality of the crystals obtained, resulting in a better than 1 Å improvement in the resolution of the diffraction data.

  19. Protein Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, Alexander A.

    2005-01-01

    Nucleation, growth and perfection of protein crystals will be overviewed along with crystal mechanical properties. The knowledge is based on experiments using optical and force crystals behave similar to inorganic crystals, though with a difference in orders of magnitude in growing parameters. For example, the low incorporation rate of large biomolecules requires up to 100 times larger supersaturation to grow protein, rather than inorganic crystals. Nucleation is often poorly reproducible, partly because of turbulence accompanying the mixing of precipitant with protein solution. Light scattering reveals fluctuations of molecular cluster size, its growth, surface energies and increased clustering as protein ages. Growth most often occurs layer-by-layer resulting in faceted crystals. New molecular layer on crystal face is terminated by a step where molecular incorporation occurs. Quantitative data on the incorporation rate will be discussed. Rounded crystals with molecularly disordered interfaces will be explained. Defects in crystals compromise the x-ray diffraction resolution crucially needed to find the 3D atomic structure of biomolecules. The defects are immobile so that birth defects stay forever. All lattice defects known for inorganics are revealed in protein crystals. Contribution of molecular conformations to lattice disorder is important, but not studied. This contribution may be enhanced by stress field from other defects. Homologous impurities (e.g., dimers, acetylated molecules) are trapped more willingly by a growing crystal than foreign protein impurities. The trapped impurities induce internal stress eliminated in crystals exceeding a critical size (part of mni for ferritin, lysozyme). Lesser impurities are trapped from stagnant, as compared to the flowing, solution. Freezing may induce much more defects unless quickly amorphysizing intracrystalline water.

  20. Experimental phasing for structure determination using membrane-protein crystals grown by the lipid cubic phase method

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dianfan; Pye, Valerie E.; Caffrey, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Despite the marked increase in the number of membrane-protein structures solved using crystals grown by the lipid cubic phase or in meso method, only ten have been determined by SAD/MAD. This is likely to be a consequence of the technical difficulties associated with handling proteins and crystals in the sticky and viscous hosting mesophase that is usually incubated in glass sandwich plates for the purposes of crystallization. Here, a four-year campaign aimed at phasing the in meso structure of the integral membrane diacylglycerol kinase (DgkA) from Escherichia coli is reported. Heavy-atom labelling of this small hydrophobic enzyme was attempted by pre-labelling, co-crystallization, soaking, site-specific mercury binding to genetically engineered single-cysteine mutants and selenomethionine incorporation. Strategies and techniques for special handling are reported, as well as the typical results and the lessons learned for each of these approaches. In addition, an assay to assess the accessibility of cysteine residues in membrane proteins for mercury labelling is introduced. The various techniques and strategies described will provide a valuable reference for future experimental phasing of membrane proteins where crystals are grown by the lipid cubic phase method. PMID:25615865

  1. Expression, crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic studies of the outer membrane protein OmpW from Escherichia coli

    SciTech Connect

    Albrecht, Reinhard; Zeth, Kornelius; Söding, Johannes; Lupas, Andrei; Linke, Dirk

    2006-04-01

    The outer membrane protein OmpW from E. coli was overexpressed in inclusion bodies and refolded with the help of detergent. The protein has been crystallized and the crystals diffract to 3.5 Å resolution. OmpW is an eight-stranded 21 kDa molecular-weight β-barrel protein from the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. It is a major antigen in bacterial infections and has implications in antibiotic resistance and in the oxidative degradation of organic compounds. OmpW from Escherichia coli was cloned and the protein was expressed in inclusion bodies. A method for refolding and purification was developed which yields properly folded protein according to circular-dichroism measurements. The protein has been crystallized and crystals were obtained that diffracted to a resolution limit of 3.5 Å. The crystals belong to space group P422, with unit-cell parameters a = 122.5, c = 105.7 Å. A homology model of OmpW is presented based on known structures of eight-stranded β-barrels, intended for use in molecular-replacement trials.

  2. The Crystal Structures of Yeast Get3 Suggest a Mechanism for Tail-Anchored Protein Membrane Insertion

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, Junbin; Li, Jingzhi; Qian, Xinguo; Denic, Vlad; Sha, Bingdong

    2010-08-16

    Tail-anchored (TA) proteins represent a unique class of membrane proteins that contain a single C-terminal transmembrane helix. The post-translational insertion of the yeast TA proteins into the ER membrane requires the Golgi ER trafficking (GET) complex which contains Get1, Get2 and Get3. Get3 is an ATPase that recognizes and binds the C-terminal transmembrane domain (TMD) of the TA proteins. We have determined the crystal structures of Get3 from two yeast species, S. cerevisiae and D. hansenii, respectively. These high resolution crystal structures show that Get3 contains a nucleotide-binding domain and a 'finger' domain for binding the TA protein TMD. A large hydrophobic groove on the finger domain of S. cerevisiae Get3 structure might represent the binding site for TMD of TA proteins. A hydrophobic helix from a symmetry-related Get3 molecule sits in the TMD-binding groove and mimics the TA binding scenario. Interestingly, the crystal structures of the Get3 dimers from S. cerevisiae and D. hansenii exhibit distinct conformations. The S. cerevisiae Get3 dimer structure does not contain nucleotides and maintains an 'open' conformation, while the D. hansenii Get3 dimer structure binds ADP and stays in a 'closed' conformation. We propose that the conformational changes to switch the Get3 between the open and closed conformations may facilitate the membrane insertions for TA proteins.

  3. Structure determination using poorly diffracting membrane-protein crystals: the H+-ATPase and Na+,K+-ATPase case history.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Bjørn P; Morth, J Preben; Nissen, Poul

    2010-03-01

    An approach is presented for the structure determination of membrane proteins on the basis of poorly diffracting crystals which exploits molecular replacement for heavy-atom site identification at 6-9 A maximum resolution and improvement of the heavy-atom-derived phases by multi-crystal averaging using quasi-isomorphous data sets. The multi-crystal averaging procedure allows real-space density averaging followed by phase combination between non-isomorphous native data sets to exploit crystal-to-crystal nonisomorphism despite the crystals belonging to the same space group. This approach has been used in the structure determination of H(+)-ATPase and Na(+),K(+)-ATPase using Ca(2+)-ATPase models and its successful application to the Mhp1 symporter using LeuT as a search model is demonstrated. PMID:20179343

  4. Simple Host−Guest Chemistry To Modulate the Process of Concentration and Crystallization of Membrane Proteins by Detergent Capture in a Microfluidic Device

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Liang; Nachtergaele, Sigrid; Seddon, Annela M.; Tereshko, Valentina; Ponomarenko, Nina; Ismagilov, Rustem F.

    2009-01-15

    This paper utilizes cyclodextrin-based host-guest chemistry in a microfluidic device to modulate the crystallization of membrane proteins and the process of concentration of membrane protein samples. Methyl-{beta}-cyclodextrin (MBCD) can efficiently capture a wide variety of detergents commonly used for the stabilization of membrane proteins by sequestering detergent monomers. Reaction Center (RC) from Blastochloris viridis was used here as a model system. In the process of concentrating membrane protein samples, MBCD was shown to break up free detergent micelles and prevent them from being concentrated. The addition of an optimal amount of MBCD to the RC sample captured loosely bound detergent from the protein-detergent complex and improved sample homogeneity, as characterized by dynamic light scattering. Using plug-based microfluidics, RC crystals were grown in the presence of MBCD, giving a different morphology and space group than crystals grown without MBCD. The crystal structure of RC crystallized in the presence of MBCD was consistent with the changes in packing and crystal contacts hypothesized for removal of loosely bound detergent. The incorporation of MBCD into a plug-based microfluidic crystallization method allows efficient use of limited membrane protein sample by reducing the amount of protein required and combining sparse matrix screening and optimization in one experiment. The use of MBCD for detergent capture can be expanded to develop cyclodextrin-derived molecules for fine-tuned detergent capture and thus modulate membrane protein crystallization in an even more controllable way.

  5. Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility (APCF)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This section of the Life and Microgravity Spacelab (LMS) publication contains articles entitled: (1) Crystallization of EGFR-EGF; (2) Crystallization of Apocrustacyanin C1; (3) Crystallization and X-ray Analysis of 5S rRNA and the 5S rRNA Domain A; (4) Growth of Lysozyme Crystals at Low Nucleation Density; (5) Comparative Analysis of Aspartyl tRNA-synthetase and Thaumatin Crystals Grown on Earth and In Microgravity; (6) Lysosome Crystal Growth in the Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility Monitored via Mach-Zehnder Interferometry and CCD Video; (7) Analysis of Thaumatin Crystals Grown on Earth and in Microgravity; (8) Crystallization of the Nucleosome Core Particle; (9) Crystallization of Photosystem I; (10) Mechanism of Membrane Protein Crystal Growth: Bacteriorhodopsin-mixed Micelle Packing at the Consolution Boundary, Stabilized in Microgravity; (11) Crystallization in a Microgravity Environment of CcdB, a Protein Involved in the Control of Cell Death; and (12) Crystallization of Sulfolobus Solfataricus

  6. A Plug-Based Microfluidic System for Dispensing Lipidic Cubic Phase (LCP) Material Validated by Crystallizing Membrane Proteins in Lipidic Mesophases

    PubMed Central

    Li, Liang; Fu, Qiang; Kors, Christopher A.; Stewart, Lance; Nollert, Peter; Laible, Philip D.; Ismagilov, Rustem F.

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents a plug-based microfluidic system to dispense nanoliter-volume plugs of Lipidic Cubic Phase (LCP) material and subsequently merge the LCP plugs with aqueous plugs. This system was validated by crystallizing membrane proteins in lipidic mesophases, including LCP. This system allows for accurate dispensing of LCP material in nanoliter volumes, prevents inadvertent phase transitions that may occur due to dehydration by enclosing LCP in plugs, and is compatible with the traditional method of forming LCP material using a membrane protein sample, as shown by the successful crystallization of bacteriorhodopsin from Halobacterium salinarum. Conditions for the formation of LCP plugs were characterized and presented in a phase diagram. This system was also implemented using two different methods of introducing the membrane protein: 1) the traditional method of generating the LCP material using a membrane protein sample and 2) Post LCP-formation Incorporation (PLI), which involves making LCP material without protein, adding the membrane protein sample externally to the LCP material, and allowing the protein to diffuse into the LCP material or into other lipidic mesophases that may result from phase transitions. Crystals of bacterial photosynthetic reaction centers from Rhodobacter sphaeroides and Blastochloris viridis were obtained using PLI. The plug-based, LCP-assisted microfluidic system, combined with the PLI method for introducing membrane protein into LCP, should be useful for minimizing consumption of samples and broadening the screening of parameter space in membrane protein crystallization. PMID:20473353

  7. Surface heat shock protein 90 serves as a potential receptor for calcium oxalate crystal on apical membrane of renal tubular epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Fong-Ngern, Kedsarin; Sueksakit, Kanyarat; Thongboonkerd, Visith

    2016-07-01

    Adhesion of calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) crystals on renal tubular epithelial cells is a crucial step in kidney stone formation. Finding potential crystal receptors on the apical membrane of the cells may lead to a novel approach to prevent kidney stone disease. Our previous study identified a large number of crystal-binding proteins on the apical membrane of MDCK cells. However, their functional role as potential crystal receptors had not been validated. The present study aimed to address the potential role of heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) as a COM crystal receptor. The apical membrane was isolated from polarized MDCK cells by the peeling method and recovered proteins were incubated with COM crystals. Western blot analysis confirmed the presence of HSP90 in the apical membrane and the crystal-bound fraction. Immunofluorescence staining without permeabilization and laser-scanning confocal microscopy confirmed the surface HSP90 expression on the apical membrane of the intact cells. Crystal adhesion assay showed that blocking surface HSP90 by specific anti-HSP90 antibody and knockdown of HSP90 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) dramatically reduced crystal binding on the apical surface of MDCK cells (by approximately 1/2 and 2/3, respectively). Additionally, crystal internalization assay revealed the presence of HSP90 on the membrane of endocytic vesicle containing the internalized COM crystal. Moreover, pretreatment of MDCK cells with anti-HSP90 antibody significantly reduced crystal internalization (by approximately 1/3). Taken together, our data indicate that HSP90 serves as a potential receptor for COM crystals on the apical membrane of renal tubular epithelial cells and is involved in endocytosis/internalization of the crystals into the cells. PMID:27115409

  8. A comprehensive review of the lipid cubic phase or in meso method for crystallizing membrane and soluble proteins and complexes

    PubMed Central

    Caffrey, Martin

    2015-01-01

    The lipid cubic phase or in meso method is a robust approach for crystallizing membrane proteins for structure determination. The uptake of the method is such that it is experiencing what can only be described as explosive growth. This timely, comprehensive and up-to-date review introduces the reader to the practice of in meso crystallogenesis, to the associated challenges and to their solutions. A model of how crystallization comes about mechanistically is presented for a more rational approach to crystallization. The possible involvement of the lamellar and inverted hexagonal phases in crystallogenesis and the application of the method to water-soluble, monotopic and lipid-anchored proteins are addressed. How to set up trials manually and automatically with a robot is introduced with reference to open-access online videos that provide a practical guide to all aspects of the method. These range from protein reconstitution to crystal harvesting from the hosting mesophase, which is noted for its viscosity and stickiness. The sponge phase, as an alternative medium in which to perform crystallization, is described. The compatibility of the method with additive lipids, detergents, precipitant-screen components and materials carried along with the protein such as denaturants and reducing agents is considered. The powerful host and additive lipid-screening strategies are described along with how samples that have low protein concentration and cell-free expressed protein can be used. Assaying the protein reconstituted in the bilayer of the cubic phase for function is an important element of quality control and is detailed. Host lipid design for crystallization at low temperatures and for large proteins and complexes is outlined. Experimental phasing by heavy-atom derivatization, soaking or co-crystallization is routine and the approaches that have been implemented to date are described. An overview and a breakdown by family and function of the close to 200 published

  9. A comprehensive review of the lipid cubic phase or in meso method for crystallizing membrane and soluble proteins and complexes.

    PubMed

    Caffrey, Martin

    2015-01-01

    The lipid cubic phase or in meso method is a robust approach for crystallizing membrane proteins for structure determination. The uptake of the method is such that it is experiencing what can only be described as explosive growth. This timely, comprehensive and up-to-date review introduces the reader to the practice of in meso crystallogenesis, to the associated challenges and to their solutions. A model of how crystallization comes about mechanistically is presented for a more rational approach to crystallization. The possible involvement of the lamellar and inverted hexagonal phases in crystallogenesis and the application of the method to water-soluble, monotopic and lipid-anchored proteins are addressed. How to set up trials manually and automatically with a robot is introduced with reference to open-access online videos that provide a practical guide to all aspects of the method. These range from protein reconstitution to crystal harvesting from the hosting mesophase, which is noted for its viscosity and stickiness. The sponge phase, as an alternative medium in which to perform crystallization, is described. The compatibility of the method with additive lipids, detergents, precipitant-screen components and materials carried along with the protein such as denaturants and reducing agents is considered. The powerful host and additive lipid-screening strategies are described along with how samples that have low protein concentration and cell-free expressed protein can be used. Assaying the protein reconstituted in the bilayer of the cubic phase for function is an important element of quality control and is detailed. Host lipid design for crystallization at low temperatures and for large proteins and complexes is outlined. Experimental phasing by heavy-atom derivatization, soaking or co-crystallization is routine and the approaches that have been implemented to date are described. An overview and a breakdown by family and function of the close to 200 published

  10. Membrane Protein Crystallization in Lipidic Mesophases. Hosting Lipid Effects on the Crystallization and Structure of a Transmembrane Peptide

    SciTech Connect

    Hfer, Nicole; Aragao, David; Lyons, Joseph A.; Caffrey, Martin

    2011-09-28

    Gramicidin is an apolar pentadecapeptide antibiotic consisting of alternating d- and l-amino acids. It functions, in part, by creating pores in membranes of susceptible cells rendering them leaky to monovalent cations. The peptide should be able to traverse the host membrane either as a double-stranded, intertwined double helix (DSDH) or as a head-to-head single-stranded helix (HHSH). Current structure models are based on macromolecular X-ray crystallography (MX) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). However, the HHSH form has only been observed by NMR. The shape and size of the different gramicidin conformations differ. We speculated therefore that reconstituting it into a lipidic mesophase with bilayers of different microstructures would preferentially stabilize one form over the other. By using such mesophases for in meso crystallogenesis, the expectation was that at least one would generate crystals of gramicidin in the HHSH form for structure determination by MX. This was tested using commercial and in-house synthesized lipids that support in meso crystallogenesis. Lipid acyl chain lengths were varied from 14 to 18 carbons to provide mesophases with a range of bilayer thicknesses. Unexpectedly, all lipids produced high-quality, structure-grade crystals with gramicidin only in the DSDH conformation.

  11. A comprehensive review of the lipid cubic phase or in meso method for crystallizing membrane and soluble proteins and complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Caffrey, Martin

    2015-01-01

    A comprehensive and up-to-date review of the lipid cubic phase or in meso method for crystallizing membrane and soluble proteins and complexes is reported. Recent applications of the method for in situ serial crystallography at X-ray free-electron lasers and synchrotrons are described. The lipid cubic phase or in meso method is a robust approach for crystallizing membrane proteins for structure determination. The uptake of the method is such that it is experiencing what can only be described as explosive growth. This timely, comprehensive and up-to-date review introduces the reader to the practice of in meso crystallogenesis, to the associated challenges and to their solutions. A model of how crystallization comes about mechanistically is presented for a more rational approach to crystallization. The possible involvement of the lamellar and inverted hexagonal phases in crystallogenesis and the application of the method to water-soluble, monotopic and lipid-anchored proteins are addressed. How to set up trials manually and automatically with a robot is introduced with reference to open-access online videos that provide a practical guide to all aspects of the method. These range from protein reconstitution to crystal harvesting from the hosting mesophase, which is noted for its viscosity and stickiness. The sponge phase, as an alternative medium in which to perform crystallization, is described. The compatibility of the method with additive lipids, detergents, precipitant-screen components and materials carried along with the protein such as denaturants and reducing agents is considered. The powerful host and additive lipid-screening strategies are described along with how samples that have low protein concentration and cell-free expressed protein can be used. Assaying the protein reconstituted in the bilayer of the cubic phase for function is an important element of quality control and is detailed. Host lipid design for crystallization at low temperatures and for

  12. Crystallizing the function of the magnetosome membrane mineralization protein Mms6.

    PubMed

    Staniland, Sarah S; Rawlings, Andrea E

    2016-06-15

    The literature on the magnetosome membrane (MM) protein, magnetosome membrane specific6 (Mms6), is reviewed. Mms6 is native to magnetotactic bacteria (MTB). These bacteria take up iron from solution and biomineralize magnetite nanoparticles within organelles called magnetosomes. Mms6 is a small protein embedded on the interior of the MM and was discovered tightly associated with the formed mineral. It has been the subject of intensive research as it is seen to control the formation of particles both in vivo and in vitro Here, we compile, review and discuss the research detailing Mms6's activity within the cell and in a range of chemical in vitro methods where Mms6 has a marked effect on the composition, size and distribution of synthetic particles, with approximately 21 nm in size for solution precipitations and approximately 90 nm for those formed on surfaces. Furthermore, we review and discuss recent work detailing the structure and function of Mms6. From the evidence, we propose a mechanism for its function as a specific magnetite nucleation protein and summaries the key features for this action: namely, self-assembly to display a charged surface for specific iron binding, with the curvature of the surfaces determining the particle size. We suggest these may aid design of biomimetic additives for future green nanoparticle production. PMID:27284056

  13. Crystallizing the function of the magnetosome membrane mineralization protein Mms6

    PubMed Central

    Staniland, Sarah S.; Rawlings, Andrea E.

    2016-01-01

    The literature on the magnetosome membrane (MM) protein, magnetosome membrane specific6 (Mms6), is reviewed. Mms6 is native to magnetotactic bacteria (MTB). These bacteria take up iron from solution and biomineralize magnetite nanoparticles within organelles called magnetosomes. Mms6 is a small protein embedded on the interior of the MM and was discovered tightly associated with the formed mineral. It has been the subject of intensive research as it is seen to control the formation of particles both in vivo and in vitro. Here, we compile, review and discuss the research detailing Mms6’s activity within the cell and in a range of chemical in vitro methods where Mms6 has a marked effect on the composition, size and distribution of synthetic particles, with approximately 21 nm in size for solution precipitations and approximately 90 nm for those formed on surfaces. Furthermore, we review and discuss recent work detailing the structure and function of Mms6. From the evidence, we propose a mechanism for its function as a specific magnetite nucleation protein and summaries the key features for this action: namely, self-assembly to display a charged surface for specific iron binding, with the curvature of the surfaces determining the particle size. We suggest these may aid design of biomimetic additives for future green nanoparticle production. PMID:27284056

  14. The Arabidopsis COBRA Protein Facilitates Cellulose Crystallization at the Plasma Membrane*

    PubMed Central

    Sorek, Nadav; Sorek, Hagit; Kijac, Aleksandra; Szemenyei, Heidi J.; Bauer, Stefan; Hématy, Kian; Wemmer, David E.; Somerville, Chris R.

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in the Arabidopsis COBRA gene lead to defects in cellulose synthesis but the function of COBRA is unknown. Here we present evidence that COBRA localizes to discrete particles in the plasma membrane and is sensitive to inhibitors of cellulose synthesis, suggesting that COBRA and the cellulose synthase complex reside in close proximity on the plasma membrane. Live-cell imaging of cellulose synthesis indicated that, once initiated, cellulose synthesis appeared to proceed normally in the cobra mutant. Using isothermal calorimetry, COBRA was found to bind individual β1–4-linked glucan chains with a KD of 3.2 μm. Competition assays suggests that COBRA binds individual β1–4-linked glucan chains with higher affinity than crystalline cellulose. Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance studies of the cell wall of the cobra mutant also indicated that, in addition to decreases in cellulose amount, the properties of the cellulose fibrils and other cell wall polymers differed from wild type by being less crystalline and having an increased number of reducing ends. We interpret the available evidence as suggesting that COBRA facilitates cellulose crystallization from the emerging β1–4-glucan chains by acting as a “polysaccharide chaperone.” PMID:25331944

  15. The Arabidopsis COBRA protein facilitates cellulose crystallization at the plasma membrane.

    PubMed

    Sorek, Nadav; Sorek, Hagit; Kijac, Aleksandra; Szemenyei, Heidi J; Bauer, Stefan; Hématy, Kian; Wemmer, David E; Somerville, Chris R

    2014-12-12

    Mutations in the Arabidopsis COBRA gene lead to defects in cellulose synthesis but the function of COBRA is unknown. Here we present evidence that COBRA localizes to discrete particles in the plasma membrane and is sensitive to inhibitors of cellulose synthesis, suggesting that COBRA and the cellulose synthase complex reside in close proximity on the plasma membrane. Live-cell imaging of cellulose synthesis indicated that, once initiated, cellulose synthesis appeared to proceed normally in the cobra mutant. Using isothermal calorimetry, COBRA was found to bind individual β1-4-linked glucan chains with a KD of 3.2 μm. Competition assays suggests that COBRA binds individual β1-4-linked glucan chains with higher affinity than crystalline cellulose. Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance studies of the cell wall of the cobra mutant also indicated that, in addition to decreases in cellulose amount, the properties of the cellulose fibrils and other cell wall polymers differed from wild type by being less crystalline and having an increased number of reducing ends. We interpret the available evidence as suggesting that COBRA facilitates cellulose crystallization from the emerging β1-4-glucan chains by acting as a "polysaccharide chaperone." PMID:25331944

  16. Visualization of membrane protein crystals in lipid cubic phase using X-ray imaging.

    PubMed

    Warren, Anna J; Armour, Wes; Axford, Danny; Basham, Mark; Connolley, Thomas; Hall, David R; Horrell, Sam; McAuley, Katherine E; Mykhaylyk, Vitaliy; Wagner, Armin; Evans, Gwyndaf

    2013-07-01

    The focus in macromolecular crystallography is moving towards even more challenging target proteins that often crystallize on much smaller scales and are frequently mounted in opaque or highly refractive materials. It is therefore essential that X-ray beamline technology develops in parallel to accommodate such difficult samples. In this paper, the use of X-ray microradiography and microtomography is reported as a tool for crystal visualization, location and characterization on the macromolecular crystallography beamlines at the Diamond Light Source. The technique is particularly useful for microcrystals and for crystals mounted in opaque materials such as lipid cubic phase. X-ray diffraction raster scanning can be used in combination with radiography to allow informed decision-making at the beamline prior to diffraction data collection. It is demonstrated that the X-ray dose required for a full tomography measurement is similar to that for a diffraction grid-scan, but for sample location and shape estimation alone just a few radiographic projections may be required. PMID:23793151

  17. Visualization of membrane protein crystals in lipid cubic phase using X-ray imaging

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Anna J.; Armour, Wes; Axford, Danny; Basham, Mark; Connolley, Thomas; Hall, David R.; Horrell, Sam; McAuley, Katherine E.; Mykhaylyk, Vitaliy; Wagner, Armin; Evans, Gwyndaf

    2013-01-01

    The focus in macromolecular crystallography is moving towards even more challenging target proteins that often crystallize on much smaller scales and are frequently mounted in opaque or highly refractive materials. It is therefore essential that X-ray beamline technology develops in parallel to accommodate such difficult samples. In this paper, the use of X-ray microradiography and microtomography is reported as a tool for crystal visualization, location and characterization on the macromolecular crystallography beamlines at the Diamond Light Source. The technique is particularly useful for microcrystals and for crystals mounted in opaque materials such as lipid cubic phase. X-ray diffraction raster scanning can be used in combination with radiography to allow informed decision-making at the beamline prior to diffraction data collection. It is demonstrated that the X-ray dose required for a full tomography measurement is similar to that for a diffraction grid-scan, but for sample location and shape estimation alone just a few radiographic projections may be required. PMID:23793151

  18. Crystallization of Mitochondrial Respiratory Complex II fromChicken Heart: A Membrane-Protein Complex Diffracting to 2.0Angstrom

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Li-shar; Borders, Toni M.; Shen, John T.; Wang, Chung-Jen; Berry, Edward A.

    2004-12-17

    Procedure is presented for preparation of diffraction-quality crystals of a vertebrate mitochondrial respiratory Complex II. The crystals have the potential to diffract to at least 2.0 Angstrom with optimization of post-crystal-growth treatment and cryoprotection. This should allow determination of the structure of this important and medically relevant membrane protein complex at near-atomic resolution and provide great detail of the mode of binding of substrates and inhibitors at the two substrate-binding sites.

  19. Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction of SecDF, a translocon-associated membrane protein, from Thermus thermophilus

    SciTech Connect

    Tsukazaki, Tomoya; Mori, Hiroyuki; Fukai, Shuya; Numata, Tomoyuki; Perederina, Anna; Adachi, Hiroaki; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Takano, Kazufumi; Murakami, Satoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Sasaki, Takatomo; Vassylyev, Dmitry G.; Nureki, Osamu; Ito, Koreaki

    2006-04-01

    SecDF is a multi-path membrane protein required for efficient protein translocation and integration via translocon. Purification and crystallization of T. thermophilus SecDF have been achieved by exploiting unique crystallization techniques that allowed the collection of a 3.74 Å data set. Thermus thermophilus has a multi-path membrane protein, TSecDF, as a single-chain homologue of Escherichia coli SecD and SecF, which form a translocon-associated complex required for efficient preprotein translocation and membrane-protein integration. Here, the cloning, expression in E. coli, purification and crystallization of TSecDF are reported. Overproduced TSecDF was solubilized with dodecylmaltoside, chromatographically purified and crystallized by vapour diffusion in the presence of polyethylene glycol. The crystals yielded a maximum resolution of 4.2 Å upon X-ray irradiation, revealing that they belonged to space group P4{sub 3}2{sub 1}2. Attempts were made to improve the diffraction quality of the crystals by combinations of micro-stirring, laser-light irradiation and dehydration, which led to the eventual collection of complete data sets at 3.74 Å resolution and preliminary success in the single-wavelength anomalous dispersion analysis. These results provide information that is essential for the determination of the three-dimensional structure of this important membrane component of the protein-translocation machinery.

  20. Structure Prediction of Membrane Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiche

    Membrane proteins play a central role in many cellular and physiological processes. It is estimated that integral membrane proteins make up about 20-30% of the proteome (Krogh et al., 2001b; Stevens and Arkin, 2000; von Heijne, 1999). They are essential mediators of material and information transfer across cell membranes. Their functions include active and passive transport of molecules into and out of cells and organelles; transduction of energy among various forms (light, electrical, and chemical energy); as well as reception and transduction of chemical and electrical signals across membranes (Avdonin, 2005; Bockaert et al., 2002; Pahl, 1999; Rehling et al., 2004; Stack et al., 1995). Identifying these transmembrane (TM) proteins and deciphering their molecular mechanisms, then, is of great importance, particularly as applied to biomedicine. Membrane proteins are the targets of a large number of pharmacologically and toxicologically active substances, and are directly involved in their uptake, metabolism, and clearance (Bettler et al., 1998; Cohen, 2002; Heusser and Jardieu, 1997; Tibes et al., 2005; Xu et al., 2005). Despite the importance of membrane proteins, the knowledge of their high-resolution structures and mechanisms of action has lagged far behind in comparison to that of water-soluble proteins: less than 1% of all three-dimensional structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank are of membrane proteins. This unfortunate disparity stems from difficulties in overexpression and the crystallization of membrane proteins (Grisshammer and Tate, 1995; Michel, 1991).

  1. Isolation, functional characterization and crystallization of Aq_1259, an outer membrane protein with porin features, from Aquifex aeolicus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tao; Langer, Julian D; Peng, Guohong; Michel, Hartmut

    2012-12-01

    The "hypothetical protein" Aq_1259 was identified by mass spectrometry and purified from native membranes of Aquifex aeolicus. It is a 49.4kDa protein, highly homologous (>52% identity) to several conserved hypothetical proteins from other bacteria. However, none of these proteins has been characterized using biochemical or electrophysiological techniques. Based on the sequence and circular dichroism spectroscopy, the structure of Aq_1259 is predicted to be a β-barrel with 16 β-strands. The strands with loops and turns are distributed evenly through the entire sequence. The function of Aq_1259 was analyzed after incorporation into a lipid bilayer. Electrophysiological measurements revealed a pore that has a basic stationary conductance of 0.48 ± 0.038nS in a buffer with 0.5M NaH₂PO₄ at pH 6.5 and 0.2 ± 0.015nS in a buffer with 0.5M NaCl at pH 6.5. Superimposed on this is a fluctuating conductance of similar amplitude. Aq_1259 could be crystallized. The crystals diffract to a resolution of 3.4Å and belong to space group I222 with cell dimensions of a=138.3Å, b=144.6Å, c=151.8Å. PMID:22842195

  2. Structural and biophysical characterization of an epitope-specific engineered Fab fragment and complexation with membrane proteins: implications for co-crystallization.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Jennifer L; Entzminger, Kevin C; Hyun, Jeongmin; Kalyoncu, Sibel; Heaner, David P; Morales, Ivan A; Sheppard, Aly; Gumbart, James C; Maynard, Jennifer A; Lieberman, Raquel L

    2015-04-01

    Crystallization chaperones are attracting increasing interest as a route to crystal growth and structure elucidation of difficult targets such as membrane proteins. While strategies to date have typically employed protein-specific chaperones, a peptide-specific chaperone to crystallize multiple cognate peptide epitope-containing client proteins is envisioned. This would eliminate the target-specific chaperone-production step and streamline the co-crystallization process. Previously, protein engineering and directed evolution were used to generate a single-chain variable (scFv) antibody fragment with affinity for the peptide sequence EYMPME (scFv/EE). This report details the conversion of scFv/EE to an anti-EE Fab format (Fab/EE) followed by its biophysical characterization. The addition of constant chains increased the overall stability and had a negligible impact on the antigen affinity. The 2.0 Å resolution crystal structure of Fab/EE reveals contacts with larger surface areas than those of scFv/EE. Surface plasmon resonance, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and size-exclusion chromatography were used to assess Fab/EE binding to EE-tagged soluble and membrane test proteins: namely, the β-barrel outer membrane protein intimin and α-helical A2a G protein-coupled receptor (A2aR). Molecular-dynamics simulation of the intimin constructs with and without Fab/EE provides insight into the energetic complexities of the co-crystallization approach. PMID:25849400

  3. Structural and biophysical characterization of an epitope-specific engineered Fab fragment and complexation with membrane proteins: implications for co-crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Jennifer L.; Entzminger, Kevin C.; Hyun, Jeongmin; Kalyoncu, Sibel; Heaner, David P.; Morales, Ivan A.; Sheppard, Aly; Gumbart, James C.; Maynard, Jennifer A.; Lieberman, Raquel L.

    2015-01-01

    Crystallization chaperones are attracting increasing interest as a route to crystal growth and structure elucidation of difficult targets such as membrane proteins. While strategies to date have typically employed protein-specific chaperones, a peptide-specific chaperone to crystallize multiple cognate peptide epitope-containing client proteins is envisioned. This would eliminate the target-specific chaperone-production step and streamline the co-crystallization process. Previously, protein engineering and directed evolution were used to generate a single-chain variable (scFv) antibody fragment with affinity for the peptide sequence EYMPME (scFv/EE). This report details the conversion of scFv/EE to an anti-EE Fab format (Fab/EE) followed by its biophysical characterization. The addition of constant chains increased the overall stability and had a negligible impact on the antigen affinity. The 2.0 Å resolution crystal structure of Fab/EE reveals contacts with larger surface areas than those of scFv/EE. Surface plasmon resonance, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and size-exclusion chromatography were used to assess Fab/EE binding to EE-tagged soluble and membrane test proteins: namely, the β-barrel outer membrane protein intimin and α-helical A2a G protein-coupled receptor (A2aR). Molecular-dynamics simulation of the intimin constructs with and without Fab/EE provides insight into the energetic complexities of the co-crystallization approach. PMID:25849400

  4. Crystal Structure of Dengue Virus Type 1 Envelope Protein in the Postfusion Conformation and Its Implications for Membrane Fusion

    SciTech Connect

    Nayak, Vinod; Dessau, Moshe; Kucera, Kaury; Anthony, Karen; Ledizet, Michel; Modis, Yorgo

    2009-07-31

    Dengue virus relies on a conformational change in its envelope protein, E, to fuse the viral lipid membrane with the endosomal membrane and thereby deliver the viral genome into the cytosol. We have determined the crystal structure of a soluble fragment E (sE) of dengue virus type 1 (DEN-1). The protein is in the postfusion conformation even though it was not exposed to a lipid membrane or detergent. At the domain I-domain III interface, 4 polar residues form a tight cluster that is absent in other flaviviral postfusion structures. Two of these residues, His-282 and His-317, are conserved in flaviviruses and are part of the 'pH sensor' that triggers the fusogenic conformational change in E, at the reduced pH of the endosome. In the fusion loop, Phe-108 adopts a distinct conformation, forming additional trimer contacts and filling the bowl-shaped concavity observed at the tip of the DEN-2 sE trimer.

  5. Drugging Membrane Protein Interactions.

    PubMed

    Yin, Hang; Flynn, Aaron D

    2016-07-11

    The majority of therapeutics target membrane proteins, accessible on the surface of cells, to alter cellular signaling. Cells use membrane proteins to transduce signals into cells, transport ions and molecules, bind cells to a surface or substrate, and catalyze reactions. Newly devised technologies allow us to drug conventionally "undruggable" regions of membrane proteins, enabling modulation of protein-protein, protein-lipid, and protein-nucleic acid interactions. In this review, we survey the state of the art of high-throughput screening and rational design in drug discovery, and we evaluate the advances in biological understanding and technological capacity that will drive pharmacotherapy forward against unorthodox membrane protein targets. PMID:26863923

  6. Crystal Structure of the Outer Membrane Protein OpdK from Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    SciTech Connect

    Biswas,S.; Mohammad, M.; Movileanu, L.; van den Berg, B.

    2008-01-01

    In Gram-negative bacteria that do not have porins, most water-soluble and small molecules are taken up by substrate-specific channels belonging to the OprD family. We report here the X-ray crystal structure of OpdK, an OprD family member implicated in the uptake of vanillate and related small aromatic acids. The OpdK structure reveals a monomeric, 18-stranded {beta} barrel with a kidney-shaped central pore. The OpdK pore constriction is relatively wide for a substrate-specific channel ({approx}8 Angstroms diameter), and it is lined by a positively charged patch of arginine residues on one side and an electronegative pocket on the opposite side--features likely to be important for substrate selection. Single-channel electrical recordings of OpdK show binding of vanillate to the channel, and they suggest that OpdK forms labile trimers in the outer membrane. Comparison of the OpdK structure with that of Pseudomonas aeruginosa OprD provides the first qualitative insights into the different substrate specificities of these closely related channels.

  7. Protein Crystal Based Nanomaterials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, Jeffrey A.; VanRoey, Patrick

    2001-01-01

    This is the final report on a NASA Grant. It concerns a description of work done, which includes: (1) Protein crystals cross-linked to form fibers; (2) Engineering of protein to favor crystallization; (3) Better knowledge-based potentials for protein-protein contacts; (4) Simulation of protein crystallization.

  8. Serial Femtosecond Crystallography of Membrane Proteins.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Lan; Weierstall, Uwe; Cherezov, Vadim; Liu, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins, including G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), constitute the most important drug targets. The increasing number of targets requires new structural information, which has proven tremendously challenging due to the difficulties in growing diffraction-quality crystals. Recent developments of serial femtosecond crystallography at X-ray free electron lasers combined with the use of membrane-mimetic gel-like matrix of lipidic cubic phase (LCP-SFX) for crystal growth and delivery hold significant promise to accelerate structural studies of membrane proteins. This chapter describes the development and current status of the LCP-SFX technology and elaborates its future role in structural biology of membrane proteins. PMID:27553241

  9. Lipid membranes for membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Kukol, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    The molecular dynamics (MD) simulation of membrane proteins requires the setup of an accurate representation of lipid bilayers. This chapter describes the setup of a lipid bilayer system from scratch using generally available tools, starting with a definition of the lipid molecule POPE, generation of a lipid bilayer, energy minimization, MD simulation, and data analysis. The data analysis includes the calculation of area and volume per lipid, deuterium order parameters, self-diffusion constant, and the electron density profile. PMID:25330959

  10. Pressure cryocooling protein crystals

    DOEpatents

    Kim, Chae Un; Gruner, Sol M.

    2011-10-04

    Preparation of cryocooled protein crystal is provided by use of helium pressurizing and cryocooling to obtain cryocooled protein crystal allowing collection of high resolution data and by heavier noble gas (krypton or xenon) binding followed by helium pressurizing and cryocooling to obtain cryocooled protein crystal for collection of high resolution data and SAD phasing simultaneously. The helium pressurizing is carried out on crystal coated to prevent dehydration or on crystal grown in aqueous solution in a capillary.

  11. Dielectrophoretic Sorting of Membrane Protein Nanocrystals

    PubMed Central

    Abdallah, Bahige G.; Chao, Tzu-Chiao; Kupitz, Christopher; Fromme, Petra; Ros, Alexandra

    2013-01-01

    Structure elucidation of large membrane protein complexes still comprises a considerable challenge yet is a key factor in drug development and disease combat. Femtosecond nanocrystallography is an emerging technique with which structural information of membrane proteins is obtained without the need to grow large crystals, thus overcoming the experimental riddle faced in traditional crystallography methods. Here, we demonstrate for the first time a microfluidic device capable of sorting membrane protein crystals based on size using dielectrophoresis. We demonstrate the excellent sorting power of this new approach with numerical simulations of selected sub-micrometer beads in excellent agreement with experimental observations. Crystals from batch crystallization broths of the huge membrane protein complex photosystem I were sorted without further treatment, resulting in a high degree of monodispersity and crystallinity in the ~ 100 nm size range. Microfluidic integration, continuous sorting, and nanometer-sized crystal fractions make this method ideal for direct coupling to femtosecond nanocrystallography. PMID:24004002

  12. Single Crystal Membranes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stormont, R. W.; Morrison, A.

    1974-01-01

    Single crystal a- and c-axis tubes and ribbons of sodium beta-alumina and sodium magnesium beta-alumina were grown from sodium oxide rich melts. Additional experiments grew ribbon crystals containing sodium magnesium beta, beta double prime, beta triple prime, and beta quadruple prime. A high pressure crystal growth chamber, sodium oxide rich melts, and iridium for all surfaces in contact with the melt were combined with the edge-defined, film-fed growth technique to grow the single crystal beta-alumina tubes and ribbons. The crystals were characterized using metallographic and X-ray diffraction techniques, and wet chemical analysis was used to determine the sodium, magnesium, and aluminum content of the grown crystals.

  13. Protein crystallization with paper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuoka, Miki; Kakinouchi, Keisuke; Adachi, Hiroaki; Maruyama, Mihoko; Sugiyama, Shigeru; Sano, Satoshi; Yoshikawa, Hiroshi Y.; Takahashi, Yoshinori; Yoshimura, Masashi; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Murakami, Satoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Takano, Kazufumi

    2016-05-01

    We developed a new protein crystallization method that incorporates paper. A small piece of paper, such as facial tissue or KimWipes, was added to a drop of protein solution in the traditional sitting drop vapor diffusion technique, and protein crystals grew by incorporating paper. By this method, we achieved the growth of protein crystals with reducing osmotic shock. Because the technique is very simple and the materials are easy to obtain, this method will come into wide use for protein crystallization. In the future, it could be applied to nanoliter-scale crystallization screening on a paper sheet such as in inkjet printing.

  14. Drugging Membrane Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Hang; Flynn, Aaron D.

    2016-01-01

    The majority of therapeutics target membrane proteins, accessible on the surface of cells, to alter cellular signaling. Cells use membrane proteins to transduce signals into cells, transport ions and molecules, bind the cell to a surface or substrate, and catalyze reactions. Newly devised technologies allow us to drug conventionally “undruggable” regions of membrane proteins, enabling modulation of protein–protein, protein–lipid, and protein–nucleic acid interactions. In this review, we survey the state of the art in high-throughput screening and rational design in drug discovery, and we evaluate the advances in biological understanding and technological capacity that will drive pharmacotherapy forward against unorthodox membrane protein targets. PMID:26863923

  15. Structures of membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Vinothkumar, Kutti R.; Henderson, Richard

    2010-01-01

    In reviewing the structures of membrane proteins determined up to the end of 2009, we present in words and pictures the most informative examples from each family. We group the structures together according to their function and architecture to provide an overview of the major principles and variations on the most common themes. The first structures, determined 20 years ago, were those of naturally abundant proteins with limited conformational variability, and each membrane protein structure determined was a major landmark. With the advent of complete genome sequences and efficient expression systems, there has been an explosion in the rate of membrane protein structure determination, with many classes represented. New structures are published every month and more than 150 unique membrane protein structures have been determined. This review analyses the reasons for this success, discusses the challenges that still lie ahead, and presents a concise summary of the key achievements with illustrated examples selected from each class. PMID:20667175

  16. Outer membrane protein purification.

    PubMed

    Arigita, C; Jiskoot, W; Graaf, M R; Kersten, G F

    2001-01-01

    The major outer membrane proteins (OMPs) from Neisseria meningitidis, which are expressed at high levels, are subdivided in five classes based on molecular weight (1,2) (see Table 1). Table 1 Major Meningococcal Outer-Membrane Proteins Outer-membrane proteins Name Molecular maass Function/characteristics Class 1 PorA 44-47 kDa Porin Class 2/3 PorB 37-42 kDa Porin Class 4 Rmp Reductionmodifiableprotein, unknown Class 5 Opa 26-30 kDa Adhesion,opacity protein Opc 25 kDa Invasion, opacity protein Iron-regulated proteins Mirp 37 kDa Iron acquisition (?);majoriron-regulatedprotein FrpB 70 kDa Ferric enterobactin receptor (also FetA) Adapted from ref. (1). PMID:21336748

  17. Inherently Tunable Electrostatic Assembly of Membrane Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Liang, H.; Whited, G.; Nguyen, C.; Okerlund, A.; Stucky, G.D.

    2009-05-19

    Membrane proteins are a class of nanoscopic entities that control the matter, energy, and information transport across cellular boundaries. Electrostatic interactions are shown to direct the rapid co-assembly of proteorhodopsin (PR) and lipids into long-range crystalline arrays. The roles of inherent charge variations on lipid membranes and PR variants with different compositions are examined by tuning recombinant PR variants with different extramembrane domain sizes and charged amino acid substitutions, lipid membrane compositions, and lipid-to-PR stoichiometric ratios. Rational control of this predominantly electrostatic assembly for PR crystallization is demonstrated, and the same principles should be applicable to the assembly and crystallization of other integral membrane proteins.

  18. Process for Encapsulating Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, Dennis R.; Mosier, Benjamin

    2003-01-01

    A process for growing protein crystals encapsulated within membranes has been invented. This process begins with the encapsulation of a nearly saturated aqueous protein solution inside semipermeable membranes to form microcapsules. The encapsulation is effected by use of special formulations of a dissolved protein and a surfactant in an aqueous first liquid phase, which is placed into contact with a second, immiscible liquid phase that contains one or more polymers that are insoluble in the first phase. The second phase becomes formed into the semipermeable membranes that surround microglobules of the first phase, thereby forming the microcapsules. Once formed, the microcapsules are then dehydrated osmotically by exposure to a concentrated salt or polymer solution. The dehydration forms supersaturated solutions inside the microcapsules, thereby enabling nucleation and growth of protein crystals inside the microcapsules. By suitable formulation of the polymer or salt solution and of other physical and chemical parameters, one can control the rate of transport of water out of the microcapsules through the membranes and thereby create physicochemical conditions that favor the growth, within each microcapsule, of one or a few large crystals suitable for analysis by x-ray diffraction. The membrane polymer can be formulated to consist of low-molecular-weight molecules that do not interfere with the x-ray diffraction analysis of the encapsulated crystals. During dehydration, an electrostatic field can be applied to exert additional control over the rate of dehydration. This protein-crystal-encapsulation process is expected to constitute the basis of protein-growth experiments to be performed on the space shuttle and the International Space Station. As envisioned, the experiments would involve the exposure of immiscible liquids to each other in sequences of steps under microgravitational conditions. The experiments are expected to contribute to knowledge of the precise

  19. In Situ Proteolysis for Crystallization of Membrane Bound Cytochrome P450 17A1 and 17A2 Proteins from Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Lei, Li; Egli, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Fish and human cytochrome P450 (P450) 17A1 catalyze both steroid 17α-hydroxylation and 17α,20-lyase reactions. Fish P450 17A2 catalyzes only 17α-hydroxylation. Both enzymes are microsomal-type P450s, integral membrane proteins that bind to the membrane through their N-terminal hydrophobic segment, the signal anchor sequence. The presence of this N-terminal region renders expression of full-length proteins challenging or impossible. For some proteins, variable truncation of the signal anchor sequence precludes expression or results in poor expression levels. To crystallize P450 17A1 and 17A2 in order to gain insight into their different activities, we used an alternative N-terminal sequence to boost expression together with in situ proteolysis. Key features of our approach to identify crystallizable P450 fragments were the use of an N-terminal leader sequence, a screen composed of 12 proteases to establish optimal cleavage, variations of protease concentration in combination with an SDS-PAGE assay, and analysis of the resulting fragments using Edman sequencing. Described in this unit are protocols for vector preparation, expression, purification, and in situ proteolytic crystallization of two membrane-bound P450 proteins. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:27038268

  20. Protein mediated membrane adhesion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, Andreas; Mahadevan, L.

    2015-05-01

    Adhesion in the context of mechanical attachment, signaling, and movement in cellular dynamics is mediated by the kinetic interactions between membrane-embedded proteins in an aqueous environment. Here, we present a minimal theoretical framework for the dynamics of membrane adhesion that accounts for the kinetics of protein binding, the elastic deformation of the membrane, and the hydrodynamics of squeeze flow in the membrane gap. We analyze the resulting equations using scaling estimates to characterize the spatiotemporal features of the adhesive patterning and corroborate them using numerical simulations. In addition to characterizing aspects of cellular dynamics, our results might also be applicable to a range of phenomena in physical chemistry and materials science where flow, deformation, and kinetics are coupled to each other in slender geometries.

  1. Highly ordered crystals of channel-forming membrane proteins, of nucleoside-monophosphate kinases, of FAD-containing oxidoreductases and of sugar-processing enzymes and their mutants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulz, G. E.; Dreyer, M.; Klein, C.; Kreusch, A.; Mittl, P.; Mu¨ller, C. W.; Mu¨ller-Dieckmann, J.; Muller, Y. A.; Proba, K.; Schlauderer, G.; Spu¨rgin, P.; Stehle, T.; Weiss, M. S.

    1992-08-01

    Preparation and crystallization procedures as well as crystal properties are reported for 12 proteins plus numerous site-directed mutants. The proteins are: the integral membrane protein porin from Rhodobacter capsulatus which diffracts to at least 1.8A˚resolution, porin from Rhodopseudomonas blastica which diffracts to at least 2.0A˚resolution, adenylate kinase from yeast and mutants, adenylate kinase from Escherichia coli and mutants, bovine liver mitochondrial adenylate kinase, guanylate kinase from yeast, uridylate kinase from yeast, glutathione reductase from E. coli and mutants, NADH peroxidase from Streptococcus faecalis containing a sulfenic acid as redox-center, pyruvate oxidase from Lactobacillus plantarum containing FAD and TPP, cyclodextrin glycosyltransferase from Bacillus circulans and mutants, and a fuculose aldolase from E. coli.

  2. Protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, Charles E.

    1993-01-01

    Proteins account for 50% or more of the dry weight of most living systems and play a crucial role in virtually all biological processes. Since the specific functions of essentially all biological molecules are determined by their three-dimensional structures, it is obvious that a detailed understanding of the structural makeup of a protein is essential to any systematic research pertaining to it. At the present time, protein crystallography has no substitute, it is the only technique available for elucidating the atomic arrangements within complicated biological molecules. Most macromolecules are extremely difficult to crystallize, and many otherwise exciting and promising projects have terminated at the crystal growth stage. There is a pressing need to better understand protein crystal growth, and to develop new techniques that can be used to enhance the size and quality of protein crystals. There are several aspects of microgravity that might be exploited to enhance protein crystal growth. The major factor that might be expected to alter crystal growth processes in space is the elimination of density-driven convective flow. Another factor that can be readily controlled in the absence of gravity is the sedimentation of growing crystal in a gravitational field. Another potential advantage of microgravity for protein crystal growth is the option of doing containerless crystal growth. One can readily understand why the microgravity environment established by Earth-orbiting vehicles is perceived to offer unique opportunities for the protein crystallographer. The near term objectives of the Protein Crystal Growth in a Microgravity Environment (PCG/ME) project is to continue to improve the techniques, procedures, and hardware systems used to grow protein crystals in Earth orbit.

  3. Unlocking the eukaryotic membrane protein structural proteome

    PubMed Central

    Lee, John Kyongwon; Stroud, Robert Michael

    2012-01-01

    Summary Most of the 231 unique membrane protein structures (as of 3/2010) are of bacterial membrane proteins (MPs) expressed in bacteria, or eukaryotic MPs from natural sources. However eukaryotic membrane proteins, especially those with more than three membrane crossings rarely succumb to any suitable expression in bacterial cells. They typically require expression in eukaryotic cells that can provide appropriate endoplasmic reticulum, chaperones, targeting and post-translational processing. In evidence, only ~20 eukaryotic MP structures have resulted from heterologous expression. This is required for a general approach to target particular human or pathogen membrane proteins of importance to human health. The first of these appeared in 2005. Our review addresses the special issues that pertain to the expression of eukaryotic and human membrane proteins, and recent advances in the tool kit for crystallization and structure determination. PMID:20739007

  4. Crystal Structure of a Soluble Fragment of the Membrane Fusion Protein HlyD in a Type I Secretion System of Gram-Negative Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jin-Sik; Song, Saemee; Lee, Minho; Lee, Seunghwa; Lee, Kangseok; Ha, Nam-Chul

    2016-03-01

    The protein toxin HlyA of Escherichia coli is exported without a periplasmic intermediate by the type I secretion system (T1SS). The T1SS is composed of an inner membrane ABC transporter HlyB, an outer-membrane channel protein TolC, and a membrane fusion protein HlyD. However, the assembly of the T1SS remains to be elucidated. In this study, we determine the crystal structure of a part of the C-terminal periplasmic domain of HlyD. The long α-helical domain consisting of three α helices and a lipoyl domain was identified in the crystal structure. Based on the HlyD structure, we modeled the hexameric assembly of HlyD with a long α-helical barrel, which formed a complex with TolC in an intermeshing cogwheel-to-cogwheel manner, as observed in tripartite RND-type drug efflux pumps. These observations provide a structural blueprint for understanding the type I secretion system in pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria. PMID:26833388

  5. Membrane Protein Prediction Methods

    PubMed Central

    Punta, Marco; Forrest, Lucy R.; Bigelow, Henry; Kernytsky, Andrew; Liu, Jinfeng; Rost, Burkhard

    2007-01-01

    We survey computational approaches that tackle membrane protein structure and function prediction. While describing the main ideas that have led to the development of the most relevant and novel methods, we also discuss pitfalls, provide practical hints and highlight the challenges that remain. The methods covered include: sequence alignment, motif search, functional residue identification, transmembrane segment and protein topology predictions, homology and ab initio modeling. Overall, predictions of functional and structural features of membrane proteins are improving, although progress is hampered by the limited amount of high-resolution experimental information available. While predictions of transmembrane segments and protein topology rank among the most accurate methods in computational biology, more attention and effort will be required in the future to ameliorate database search, homology and ab initio modeling. PMID:17367718

  6. Protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Atomic force microscopy uses laser technology to reveal a defect, a double-screw dislocation, on the surface of this crystal of canavalin, a major source of dietary protein for humans and domestic animals. When a crystal grows, attachment kinetics and transport kinetics are competing for control of the molecules. As a molecule gets close to the crystal surface, it has to attach properly for the crystal to be usable. NASA has funded investigators to look at those attachment kinetics from a theoretical standpoint and an experimental standpoint. Dr. Alex McPherson of the University of California, Irvine, is one of those investigators. He uses X-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy in his laboratory to answer some of the many questions about how protein crystals grow. Atomic force microscopy provides a means of looking at how individual molecules are added to the surface of growing protein crystals. This helps McPherson understand the kinetics of protein crystal growth. McPherson asks, How fast do crystals grow? What are the forces involved? Investigators funded by NASA have clearly shown that such factors as the level of supersaturation and the rate of growth all affect the habit [characteristic arrangement of facets] of the crystal and the defects that occur in the crystal.

  7. Outer membrane protein F stabilised with minimal amphipol forms linear arrays and LPS-dependent 2D crystals.

    PubMed

    Arunmanee, Wanatchaporn; Harris, J Robin; Lakey, Jeremy H

    2014-10-01

    Amphipols (APol) are polymers which can solubilise and stabilise membrane proteins (MP) in aqueous solutions. In contrast to conventional detergents, APol are able to keep MP soluble even when the free APol concentration is very low. Outer membrane protein F (OmpF) is the most abundant MP commonly found in the outer membrane (OM) of Escherichia coli. It plays a vital role in the transport of hydrophilic nutrients, as well as antibiotics, across the OM. In the present study, APol was used to solubilise OmpF to characterize its interactions with molecules such as lipopolysaccharides (LPS) or colicins. OmpF was reconstituted into APol by the removal of detergents using Bio-Beads followed by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) to remove excess APol. OmpF/APol complexes were then analysed by SEC, dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). TEM showed that in the absence of free APol-OmpF associated as long filaments with a thickness of ~6 nm. This indicates that the OmpF trimers lie on their sides on the carbon EM grid and that they also favour side by side association. The formation of filaments requires APol and occurs very rapidly. Addition of LPS to OmpF/APol complexes impeded filament formation and the trimers form 2D sheets which mimic the OM. Consequently, free APol is undoubtedly required to maintain the homogeneity of OmpF in solutions, but 'minimum APol' provides a new phase, which can allow weaker protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions characteristic of native membranes to take place and thus control 1D-2D crystallisation. PMID:24585057

  8. Protein Crystal Quality Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Eddie Snell, Post-Doctoral Fellow the National Research Council (NRC) uses a reciprocal space mapping diffractometer for macromolecular crystal quality studies. The diffractometer is used in mapping the structure of macromolecules such as proteins to determine their structure and thus understand how they function with other proteins in the body. This is one of several analytical tools used on proteins crystallized on Earth and in space experiments. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

  9. Membrane Bending by Protein Crowding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stachowiak, Jeanne

    2014-03-01

    From endosomes and synaptic vesicles to the cristae of the mitochondria and the annulus of the nuclear pore, highly curved membranes are fundamental to the structure and physiology of living cells. The established view is that specific families of proteins are able to bend membranes by binding to them. For example, inherently curved proteins are thought to impose their structure on the membrane surface, while membrane-binding proteins with hydrophobic motifs are thought to insert into the membrane like wedges, driving curvature. However, computational models have recently revealed that these mechanisms would require specialized membrane-bending proteins to occupy nearly 100% of a curved membrane surface, an improbable physiological situation given the immense density and diversity of membrane-bound proteins, and the low expression levels of these specialized proteins within curved regions of the membrane. How then does curvature arise within the complex and crowded environment of cellular membranes? Our recent work using proteins involved in clathrin-mediated endocytosis, as well as engineered protein-lipid interactions, has suggested a new hypothesis - that lateral pressure generated by collisions between membrane-bound proteins can drive membrane bending. Specifically, by correlating membrane bending with quantitative optical measurements of protein density on synthetic membrane surfaces and simple physical models of collisions among membrane-bound proteins, we have demonstrated that protein-protein steric interactions can drive membrane curvature. These findings suggest that a simple imbalance in the concentration of membrane-bound proteins across a membrane surface can drive a membrane to bend, providing an efficient mechanism by which essentially any protein can contribute to shaping membranes.

  10. Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    In order to rapidly and efficiently grow crystals, tools were needed to automatically identify and analyze the growing process of protein crystals. To meet this need, Diversified Scientific, Inc. (DSI), with the support of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from NASA s Marshall Space Flight Center, developed CrystalScore(trademark), the first automated image acquisition, analysis, and archiving system designed specifically for the macromolecular crystal growing community. It offers automated hardware control, image and data archiving, image processing, a searchable database, and surface plotting of experimental data. CrystalScore is currently being used by numerous pharmaceutical companies and academic and nonprofit research centers. DSI, located in Birmingham, Alabama, was awarded the patent Method for acquiring, storing, and analyzing crystal images on March 4, 2003. Another DSI product made possible by Marshall SBIR funding is VaporPro(trademark), a unique, comprehensive system that allows for the automated control of vapor diffusion for crystallization experiments.

  11. Using Inorganic Crystals To Grow Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shlichta, Paul J.; Mcpherson, Alexander A.

    1989-01-01

    Solid materials serve as nucleating agents. Protein crystals induced by heterogeneous nucleation and in some cases by epitaxy to grow at lower supersaturations than needed for spontaneous nucleation. Heterogeneous nucleation makes possible to grow large, defect-free single crystals of protein more readily. Such protein crystals benefits research in biochemistry and pharmacology.

  12. Tracking Membrane Protein Association in Model Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Reffay, Myriam; Gambin, Yann; Benabdelhak, Houssain; Phan, Gilles; Taulier, Nicolas; Ducruix, Arnaud; Hodges, Robert S.; Urbach, Wladimir

    2009-01-01

    Membrane proteins are essential in the exchange processes of cells. In spite of great breakthrough in soluble proteins studies, membrane proteins structures, functions and interactions are still a challenge because of the difficulties related to their hydrophobic properties. Most of the experiments are performed with detergent-solubilized membrane proteins. However widely used micellar systems are far from the biological two-dimensions membrane. The development of new biomimetic membrane systems is fundamental to tackle this issue. We present an original approach that combines the Fluorescence Recovery After fringe Pattern Photobleaching technique and the use of a versatile sponge phase that makes it possible to extract crucial informations about interactions between membrane proteins embedded in the bilayers of a sponge phase. The clear advantage lies in the ability to adjust at will the spacing between two adjacent bilayers. When the membranes are far apart, the only possible interactions occur laterally between proteins embedded within the same bilayer, whereas when membranes get closer to each other, interactions between proteins embedded in facing membranes may occur as well. After validating our approach on the streptavidin-biotinylated peptide complex, we study the interactions between two membrane proteins, MexA and OprM, from a Pseudomonas aeruginosa efflux pump. The mode of interaction, the size of the protein complex and its potential stoichiometry are determined. In particular, we demonstrate that: MexA is effectively embedded in the bilayer; MexA and OprM do not interact laterally but can form a complex if they are embedded in opposite bilayers; the population of bound proteins is at its maximum for bilayers separated by a distance of about 200 Å, which is the periplasmic thickness of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We also show that the MexA-OprM association is enhanced when the position and orientation of the protein is restricted by the bilayers. We

  13. Protein Crystal Quality Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Eddie Snell (standing), Post-Doctoral Fellow the National Research Council (NRC),and Marc Pusey of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) use a reciprocal space mapping diffractometer for marcromolecular crystal quality studies. The diffractometer is used in mapping the structure of marcromolecules such as proteins to determine their structure and thus understand how they function with other proteins in the body. This is one of several analytical tools used on proteins crystalized on Earth and in space experiments. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

  14. Protein Crystal Malic Enzyme

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    Malic Enzyme is a target protein for drug design because it is a key protein in the life cycle of intestinal parasites. After 2 years of effort on Earth, investigators were unable to produce any crystals that were of high enough quality and for this reason the structure of this important protein could not be determined. Crystals obtained from one STS-50 were of superior quality allowing the structure to be determined. This is just one example why access to space is so vital for these studies. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  15. Theoretical analysis of protein organization in lipid membranes.

    PubMed

    Gil, T; Ipsen, J H; Mouritsen, O G; Sabra, M C; Sperotto, M M; Zuckermann, M J

    1998-11-10

    The fundamental physical principles of the lateral organization of trans-membrane proteins and peptides as well as peripheral membrane proteins and enzymes are considered from the point of view of the lipid-bilayer membrane, its structure, dynamics, and cooperative phenomena. Based on a variety of theoretical considerations and model calculations, the nature of lipid-protein interactions is considered both for a single protein and an assembly of proteins that can lead to aggregation and protein crystallization in the plane of the membrane. Phenomena discussed include lipid sorting and selectivity at protein surfaces, protein-lipid phase equilibria, lipid-mediated protein-protein interactions, wetting and capillary condensation as means of protein organization, mechanisms of two-dimensional protein crystallization, as well as non-equilibrium organization of active proteins in membranes. The theoretical findings are compared with a variety of experimental data. PMID:9804966

  16. Using macromolecular-crystallography beamline and microfluidic platform for small-angle diffraction studies of lipidic matrices for membrane-protein crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kondrashkina, E.; Khvostichenko, D. S.; Perry, S. L.; Von Osinski, J.; Kenis, P. J. A.; Brister, K.

    2013-03-01

    Macromolecular-crystallography (MX) beamlines routinely provide a possibility to change X-ray beam energy, focus the beam to a size of tens of microns, align a sample on a microdiffractometer using on-axis video microscope, and collect data with an area-detector positioned in three dimensions. These capabilities allow for running complementary measurements of small-angle X-ray scattering and diffraction (SAXS) at the same beamline with such additions to the standard MX setup as a vacuum path between the sample and the detector, a modified beam stop, and a custom sample cell. On the 21-ID-D MX beamline at the Advanced Photon Source we attach a vacuum flight tube to the area detector support and use the support motion for aligning a beam stop built into the rear end of the flight tube. At 8 KeV energy and 1 m sample-to-detector distance we can achieve a small-angle resolution of 0.01A-1 in the reciprocal space. Measuring SAXS with this setup, we have studied phase diagrams of lipidic mesophases used as matrices for membrane-protein crystallization. The outcome of crystallization trials is significantly affected by the structure of the lipidic mesophases, which is determined by the composition of the crystallization mixture. We use a microfluidic chip for the mesophase formulation and in situ SAXS data collection. Using the MX beamline and the microfluidic platform we have demonstrated the viability of the high-throughput SAXS studies facilitating screening of lipidic matrices for membrane-protein crystallization.

  17. Proteins causing membrane fouling in membrane bioreactors.

    PubMed

    Miyoshi, Taro; Nagai, Yuhei; Aizawa, Tomoyasu; Kimura, Katsuki; Watanabe, Yoshimasa

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the details of proteins causing membrane fouling in membrane bioreactors (MBRs) treating real municipal wastewater were investigated. Two separate pilot-scale MBRs were continuously operated under significantly different operating conditions; one MBR was a submerged type whereas the other was a side-stream type. The submerged and side-stream MBRs were operated for 20 and 10 days, respectively. At the end of continuous operation, the foulants were extracted from the fouled membranes. The proteins contained in the extracted foulants were enriched by using the combination of crude concentration with an ultrafiltration membrane and trichloroacetic acid precipitation, and then separated by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE). The N-terminal amino acid sequencing analysis of the proteins which formed intensive spots on the 2D-PAGE gels allowed us to partially identify one protein (OmpA family protein originated from genus Brevundimonas or Riemerella anatipestifer) from the foulant obtained from the submerged MBR, and two proteins (OprD and OprF originated from genus Pseudomonas) from that obtained from the side-stream MBR. Despite the significant difference in operating conditions of the two MBRs, all proteins identified in this study belong to β-barrel protein. These findings strongly suggest the importance of β-barrel proteins in developing membrane fouling in MBRs. PMID:26360742

  18. Crystal Structure of Dengue Type 1 Envelope Protein in the Postfusion Conformation and its Implication for Receptor Binding, Membrane Fusion and Antibody Recognition

    SciTech Connect

    Nayak, V.; Dessau, M; Kucera, K; Anthony, K; Ledizet, M; Modis, Y

    2009-01-01

    Dengue virus relies on a conformational change in its envelope protein, E, to fuse the viral lipid membrane with the endosomal membrane and thereby deliver the viral genome into the cytosol. We have determined the crystal structure of a soluble fragment E (sE) of dengue virus type 1 (DEN-1). The protein is in the postfusion conformation even though it was not exposed to a lipid membrane or detergent. At the domain I-domain III interface, 4 polar residues form a tight cluster that is absent in other flaviviral postfusion structures. Two of these residues, His-282 and His-317, are conserved in flaviviruses and are part of the pH sensor that triggers the fusogenic conformational change in E, at the reduced pH of the endosome. In the fusion loop, Phe-108 adopts a distinct conformation, forming additional trimer contacts and filling the bowl-shaped concavity observed at the tip of the DEN-2 sE trimer.

  19. Microtechnologies for membrane protein studies

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Hiroaki

    2008-01-01

    Despite the rapid and enormous progress in biotechnologies, the biochemical analysis of membrane proteins is still a difficult task. The presence of the large hydrophobic region buried in the lipid bilayer membrane (transmembrane domain) makes it difficult to analyze membrane proteins in standard assays developed for water-soluble proteins. To handle membrane proteins, the lipid bilayer membrane may be used as a platform to sustain their functionalities. Relatively slow progress in developing micro total analysis systems (μTAS) for membrane protein analysis directly reflects the difficulty of handling lipid membranes, which is a common problem in bulk measurement technologies. Nonetheless, researchers are continuing to develop efficient and sensitive analytical microsystems for the study of membrane proteins. Here, we review the latest developments, which enable detection of events caused by membrane proteins, such as ion channel current, membrane transport, and receptor/ligand interaction, by utilizing microfabricated structures. High-throughput and highly sensitive detection systems for membrane proteins are now becoming a realistic goal. Although most of these systems are still in the early stages of development, we believe this field will become one of the most important applications of μTAS for pharmaceutical and clinical screenings as well as for basic biochemical research. PMID:18335213

  20. Proteins interacting with Membranes: Protein Sorting and Membrane Shaping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callan-Jones, Andrew

    2015-03-01

    Membrane-bound transport in cells requires generating membrane curvature. In addition, transport is selective, in order to establish spatial gradients of membrane components in the cell. The mechanisms underlying cell membrane shaping by proteins and the influence of curvature on membrane composition are active areas of study in cell biophysics. In vitro approaches using Giant Unilamellar Vesicles (GUVs) are a useful tool to identify the physical mechanisms that drive sorting of membrane components and membrane shape change by proteins. I will present recent work on the curvature sensing and generation of IRSp53, a protein belonging to the BAR family, whose members, sharing a banana-shaped backbone, are involved in endocytosis. Pulling membrane tubes with 10-100 nm radii from GUVs containing encapsulated IRSp53 have, unexpectedly, revealed a non-monotonic dependence of the protein concentration on the tube as a function of curvature. Experiments also show that bound proteins alter the tube mechanics and that protein phase separation along the tube occurs at low tensions. I will present accompanying theoretical work that can explain these findings based on the competition between the protein's intrinsic curvature and the effective rigidity of a membrane-protein patch.

  1. Protein Crystal Bovine Insulin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The comparison of protein crystal, Bovine Insulin space-grown (left) and earth-grown (right). Facilitates the incorporation of glucose into cells. In diabetics, there is either a decrease in or complete lack of insulin, thereby leading to several harmful complications. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  2. Membrane protein structure determination by electron crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Ubarretxena-Belandia, Iban; Stokes, David L.

    2012-01-01

    During the past year, electron crystallography of membrane proteins has provided structural insights into the mechanism of several different transporters and into their interactions with lipid molecules within the bilayer. From a technical perspective there have been important advances in high-throughput screening of crystallization trials and in automated imaging of membrane crystals with the electron microscope. There have also been key developments in software, and in molecular replacement and phase extension methods designed to facilitate the process of structure determination. PMID:22572457

  3. Membrane Protein Assembly into Nanodiscs

    PubMed Central

    Bayburt, Timothy H.; Sligar, Stephen G.

    2016-01-01

    Nanodiscs are soluble nanoscale phospholipid bilayers which can self-assemble integral membrane proteins for biophysical, enzymatic or structural investigations. This means for rendering membrane proteins soluble at the single molecule level offers advantages over liposomes or detergent micelles in terms of size, stability, ability to add genetically modifiable features to the Nanodisc structure and ready access to both sides of the phospholipid bilayer domain. Thus the Nanodisc system provides a novel platform for understanding membrane protein function. We provide an overview of the Nanodisc approach and document through several examples many of the applications to the study of the structure and function of integral membrane proteins. PMID:19836392

  4. Protein crystal growth in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delucas, Lawrence J.; Smith, Craig D.; Smith, H. Wilson; Vijay-Kumar, Senadhi; Senadhi, Shobha E.; Ealick, Steven E.; Carter, Daniel C.; Snyder, Robert S.

    1989-01-01

    The crystals of most proteins or other biological macromolecules are poorly ordered and diffract to lower resolutions than those observed for most crystals of simple organic and inorganic compounds. Crystallization in the microgravity environment of space may improve crystal quality by eliminating convection effects near growing crystal surfaces. A series of 11 different protein crystal growth experiments was performed on U.S. Space Shuttle flight STS-26 in September 1988. The microgravity-grown crystals of gamma-interferon D1, porcine elastase, and isocitrate lyase are larger, display more uniform morphologies, and yield diffraction data to significantly higher resolutions than the best crystals of these proteins grown on earth.

  5. Introduction to protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    McPherson, Alexander; Gavira, Jose A.

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystallization was discovered by chance about 150 years ago and was developed in the late 19th century as a powerful purification tool and as a demonstration of chemical purity. The crystallization of proteins, nucleic acids and large biological complexes, such as viruses, depends on the creation of a solution that is supersaturated in the macromolecule but exhibits conditions that do not significantly perturb its natural state. Supersaturation is produced through the addition of mild precipitating agents such as neutral salts or polymers, and by the manipulation of various parameters that include temperature, ionic strength and pH. Also important in the crystallization process are factors that can affect the structural state of the macromolecule, such as metal ions, inhibitors, cofactors or other conventional small molecules. A variety of approaches have been developed that combine the spectrum of factors that effect and promote crystallization, and among the most widely used are vapor diffusion, dialysis, batch and liquid–liquid diffusion. Successes in macromolecular crystallization have multiplied rapidly in recent years owing to the advent of practical, easy-to-use screening kits and the application of laboratory robotics. A brief review will be given here of the most popular methods, some guiding principles and an overview of current technologies. PMID:24419610

  6. Introduction to protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    McPherson, Alexander; Gavira, Jose A

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystallization was discovered by chance about 150 years ago and was developed in the late 19th century as a powerful purification tool and as a demonstration of chemical purity. The crystallization of proteins, nucleic acids and large biological complexes, such as viruses, depends on the creation of a solution that is supersaturated in the macromolecule but exhibits conditions that do not significantly perturb its natural state. Supersaturation is produced through the addition of mild precipitating agents such as neutral salts or polymers, and by the manipulation of various parameters that include temperature, ionic strength and pH. Also important in the crystallization process are factors that can affect the structural state of the macromolecule, such as metal ions, inhibitors, cofactors or other conventional small molecules. A variety of approaches have been developed that combine the spectrum of factors that effect and promote crystallization, and among the most widely used are vapor diffusion, dialysis, batch and liquid-liquid diffusion. Successes in macromolecular crystallization have multiplied rapidly in recent years owing to the advent of practical, easy-to-use screening kits and the application of laboratory robotics. A brief review will be given here of the most popular methods, some guiding principles and an overview of current technologies. PMID:24419610

  7. Characterizing protein crystal nucleation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akella, Sathish V.

    We developed an experimental microfluidic based technique to measure the nucleation rates and successfully applied the technique to measure nucleation rates of lysozyme crystals. The technique involves counting the number of samples which do not have crystals as a function of time. Under the assumption that nucleation is a Poisson process, the fraction of samples with no crystals decays exponentially with the decay constant proportional to nucleation rate and volume of the sample. Since nucleation is a random and rare event, one needs to perform measurements on large number of samples to obtain good statistics. Microfluidics offers the solution of producing large number of samples at minimal material consumption. Hence, we developed a microfluidic method and measured nucleation rates of lysozyme crystals in supersaturated protein drops, each with volume of ˜ 1 nL. Classical Nucleation Theory (CNT) describes the kinetics of nucleation and predicts the functional form of nucleation rate in terms of the thermodynamic quantities involved, such as supersaturation, temperature, etc. We analyzed the measured nucleation rates in the context of CNT and obtained the activation energy and the kinetic pre-factor characterizing the nucleation process. One conclusion is that heterogeneous nucleation dominates crystallization. We report preliminary studies on selective enhancement of nucleation in one of the crystal polymorprhs of lysozyme (spherulite) using amorphous mesoporous bioactive gel-glass te{naomi06, naomi08}, CaO.P 2O5.SiO2 (known as bio-glass) with 2-10 nm pore-size diameter distribution. The pores act as heterogeneous nucleation centers and claimed to enhance the nucleation rates by molecular confinement. The measured kinetic profiles of crystal fraction of spherulites indicate that the crystallization of spherulites may be proceeding via secondary nucleation pathways.

  8. Protein Crystal Growth Apparatus for Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Daniel C. (Inventor); Dowling, Timothy E. (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    Apparatus for growing protein crystals under microgravity environment includes a plurality of protein growth assemblies stacked one above the other within a canister. Each of the protein growth assemblies includes a tray having a number of spaced apart growth chambers recessed below an upper surface. the growth chambers each having an upstanding pedestal and an annular reservoir about the pedestal for receiving a wick and precipitating agents. A well is recessed below the top of each pedestal to define a protein crystal growth receptacle. A flexible membrane is positioned on the upper surface of each tray and a sealing plate is positioned above each membrane, each sealing plate having a number of bumpers corresponding in number and alignment to the pedestals for forcing the membrane selectively against the upper end of the respective pedestal to seal the reservoir and the receptacle when the sealing plate is forced down.

  9. Protein crystal growth in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, C. E.; Clifford, D. W.

    1987-01-01

    The advantages of protein crystallization in space, and the applications of protein crystallography to drug design, protein engineering, and the design of synthetic vaccines are examined. The steps involved in using protein crystallography to determine the three-dimensional structure of a protein are discussed. The growth chamber design and the hand-held apparatus developed for protein crystal growth by vapor diffusion techniques (hanging-drop method) are described; the experimental data from the four Shuttle missions are utilized to develop hardware for protein crystal growth in space and to evaluate the effects of gravity on protein crystal growth.

  10. Bacterial Ice Crystal Controlling Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lorv, Janet S. H.; Rose, David R.; Glick, Bernard R.

    2014-01-01

    Across the world, many ice active bacteria utilize ice crystal controlling proteins for aid in freezing tolerance at subzero temperatures. Ice crystal controlling proteins include both antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins. Antifreeze proteins minimize freezing damage by inhibiting growth of large ice crystals, while ice nucleation proteins induce formation of embryonic ice crystals. Although both protein classes have differing functions, these proteins use the same ice binding mechanisms. Rather than direct binding, it is probable that these protein classes create an ice surface prior to ice crystal surface adsorption. Function is differentiated by molecular size of the protein. This paper reviews the similar and different aspects of bacterial antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins, the role of these proteins in freezing tolerance, prevalence of these proteins in psychrophiles, and current mechanisms of protein-ice interactions. PMID:24579057

  11. Lipidic cubic phase injector facilitates membrane protein serial femtosecond crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Weierstall, Uwe; James, Daniel; Wang, Chong; White, Thomas A.; Wang, Dingjie; Liu, Wei; Spence, John C.H.; Doak, R. Bruce; Nelson, Garrett; Fromme, Petra; Fromme, Raimund; Grotjohann, Ingo; Kupitz, Christopher; Zatsepin, Nadia A.; Liu, Haiguang; Basu, Shibom; Wacker, Daniel; Han, Gye Won; Katritch, Vsevolod; Boutet, Sébastien; Messerschmidt, Marc; Williams, Garth J.; Koglin, Jason E.; Seibert, M. Marvin; Klinker, Markus; Gati, Cornelius; Shoeman, Robert L.; Barty, Anton; Chapman, Henry N.; Kirian, Richard A.; Beyerlein, Kenneth R.; Stevens, Raymond C.; Li, Dianfan; Shah, Syed T.A.; Howe, Nicole; Caffrey, Martin; Cherezov, Vadim

    2014-01-01

    Lipidic cubic phase (LCP) crystallization has proven successful for high-resolution structure determination of challenging membrane proteins. Here we present a technique for extruding gel-like LCP with embedded membrane protein microcrystals, providing a continuously-renewed source of material for serial femtosecond crystallography. Data collected from sub-10 μm-sized crystals produced with less than 0.5 mg of purified protein yield structural insights regarding cyclopamine binding to the Smoothened receptor. PMID:24525480

  12. Protein crystal growth in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenblum, William M.; Delucas, Lawrence J.; Wilson, William W.

    1989-01-01

    Major advances have been made in several of the experimental aspects of protein crystallography, leaving protein crystallization as one of the few remaining bottlenecks. As a result, it has become important that the science of protein crystal growth is better understood and that improved methods for protein crystallization are developed. Preliminary experiments with both small molecules and proteins indicate that microgravity may beneficially affect crystal growth. For this reason, a series of protein crystal growth experiments using the Space Shuttle was initiated. The preliminary space experiments were used to evolve prototype hardware that will form the basis for a more advanced system that can be used to evaluate effects of gravity on protein crystal growth. Various optical techniques are being utilized to monitor the crystal growth process from the incipient or nucleation stage and throughout the growth phase. The eventual goal of these studies is to develop a system which utilizes optical monitoring for dynamic control of the crystallization process.

  13. Exploiting Microbeams for Membrane Protein Structure Determination.

    PubMed

    Warren, Anna J; Axford, Danny; Paterson, Neil G; Owen, Robin L

    2016-01-01

    A reproducible, and sample independent means of predictably obtaining large, well-ordered crystals has proven elusive in macromolecular crystallography. In the structure determination pipeline, crystallisation often proves to be a rate-limiting step, and the process of obtaining even small or badly ordered crystals can prove time-consuming and laborious. This is particularly true in the field of membrane protein crystallography and this is reflected in the limited number of unique membrane protein structures deposited in the protein data bank (less than 650 by June 2016 - http://blanco.biomol.uci.edu/mpstruc ). Over recent years the requirement for, and time and cost associated with obtaining, large crystals has been partially alleviated through the development of beamline instrumentation allowing data collection, and structure solution, from ever-smaller crystals. Advances in several areas have led to a step change in what might be considered achievable during a synchrotron trip over the last decade. This chapter will briefly review the current status of the field, the tools available to ease data collection and processing, and give some examples of exploitation of these for membrane protein microfocus macromolecular crystallography. PMID:27553238

  14. Path to protein crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

    Growth of two-dimensional S-layer crystals on supported lipid bilayers observed in solution using in situ atomic force microscopy. This movie shows proteins sticking onto the supported lipid bilayer, forming a mobile phase that condenses into amorphous clusters, and undergoing a phase transition to crystalline clusters composed of 2 to 15 tetramers. These initial clusters then enter a growth phase in which new tetramers form exclusively at unoccupied lattice sites along the cluster edges.

  15. Protein Crystal Isocitrate Lyase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The comparison of protein crystal, Isocitrate Lyase earth-grown (left) and space-grown (right). This is a target enzyme for fungicides. A better understanding of this enzyme should lead to the discovery of more potent fungicides to treat serious crop diseases such as rice blast; it regulates the flow of metabolic intermediates required for cell growth. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  16. X-ray Diffraction from Membrane Protein Nanocrystals

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, M.S.; DePonte, D.P.; Shapiro, D.A.; Kirian, R.A.; Wang, X.; Starodub, D.; Marchesini, S.; Weierstall, U.; Doak, R.B.; Spence, J.C.H.; Fromme, P.

    2011-01-01

    Membrane proteins constitute >30% of the proteins in an average cell, and yet the number of currently known structures of unique membrane proteins is <300. To develop new concepts for membrane protein structure determination, we have explored the serial nanocrystallography method, in which fully hydrated protein nanocrystals are delivered to an x-ray beam within a liquid jet at room temperature. As a model system, we have collected x-ray powder diffraction data from the integral membrane protein Photosystem I, which consists of 36 subunits and 381 cofactors. Data were collected from crystals ranging in size from 100 nm to 2 μm. The results demonstrate that there are membrane protein crystals that contain <100 unit cells (200 total molecules) and that 3D crystals of membrane proteins, which contain <200 molecules, may be suitable for structural investigation. Serial nanocrystallography overcomes the problem of x-ray damage, which is currently one of the major limitations for x-ray structure determination of small crystals. By combining serial nanocrystallography with x-ray free-electron laser sources in the future, it may be possible to produce molecular-resolution electron-density maps using membrane protein crystals that contain only a few hundred or thousand unit cells. PMID:21190672

  17. Crystallization of Proteins from Crude Bovine Rod Outer Segments☆

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Bo Y.; Gulati, Sahil; Shi, Wuxian; Wang, Benlian; Stewart, Phoebe L.; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2015-01-01

    Obtaining protein crystals suitable for X-ray diffraction studies comprises the greatest challenge in the determination of protein crystal structures, especially for membrane proteins and protein complexes. Although high purity has been broadly accepted as one of the most significant requirements for protein crystallization, a recent study of the Escherichia coli proteome showed that many proteins have an inherent propensity to crystallize and do not require a highly homogeneous sample (Totir et al., 2012). As exemplified by RPE65 (Kiser, Golczak, Lodowski, Chance, & Palczewski, 2009), there also are cases of mammalian proteins crystallized from less purified samples. To test whether this phenomenon can be applied more broadly to the study of proteins from higher organisms, we investigated the protein crystallization profile of bovine rod outer segment (ROS) crude extracts. Interestingly, multiple protein crystals readily formed from such extracts, some of them diffracting to high resolution that allowed structural determination. A total of seven proteins were crystallized, one of which was a membrane protein. Successful crystallization of proteins from heterogeneous ROS extracts demonstrates that many mammalian proteins also have an intrinsic propensity to crystallize from complex biological mixtures. By providing an alternative approach to heterologous expression to achieve crystallization, this strategy could be useful for proteins and complexes that are difficult to purify or obtain by recombinant techniques. PMID:25950977

  18. Crystallization of proteins from crude bovine rod outer segments.

    PubMed

    Baker, Bo Y; Gulati, Sahil; Shi, Wuxian; Wang, Benlian; Stewart, Phoebe L; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2015-01-01

    Obtaining protein crystals suitable for X-ray diffraction studies comprises the greatest challenge in the determination of protein crystal structures, especially for membrane proteins and protein complexes. Although high purity has been broadly accepted as one of the most significant requirements for protein crystallization, a recent study of the Escherichia coli proteome showed that many proteins have an inherent propensity to crystallize and do not require a highly homogeneous sample (Totir et al., 2012). As exemplified by RPE65 (Kiser, Golczak, Lodowski, Chance, & Palczewski, 2009), there also are cases of mammalian proteins crystallized from less purified samples. To test whether this phenomenon can be applied more broadly to the study of proteins from higher organisms, we investigated the protein crystallization profile of bovine rod outer segment (ROS) crude extracts. Interestingly, multiple protein crystals readily formed from such extracts, some of them diffracting to high resolution that allowed structural determination. A total of seven proteins were crystallized, one of which was a membrane protein. Successful crystallization of proteins from heterogeneous ROS extracts demonstrates that many mammalian proteins also have an intrinsic propensity to crystallize from complex biological mixtures. By providing an alternative approach to heterologous expression to achieve crystallization, this strategy could be useful for proteins and complexes that are difficult to purify or obtain by recombinant techniques. PMID:25950977

  19. Model-building codes for membrane proteins.

    SciTech Connect

    Shirley, David Noyes; Hunt, Thomas W.; Brown, W. Michael; Schoeniger, Joseph S.; Slepoy, Alexander; Sale, Kenneth L.; Young, Malin M.; Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel; Gray, Genetha Anne

    2005-01-01

    We have developed a novel approach to modeling the transmembrane spanning helical bundles of integral membrane proteins using only a sparse set of distance constraints, such as those derived from MS3-D, dipolar-EPR and FRET experiments. Algorithms have been written for searching the conformational space of membrane protein folds matching the set of distance constraints, which provides initial structures for local conformational searches. Local conformation search is achieved by optimizing these candidates against a custom penalty function that incorporates both measures derived from statistical analysis of solved membrane protein structures and distance constraints obtained from experiments. This results in refined helical bundles to which the interhelical loops and amino acid side-chains are added. Using a set of only 27 distance constraints extracted from the literature, our methods successfully recover the structure of dark-adapted rhodopsin to within 3.2 {angstrom} of the crystal structure.

  20. Molecular dynamics of membrane proteins.

    SciTech Connect

    Woolf, Thomas B.; Crozier, Paul Stewart; Stevens, Mark Jackson

    2004-10-01

    Understanding the dynamics of the membrane protein rhodopsin will have broad implications for other membrane proteins and cellular signaling processes. Rhodopsin (Rho) is a light activated G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR). When activated by ligands, GPCRs bind and activate G-proteins residing within the cell and begin a signaling cascade that results in the cell's response to external stimuli. More than 50% of all current drugs are targeted toward G-proteins. Rho is the prototypical member of the class A GPCR superfamily. Understanding the activation of Rho and its interaction with its Gprotein can therefore lead to a wider understanding of the mechanisms of GPCR activation and G-protein activation. Understanding the dark to light transition of Rho is fully analogous to the general ligand binding and activation problem for GPCRs. This transition is dependent on the lipid environment. The effect of lipids on membrane protein activity in general has had little attention, but evidence is beginning to show a significant role for lipids in membrane protein activity. Using the LAMMPS program and simulation methods benchmarked under the IBIG program, we perform a variety of allatom molecular dynamics simulations of membrane proteins.

  1. Serial Millisecond Crystallography of Membrane Proteins.

    PubMed

    Jaeger, Kathrin; Dworkowski, Florian; Nogly, Przemyslaw; Milne, Christopher; Wang, Meitian; Standfuss, Joerg

    2016-01-01

    Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) at X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) is a powerful method to determine high-resolution structures of pharmaceutically relevant membrane proteins. Recently, the technology has been adapted to carry out serial millisecond crystallography (SMX) at synchrotron sources, where beamtime is more abundant. In an injector-based approach, crystals grown in lipidic cubic phase (LCP) or embedded in viscous medium are delivered directly into the unattenuated beam of a microfocus beamline. Pilot experiments show the application of microjet-based SMX for solving the structure of a membrane protein and compatibility of the method with de novo phasing. Planned synchrotron upgrades, faster detectors and software developments will go hand-in-hand with developments at free-electron lasers to provide a powerful methodology for solving structures from microcrystals at room temperature, ligand screening or crystal optimization for time-resolved studies with minimal or no radiation damage. PMID:27553240

  2. Protein Crystals of Raf Kinase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    This image shows crystals of the protein raf kinase grown on Earth (photo a) and on USML-2 (photo b). The space-grown crystals are an order of magnitude larger. Principal Investigator: Dan Carter of New Century Pharmaceuticals

  3. Lipidic phase membrane protein serial femtosecond crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Johansson, Linda C; Arnlund, David; White, Thomas A; Katona, Gergely; DePonte, Daniel P; Weierstall, Uwe; Doak, R Bruce; Shoeman, Robert L; Lomb, Lukas; Malmerberg, Erik; Davidsson, Jan; Nass, Karol; Liang, Mengning; Andreasson, Jakob; Aquila, Andrew; Bajt, Sasa; Barthelmess, Miriam; Barty, Anton; Bogan, Michael J; Bostedt, Christoph; Bozek, John D; Caleman, Carl; Coffee, Ryan; Coppola, Nicola; Ekeberg, Tomas; Epp, Sascha W; Erk, Benjamin; Fleckenstein, Holger; Foucar, Lutz; Graafsma, Heinz; Gumprecht, Lars; Hajdu, Janos; Hampton, Christina Y; Hartmann, Robert; Hartmann, Andreas; Hauser, Günter; Hirsemann, Helmut; Holl, Peter; Hunter, Mark S; Kassemeyer, Stephan; Kimmel, Nils; Kirian, Richard A; Maia, Filipe R N C; Marchesini, Stefano; Martin, Andrew V; Reich, Christian; Rolles, Daniel; Rudek, Benedikt; Rudenko, Artem; Schlichting, Ilme; Schulz, Joachim; Seibert, M Marvin; Sierra, Raymond G; Soltau, Heike; Starodub, Dmitri; Stellato, Francesco; Stern, Stephan; Strüder, Lothar; Timneanu, Nicusor; Ullrich, Joachim; Wahlgren, Weixiao Y; Wang, Xiaoyu; Weidenspointner, Georg; Wunderer, Cornelia; Fromme, Petra; Chapman, Henry N; Spence, John C H; Neutze, Richard

    2012-01-01

    X-ray free electron laser (X-feL)-based serial femtosecond crystallography is an emerging method with potential to rapidly advance the challenging field of membrane protein structural biology. here we recorded interpretable diffraction data from micrometer-sized lipidic sponge phase crystals of the Blastochloris viridis photosynthetic reaction center delivered into an X-feL beam using a sponge phase micro-jet. PMID:22286383

  4. Protein Crystals Grown in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    A collage of protein and virus crystals, many of which were grown on the U.S. Space Shuttle or Russian Space Station, Mir. The crystals include the proteins canavalin; mouse monoclonal antibody; a sweet protein, thaumatin; and a fungal protease. Viruses are represented here by crystals of turnip yellow mosaic virus and satellite tobacco mosaic virus. The crystals are photographed under polarized light (thus causing the colors) and range in size from a few hundred microns in edge length up to more than a millimeter. All the crystals are grown from aqueous solutions and are useful for X-ray diffraction analysis. Credit: Dr. Alex McPherson, University of California, Irvine.

  5. Development of single crystal membranes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stormont, R. W.; Cocks, F. H.

    1972-01-01

    The design and construction of a high pressure crystal growth chamber was accomplished which would allow the growth of crystals under inert gas pressures of 2 MN/sq m (300 psi). A novel crystal growth technique called EFG was used to grow tubes and rods of the hollandite compounds, BaMgTi7O16, K2MgTi7O16, and tubes of sodium beta-alumina, sodium magnesium-alumina, and potassium beta-alumina. Rods and tubes grown are characterized using metallographic and X-ray diffraction techniques. The hollandite compounds are found to be two or three-phase, composed of coarse grained orientated crystallites. Single crystal c-axis tubes of sodium beta-alumina were grown from melts containing excess sodium oxide. Additional experiments demonstrated that crystals of magnesia doped beta-alumina and potassium beta-alumina also can be achieved by this EFG technique.

  6. Protein crystal growth in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delucas, Lawrence J.; Bugg, Charles E.

    1991-01-01

    Studies of protein crystal growth in the microgravity environment in space are described with special attention given to the crystal growth facilities and the techniques used in Space Shuttle experiments. The properties of large space-grown crystals of gamma interferon, elastase, lathyros ochrus lectin I, and few other proteins grown on various STS flights are described. A comparison of the microgravity-grown crystals with the bast earth-grown crystals demonstrated that the space-grown crystals are more highly ordered at the molecular level than their earth-grown counterparts. When crystallization conditions were optimized, the microgravity-grown protein crystals were larger, displayed more uniform morphologies, and yielded diffraction data to significantly higher resolution than their earth-grown counterparts.

  7. Protein Crystals and their Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, A. A.

    2004-01-01

    Recent results on binding between protein molecules in crystal lattice, crystal-solution surface energy, elastic properties and strength and spontaneous crystal cracking are reviewed and discussed in the first half of this paper (Sea 2-4). In the second par&, some basic approaches to solubility of proteins are followed by overview on crystal nucleation and growth (Sec 5). It is argued that variability of mixing in batch crystallization may be a source for scattering of crystal number ultimately appearing in the batch. Frequency at which new molecules join crystal lattice is measured by kinetic coefficient and related to the observable crystal growth rate. Numerical criteria to discriminate diffusion and kinetic limited growth are discussed on this basis in Sec 7. In Sec 8, creation of defects is discussed with the emphasis on the role of impurities and convection on macromolecular crystal I;erfection.

  8. Protein crystals and their growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, Alexander A.

    2003-01-01

    Recent results on the associations between protein molecules in crystal lattices, crystal-solution surface energy, elastic properties, strength, and spontaneous crystal cracking are reviewed and discussed. In addition, some basic approaches to understanding the solubility of proteins are followed by an overview of crystal nucleation and growth. It is argued that variability of mixing in batch crystallization may be a source of the variation in the number of crystals ultimately appearing in the sample. The frequency at which new molecules join a crystal lattice is measured by the kinetic coefficient and is related to the observed crystal growth rate. Numerical criteria used to discriminate diffusion- and kinetic-limited growth are discussed on this basis. Finally, the creation of defects is discussed with an emphasis on the role of impurities and convection on macromolecular crystal perfection.

  9. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Canavalin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Canavalin. The major storage protein of leguminous plants and a major source of dietary protein for humans and domestic animals. It is studied in efforts to enhance nutritional value of proteins through protein engineerings. It is isolated from Jack Bean because of it's potential as a nutritional substance. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Alex McPherson.

  10. The interactions of peripheral membrane proteins with biological membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Johs, Alexander; Whited, A. M.

    2015-01-01

    The interactions of peripheral proteins with membrane surfaces are critical to many biological processes, including signaling, recognition, membrane trafficking, cell division and cell structure. On a molecular level, peripheral membrane proteins can modulate lipid composition, membrane dynamics and protein-protein interactions. Biochemical and biophysical studies have shown that these interactions are in fact highly complex, dominated by several different types of interactions, and have an interdependent effect on both the protein and membrane. Here we examine three major mechanisms underlying the interactions between peripheral membrane proteins and membranes: electrostatic interactions, hydrophobic interactions, and fatty acid modification of proteins. While experimental approaches continue to provide critical insights into specific interaction mechanisms, emerging bioinformatics resources and tools contribute to a systems-level picture of protein-lipid interactions. Through these recent advances, we begin to understand the pivotal role of protein-lipid interactions underlying complex biological functions at membrane interfaces.

  11. The interactions of peripheral membrane proteins with biological membranes

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Johs, Alexander; Whited, A. M.

    2015-01-01

    The interactions of peripheral proteins with membrane surfaces are critical to many biological processes, including signaling, recognition, membrane trafficking, cell division and cell structure. On a molecular level, peripheral membrane proteins can modulate lipid composition, membrane dynamics and protein-protein interactions. Biochemical and biophysical studies have shown that these interactions are in fact highly complex, dominated by several different types of interactions, and have an interdependent effect on both the protein and membrane. Here we examine three major mechanisms underlying the interactions between peripheral membrane proteins and membranes: electrostatic interactions, hydrophobic interactions, and fatty acid modification of proteins. While experimental approachesmore » continue to provide critical insights into specific interaction mechanisms, emerging bioinformatics resources and tools contribute to a systems-level picture of protein-lipid interactions. Through these recent advances, we begin to understand the pivotal role of protein-lipid interactions underlying complex biological functions at membrane interfaces.« less

  12. Protein crystal growth tray assembly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Daniel C. (Inventor); Miller, Teresa Y. (Inventor)

    1992-01-01

    A protein crystal growth tray assembly includes a tray that has a plurality of individual crystal growth chambers. Each chamber has a movable pedestal which carries a protein crystal growth compartment at an upper end. The several pedestals for each tray assembly are ganged together for concurrent movement so that the solutions in the various pedestal growth compartments can be separated from the solutions in the tray's growth chambers until the experiment is to be activated.

  13. Vertebrate Membrane Proteins: Structure, Function, and Insights from Biophysical Approaches

    PubMed Central

    MÜLLER, DANIEL J.; WU, NAN; PALCZEWSKI, KRZYSZTOF

    2008-01-01

    Membrane proteins are key targets for pharmacological intervention because they are vital for cellular function. Here, we analyze recent progress made in the understanding of the structure and function of membrane proteins with a focus on rhodopsin and development of atomic force microscopy techniques to study biological membranes. Membrane proteins are compartmentalized to carry out extra- and intracellular processes. Biological membranes are densely populated with membrane proteins that occupy approximately 50% of their volume. In most cases membranes contain lipid rafts, protein patches, or paracrystalline formations that lack the higher-order symmetry that would allow them to be characterized by diffraction methods. Despite many technical difficulties, several crystal structures of membrane proteins that illustrate their internal structural organization have been determined. Moreover, high-resolution atomic force microscopy, near-field scanning optical microscopy, and other lower resolution techniques have been used to investigate these structures. Single-molecule force spectroscopy tracks interactions that stabilize membrane proteins and those that switch their functional state; this spectroscopy can be applied to locate a ligand-binding site. Recent development of this technique also reveals the energy landscape of a membrane protein, defining its folding, reaction pathways, and kinetics. Future development and application of novel approaches during the coming years should provide even greater insights to the understanding of biological membrane organization and function. PMID:18321962

  14. Lasing from fluorescent protein crystals.

    PubMed

    Oh, Heon Jeong; Gather, Malte C; Song, Ji-Joon; Yun, Seok Hyun

    2014-12-15

    We investigated fluorescent protein crystals for potential photonic applications, for the first time to our knowledge. Rod-shaped crystals of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) were synthesized, with diameters of 0.5-2 μm and lengths of 100-200 μm. The crystals exhibit minimal light scattering due to their ordered structure and generate substantially higher fluorescence intensity than EGFP or dye molecules in solutions. The magnitude of concentration quenching in EGFP crystals was measured to be about 7-10 dB. Upon optical pumping at 485 nm, individual EGFP crystals located between dichroic mirrors generated laser emission with a single-mode spectral line at 513 nm. Our results demonstrate the potential of protein crystals as novel optical elements for self-assembled, micro- or nano-lasers and amplifiers in aqueous environment. PMID:25607090

  15. High density protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rouleau, Robyn (Inventor); Delucas, Lawrence (Inventor); Hedden, Douglas Keith (Inventor)

    2004-01-01

    A protein crystal growth assembly including a crystal growth cell and further including a cell body having a top side and a bottom side and a first aperture defined therethrough, the cell body having opposing first and second sides and a second aperture defined therethrough. A cell barrel is disposed within the cell body, the cell barrel defining a cavity alignable with the first aperture of the cell body, the cell barrel being rotatable within the second aperture. A reservoir is coupled to the bottom side of the cell body and a cap having a top side is disposed on the top side of the cell body. The protein crystal growth assembly may be employed in methods including vapor diffusion crystallization, liquid to liquid crystallization, batch crystallization, and temperature induction batch mode crystallization.

  16. Scientist prepare Lysozyme Protein Crystal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    Dan Carter and Charles Sisk center a Lysozyme Protein crystal grown aboard the USML-2 shuttle mission. Protein isolated from hen egg-white and functions as a bacteriostatic enzyme by degrading bacterial cell walls. First enzyme ever characterized by protein crystallography. It is used as an excellent model system for better understanding parameters involved in microgravity crystal growth experiments. The goal is to compare kinetic data from microgravity experiments with data from laboratory experiments to study the equilibrium.

  17. Containerless protein crystal growth method

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rhim, Won-Kyu; Chung, Sang K.

    1991-01-01

    A method of growing protein crystals from levitated drops is introduced and unique features of containerless approach in 1-g and micro-G laboratories are discussed. Electrostatic multidrop levitation system which is capable of simultaneous four drop levitation is described. A method of controlling protein saturation level in a programmed way is introduced and discussed. Finally, some of the unique features of containerless approach of protein crystal growth in space are discussed and summarized.

  18. Surface Relaxation in Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boutet, S.; Robinson, I. K.; Hu, Z. W.; Thomas, B. R.; Chernov, A. A.

    2002-01-01

    Surface X-ray diffraction measurements were performed on (111) growth faces of crystals of the Cellular iron-storage protein horse spleen ferritin. Crystal Trunkation Rods (CTR) were measured. A fit of the measured profile of the CTR revealed a surface roughness of 48 +/- 4.5 A and a top layer spacing contraction of 3.9 +/- 1.5%. In addition to the peak from the CTR, the rocking curves of the crystals displayed unexpected extra peaks. Multiple-scattering is demonstrated to account for them. Future applications of the method could allow the exploration of hydration effects on the growth of protein crystals.

  19. Local-global conformational coupling in a heptahelical membrane protein: transport mechanism from crystal structures of the nine states in the bacteriorhodopsin photocycle.

    PubMed

    Lanyi, Janos K; Schobert, Brigitte

    2004-01-13

    Proton pumps utilize a chemical or photochemical reaction to create pH and electrical gradients between the interior and the exterior of cells and organelles that energize ATP synthesis and the accumulation and extrusion of solutes and ions. G-protein coupled receptors bind agonists and assume signaling states that communicate with the coupled transducers. How these two kinds of proteins convert chemical potential to a proton transmembrane electrochemical potential or a signal are the great questions in structural membrane biology, and they may have a common answer. Bacteriorhodopsin, a particularly simple integral membrane protein, functions as a proton pump but has a heptahelical structure like membrane receptors. Crystallographic structures are now available for all of the intermediates of the bacteriorhodopsin transport cycle, and they describe the proton translocation mechanism, step by step and in atomic detail. The results show how local conformational changes propagate upon the gradual relaxation of the initially twisted photoisomerized retinal toward the two membrane surfaces. Such local-global conformational coupling between the ligand-binding site and the distant regions of the protein may be the shared mechanism of ion pumps and G-protein related receptors. PMID:14705925

  20. Protein crystal growth in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Daniel

    1992-01-01

    The overall scientific goals and rationale for growing protein crystals in microgravity are discussed. Data on the growth of human serum albumin crystals which were produced during the First International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-1) are presented. Potential scientific advantages of the utilization of Space Station Freedom are discussed.

  1. Multiscale Simulation of Protein Mediated Membrane Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Ayton, Gary S.; Voth, Gregory A.

    2009-01-01

    Proteins interacting with membranes can result in substantial membrane deformations and curvatures. This effect is known in its broadest terms as membrane remodeling. This review article will survey current multiscale simulation methodologies that have been employed to examine protein-mediated membrane remodeling. PMID:19922811

  2. Nucleation precursors in protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Vekilov, Peter G.; Vorontsova, Maria A.

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystal nucleation is a central problem in biological crystallography and other areas of science, technology and medicine. Recent studies have demonstrated that protein crystal nuclei form within crucial precursors. Here, methods of detection and characterization of the precursors are reviewed: dynamic light scattering, atomic force microscopy and Brownian microscopy. Data for several proteins provided by these methods have demonstrated that the nucleation precursors are clusters consisting of protein-dense liquid, which are metastable with respect to the host protein solution. The clusters are several hundred nanometres in size, the cluster population occupies from 10−7 to 10−3 of the solution volume, and their properties in solutions supersaturated with respect to crystals are similar to those in homogeneous, i.e. undersaturated, solutions. The clusters exist owing to the conformation flexibility of the protein molecules, leading to exposure of hydrophobic surfaces and enhanced intermolecular binding. These results indicate that protein conformational flexibility might be the mechanism behind the metastable mesoscopic clusters and crystal nucleation. Investigations of the cluster properties are still in their infancy. Results on direct imaging of cluster behaviors and characterization of cluster mechanisms with a variety of proteins will soon lead to major breakthroughs in protein biophysics. PMID:24598910

  3. Functional Implications of Photosystem II Crystal Formation in Photosynthetic Membranes*

    PubMed Central

    Tietz, Stefanie; Puthiyaveetil, Sujith; Enlow, Heather M.; Yarbrough, Robert; Wood, Magnus; Semchonok, Dmitry A.; Lowry, Troy; Li, Zhirong; Jahns, Peter; Boekema, Egbert J.; Lenhert, Steven; Niyogi, Krishna K.; Kirchhoff, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    The structural organization of proteins in biological membranes can affect their function. Photosynthetic thylakoid membranes in chloroplasts have the remarkable ability to change their supramolecular organization between disordered and semicrystalline states. Although the change to the semicrystalline state is known to be triggered by abiotic factors, the functional significance of this protein organization has not yet been understood. Taking advantage of an Arabidopsis thaliana fatty acid desaturase mutant (fad5) that constitutively forms semicrystalline arrays, we systematically test the functional implications of protein crystals in photosynthetic membranes. Here, we show that the change into an ordered state facilitates molecular diffusion of photosynthetic components in crowded thylakoid membranes. The increased mobility of small lipophilic molecules like plastoquinone and xanthophylls has implications for diffusion-dependent electron transport and photoprotective energy-dependent quenching. The mobility of the large photosystem II supercomplexes, however, is impaired, leading to retarded repair of damaged proteins. Our results demonstrate that supramolecular changes into more ordered states have differing impacts on photosynthesis that favor either diffusion-dependent electron transport and photoprotection or protein repair processes, thus fine-tuning the photosynthetic energy conversion. PMID:25897076

  4. Functional Implications of Photosystem II Crystal Formation in Photosynthetic Membranes.

    PubMed

    Tietz, Stefanie; Puthiyaveetil, Sujith; Enlow, Heather M; Yarbrough, Robert; Wood, Magnus; Semchonok, Dmitry A; Lowry, Troy; Li, Zhirong; Jahns, Peter; Boekema, Egbert J; Lenhert, Steven; Niyogi, Krishna K; Kirchhoff, Helmut

    2015-05-29

    The structural organization of proteins in biological membranes can affect their function. Photosynthetic thylakoid membranes in chloroplasts have the remarkable ability to change their supramolecular organization between disordered and semicrystalline states. Although the change to the semicrystalline state is known to be triggered by abiotic factors, the functional significance of this protein organization has not yet been understood. Taking advantage of an Arabidopsis thaliana fatty acid desaturase mutant (fad5) that constitutively forms semicrystalline arrays, we systematically test the functional implications of protein crystals in photosynthetic membranes. Here, we show that the change into an ordered state facilitates molecular diffusion of photosynthetic components in crowded thylakoid membranes. The increased mobility of small lipophilic molecules like plastoquinone and xanthophylls has implications for diffusion-dependent electron transport and photoprotective energy-dependent quenching. The mobility of the large photosystem II supercomplexes, however, is impaired, leading to retarded repair of damaged proteins. Our results demonstrate that supramolecular changes into more ordered states have differing impacts on photosynthesis that favor either diffusion-dependent electron transport and photoprotection or protein repair processes, thus fine-tuning the photosynthetic energy conversion. PMID:25897076

  5. Influences of Membrane Mimetic Environments on Membrane Protein Structures

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Huan-Xiang; Cross, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    The number of membrane protein structures in the Protein Data Bank is becoming significant and growing. Here, the transmembrane domain structures of the helical membrane proteins are evaluated to assess the influences of the membrane mimetic environments. Toward this goal, many of the biophysical properties of membranes are discussed and contrasted with those of the membrane mimetics commonly used for structure determination. Although the mimetic environments can perturb the protein structures to an extent that potentially gives rise to misinterpretation of functional mechanisms, there are also many structures that have a native-like appearance. From this assessment, an initial set of guidelines is proposed for distinguishing native-like from nonnative-like membrane protein structures. With experimental techniques for validation and computational methods for refinement and quality assessment and enhancement, there are good prospects for achieving native-like structures for these very important proteins. PMID:23451886

  6. Computational modeling of membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Leman, Julia Koehler; Ulmschneider, Martin B.; Gray, Jeffrey J.

    2014-01-01

    The determination of membrane protein (MP) structures has always trailed that of soluble proteins due to difficulties in their overexpression, reconstitution into membrane mimetics, and subsequent structure determination. The percentage of MP structures in the protein databank (PDB) has been at a constant 1-2% for the last decade. In contrast, over half of all drugs target MPs, only highlighting how little we understand about drug-specific effects in the human body. To reduce this gap, researchers have attempted to predict structural features of MPs even before the first structure was experimentally elucidated. In this review, we present current computational methods to predict MP structure, starting with secondary structure prediction, prediction of trans-membrane spans, and topology. Even though these methods generate reliable predictions, challenges such as predicting kinks or precise beginnings and ends of secondary structure elements are still waiting to be addressed. We describe recent developments in the prediction of 3D structures of both α-helical MPs as well as β-barrels using comparative modeling techniques, de novo methods, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The increase of MP structures has (1) facilitated comparative modeling due to availability of more and better templates, and (2) improved the statistics for knowledge-based scoring functions. Moreover, de novo methods have benefitted from the use of correlated mutations as restraints. Finally, we outline current advances that will likely shape the field in the forthcoming decade. PMID:25355688

  7. Reconstitution of Membrane Proteins into Model Membranes: Seeking Better Ways to Retain Protein Activities

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Hsin-Hui; Lithgow, Trevor; Martin, Lisandra L.

    2013-01-01

    The function of any given biological membrane is determined largely by the specific set of integral membrane proteins embedded in it, and the peripheral membrane proteins attached to the membrane surface. The activity of these proteins, in turn, can be modulated by the phospholipid composition of the membrane. The reconstitution of membrane proteins into a model membrane allows investigation of individual features and activities of a given cell membrane component. However, the activity of membrane proteins is often difficult to sustain following reconstitution, since the composition of the model phospholipid bilayer differs from that of the native cell membrane. This review will discuss the reconstitution of membrane protein activities in four different types of model membrane—monolayers, supported lipid bilayers, liposomes and nanodiscs, comparing their advantages in membrane protein reconstitution. Variation in the surrounding model environments for these four different types of membrane layer can affect the three-dimensional structure of reconstituted proteins and may possibly lead to loss of the proteins activity. We also discuss examples where the same membrane proteins have been successfully reconstituted into two or more model membrane systems with comparison of the observed activity in each system. Understanding of the behavioral changes for proteins in model membrane systems after membrane reconstitution is often a prerequisite to protein research. It is essential to find better solutions for retaining membrane protein activities for measurement and characterization in vitro. PMID:23344058

  8. Cell-free system for synthesizing membrane proteins cell free method for synthesizing membrane proteins

    DOEpatents

    Laible, Philip D; Hanson, Deborah K

    2013-06-04

    The invention provides an in vitro method for producing proteins, membrane proteins, membrane-associated proteins, and soluble proteins that interact with membrane-associated proteins for assembly into an oligomeric complex or that require association with a membrane for proper folding. The method comprises, supplying intracytoplasmic membranes from organisms; modifying protein composition of intracytoplasmic membranes from organism by modifying DNA to delete genes encoding functions of the organism not associated with the formation of the intracytoplasmic membranes; generating appropriate DNA or RNA templates that encode the target protein; and mixing the intracytoplasmic membranes with the template and a transcription/translation-competent cellular extract to cause simultaneous production of the membrane proteins and encapsulation of the membrane proteins within the intracytoplasmic membranes.

  9. Membrane Protein Production in the Yeast, S. cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Cartwright, Stephanie P; Mikaliunaite, Lina; Bill, Roslyn M

    2016-01-01

    The first crystal structures of recombinant mammalian membrane proteins were solved in 2005 using protein that had been produced in yeast cells. One of these, the rabbit Ca(2+)-ATPase SERCA1a, was synthesized in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. All host systems have their specific advantages and disadvantages, but yeast has remained a consistently popular choice in the eukaryotic membrane protein field because it is quick, easy and cheap to culture, whilst being able to post-translationally process eukaryotic membrane proteins. Very recent structures of recombinant membrane proteins produced in S. cerevisiae include those of the Arabidopsis thaliana NRT1.1 nitrate transporter and the fungal plant pathogen lipid scramblase, TMEM16. This chapter provides an overview of the methodological approaches underpinning these successes. PMID:27485327

  10. Membrane proteins: always an insoluble problem?

    PubMed

    Rawlings, Andrea E

    2016-06-15

    Membrane proteins play crucial roles in cellular processes and are often important pharmacological drug targets. The hydrophobic properties of these proteins make full structural and functional characterization challenging because of the need to use detergents or other solubilizing agents when extracting them from their native lipid membranes. To aid membrane protein research, new methodologies are required to allow these proteins to be expressed and purified cheaply, easily, in high yield and to provide water soluble proteins for subsequent study. This mini review focuses on the relatively new area of water soluble membrane proteins and in particular two innovative approaches: the redesign of membrane proteins to yield water soluble variants and how adding solubilizing fusion proteins can help to overcome these challenges. This review also looks at naturally occurring membrane proteins, which are able to exist as stable, functional, water soluble assemblies with no alteration to their native sequence. PMID:27284043

  11. Membrane proteins: always an insoluble problem?

    PubMed Central

    Rawlings, Andrea E.

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins play crucial roles in cellular processes and are often important pharmacological drug targets. The hydrophobic properties of these proteins make full structural and functional characterization challenging because of the need to use detergents or other solubilizing agents when extracting them from their native lipid membranes. To aid membrane protein research, new methodologies are required to allow these proteins to be expressed and purified cheaply, easily, in high yield and to provide water soluble proteins for subsequent study. This mini review focuses on the relatively new area of water soluble membrane proteins and in particular two innovative approaches: the redesign of membrane proteins to yield water soluble variants and how adding solubilizing fusion proteins can help to overcome these challenges. This review also looks at naturally occurring membrane proteins, which are able to exist as stable, functional, water soluble assemblies with no alteration to their native sequence. PMID:27284043

  12. A new membrane-based crystallization technique: tests on lysozyme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curcio, Efrem; Profio, Gianluca Di; Drioli, Enrico

    2003-01-01

    The great importance of protein science both in industrial and scientific fields, in conjunction with the intrinsic difficulty to grow macromolecular crystals, stimulates the development of new observations and ideas that can be useful in initiating more systematic studies using novel approaches. In this regard, an innovative technique, based on the employment of microporous hydrophobic membranes in order to promote the formation of lysozyme crystals from supersaturated solutions, is introduced in this work. Operational principles and possible advantages, both in terms of controlled extraction of solvent by acting on the concentration of the stripping solution and reduced induction times, are outlined. Theoretical developments and experimental results concerning the mass transfer, in vapour phase, through the membrane are presented, as well as the results from X-ray diffraction to 1.7 Å resolution of obtained lysozyme crystals using NaCl as the crystallizing agent and sodium acetate as the buffer. Crystals were found to be tetragonal with unit cell dimensions of a= b=79.1 Å and c=37.9 Å; the overall Rmerge on intensities in the resolution range from 25 to 1.7 Å was, in the best case, 4.4%.

  13. Amphipathic agents for membrane protein study.

    PubMed

    Sadaf, Aiman; Cho, Kyung Ho; Byrne, Bernadette; Chae, Pil Seok

    2015-01-01

    Membrane proteins (MPs) are insoluble in aqueous media as a result of incompatibility between the hydrophilic property of the solvent molecules and the hydrophobic nature of MP surfaces, normally associated with lipid membranes. Amphipathic compounds are necessary for extraction of these macromolecules from the native membranes and their maintenance in solution. The amphipathic agents surround the hydrophobic segments of MPs, thus serving as a membrane mimetic system. Of the available amphipathic agents, detergents are most widely used for MP manipulation. However, MPs encapsulated by conventional detergent micelles have a tendency to undergo structural degradation, hampering MP advance, and necessitating the development of novel detergents with enhanced efficacy for MP study. In this chapter, we will introduce both conventional and novel classes of detergents and discuss about the chemical structures, design principles, and efficacies of these compounds for MP solubilization and stabilization. The behaviors of those agents toward MP crystallization will be a primary topic in our discussion. This discussion highlights the common features of popular conventional/novel detergents essential for successful MP structural study. The conclusions reached by this discussion would not only enable MP scientists to rationally select a set of detergent candidates among a large number of detergents but also provide detergent inventors with useful guidelines in designing novel amphipathic systems. PMID:25950960

  14. Protein Crystal Recombinant Human Insulin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    The comparison of protein crystal, Recombiant Human Insulin; space-grown (left) and earth-grown (right). On STS-60, Spacehab II indicated that space-grown crystals are larger and of greater optical clarity than their earth-grown counterparts. Recombiant Human Insulin facilitates the incorporation of glucose into cells. In diabetics, there is either a decrease in or complete lack of insulin, thereby leading to several harmful complications. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  15. Commercial Protein Crystal Growth: Protein Crystallization Facility (CPCG-H)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeLucas, Lawrence J.

    2002-12-01

    Within the human body, there are thousands of different proteins that serve a variety of different functions, such as making it possible for red blood cells to carry oxygen in our bodies. Yet proteins can also be involved in diseases. Each protein has a particular chemical structure, which means it has a unique shape. It is this three-dimensional shape that allows each protein to do its job by interacting with chemicals or binding with other proteins. If researchers can determine the shape, or shapes, of a protein, they can learn how it works. This information can then be used by the pharmaceutical industry to develop new drugs or improve the way medications work. The NASA Commercial Space Center sponsoring this experiment - the Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham - has more than 60 industry and academic partners who grow protein crystals and use the information in drug design projects.

  16. Membrane tension and peripheral protein density mediate membrane shape transitions

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Zheng; Baumgart, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Endocytosis is a ubiquitous eukaryotic membrane budding, vesiculation, and internalization process fulfilling numerous roles including compensation of membrane area increase after bursts of exocytosis. The mechanism of the coupling between these two processes to enable homeostasis is not well understood. Recently, an ultrafast endocytosis (UFE) pathway was revealed with a speed significantly exceeding classical clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME). Membrane tension reduction is a potential mechanism by which endocytosis can be rapidly activated at remote sites. Here we provide experimental evidence for a mechanism whereby membrane tension reduction initiates membrane budding and tubulation mediated by endocytic proteins such as endophilin A1. We find that shape instabilities occur at well-defined membrane tensions and surface densities of endophilin. From our data, we obtain a membrane shape stability diagram that shows remarkable consistency with a quantitative model. This model applies to all laterally diffusive curvature coupling proteins and therefore a wide range of endocytic proteins. PMID:25569184

  17. Membrane tension and peripheral protein density mediate membrane shape transitions.

    PubMed

    Shi, Zheng; Baumgart, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Endocytosis is a ubiquitous eukaryotic membrane budding, vesiculation and internalization process fulfilling numerous roles including compensation of membrane area increase after bursts of exocytosis. The mechanism of the coupling between these two processes to enable homeostasis is not well understood. Recently, an ultrafast endocytosis (UFE) pathway was revealed with a speed significantly exceeding classical clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME). Membrane tension reduction is a potential mechanism by which endocytosis can be rapidly activated at remote sites. Here, we provide experimental evidence for a mechanism whereby membrane tension reduction initiates membrane budding and tubulation mediated by endocytic proteins, such as endophilin A1. We find that shape instabilities occur at well-defined membrane tensions and surface densities of endophilin. From our data, we obtain a membrane shape stability diagram that shows remarkable consistency with a quantitative model. This model applies to all laterally diffusive curvature-coupling proteins and therefore a wide range of endocytic proteins. PMID:25569184

  18. Membrane tension and peripheral protein density mediate membrane shape transitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Zheng; Baumgart, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Endocytosis is a ubiquitous eukaryotic membrane budding, vesiculation and internalization process fulfilling numerous roles including compensation of membrane area increase after bursts of exocytosis. The mechanism of the coupling between these two processes to enable homeostasis is not well understood. Recently, an ultrafast endocytosis (UFE) pathway was revealed with a speed significantly exceeding classical clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME). Membrane tension reduction is a potential mechanism by which endocytosis can be rapidly activated at remote sites. Here, we provide experimental evidence for a mechanism whereby membrane tension reduction initiates membrane budding and tubulation mediated by endocytic proteins, such as endophilin A1. We find that shape instabilities occur at well-defined membrane tensions and surface densities of endophilin. From our data, we obtain a membrane shape stability diagram that shows remarkable consistency with a quantitative model. This model applies to all laterally diffusive curvature-coupling proteins and therefore a wide range of endocytic proteins.

  19. Protein Crystal Serum Albumin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    As the most abundant protein in the circulatory system albumin contributes 80% to colloid osmotic blood pressure. Albumin is also chiefly responsible for the maintenance of blood pH. It is located in every tissue and bodily secretion, with extracellular protein comprising 60% of total albumin. Perhaps the most outstanding property of albumin is its ability to bind reversibly to an incredible variety of ligands. It is widely accepted in the pharmaceutical industry that the overall distribution, metabolism, and efficiency of many drugs are rendered ineffective because of their unusually high affinity for this abundant protein. An understanding of the chemistry of the various classes of pharmaceutical interactions with albumin can suggest new approaches to drug therapy and design. Principal Investigator: Dan Carter/New Century Pharmaceuticals

  20. Protein crystallization studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyne, James Evans

    1996-01-01

    The Structural Biology laboratory at NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center uses x-ray crystallographic techniques to conduct research into the three-dimensional structure of a wide variety of proteins. A major effort in the laboratory involves an ongoing study of human serum albumin (the principal protein in human plasma) and its interaction with various endogenous substances and pharmaceutical agents. Another focus is on antigenic and functional proteins from several pathogenic organisms including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the widespread parasitic genus, Schistosoma. My efforts this summer have been twofold: first, to identify clinically significant drug interactions involving albumin binding displacement and to initiate studies of the three-dimensional structure of albumin complexed with these agents, and secondly, to establish collaborative efforts to extend the lab's work on human pathogens.

  1. Protein crystal growth; Proceedings of the First International Conference, Stanford University, CA, August 14-16, 1985

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, R. S. (Editor)

    1986-01-01

    Papers are presented on mechanisms of nucleation and growth of protein crystals, the role of purification in the crystallization of proteins and nucleic acids, and the effect of chemical impurities in polyethylene glycol on macromolecular crystallization. Also considered are growth kinetics of tetragonal lysozyme crystals, thermodynamic and kinetic considerations for crystal growth of complex molecules from solution, protein single-crystal growth under microgravity, and growth of organic crystals in a microgravity environment. Papers are also presented on preliminary investigations of protein crystal growth using the Space Shuttle, convective diffusion in protein crystal growth, and the growth and characterization of membrane protein crystals.

  2. Protein-Induced Membrane Curvature Alters Local Membrane Tension

    PubMed Central

    Rangamani, Padmini; Mandadap, Kranthi K.; Oster, George

    2014-01-01

    Adsorption of proteins onto membranes can alter the local membrane curvature. This phenomenon has been observed in biological processes such as endocytosis, tubulation, and vesiculation. However, it is not clear how the local surface properties of the membrane, such as membrane tension, change in response to protein adsorption. In this article, we show that the partial differential equations arising from classical elastic model of lipid membranes, which account for simultaneous changes in shape and membrane tension due to protein adsorption in a local region, cannot be solved for nonaxisymmetric geometries using straightforward numerical techniques; instead, a viscous-elastic formulation is necessary to fully describe the system. Therefore, we develop a viscous-elastic model for inhomogeneous membranes of the Helfrich type. Using the newly available viscous-elastic model, we find that the lipids flow to accommodate changes in membrane curvature during protein adsorption. We show that, at the end of protein adsorption process, the system sustains a residual local tension to balance the difference between the actual mean curvature and the imposed spontaneous curvature. We also show that this change in membrane tension can have a functional impact such as altered response to pulling forces in the presence of proteins. PMID:25099814

  3. Solid State NMR and Protein-Protein Interactions in Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Miao, Yimin; Cross, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    Solid state NMR spectroscopy has evolved rapidly in recent years into an excellent tool for the characterization of membrane proteins and their complexes. In the past few years it has also become clear that the structure of membrane proteins, especially helical membrane proteins is determined, in part, by the membrane environment. Therefore, the modeling of this environment by a liquid crystalline lipid bilayer for solid state NMR has generated a unique tool for the characterization of native conformational states, local and global dynamics, and high resolution structure for these proteins. Protein-protein interactions can also benefit from this solid state NMR capability to characterize membrane proteins in a native-like environment. These complexes take the form of oligomeric structures and hetero-protein interactions both with water soluble proteins and other membrane proteins. PMID:24034903

  4. Solid state NMR and protein-protein interactions in membranes.

    PubMed

    Miao, Yimin; Cross, Timothy A

    2013-12-01

    Solid state NMR spectroscopy has evolved rapidly in recent years into an excellent tool for the characterization of membrane proteins and their complexes. In the past few years it has also become clear that the structure of membrane proteins, especially helical membrane proteins is determined, in part, by the membrane environment. Therefore, the modeling of this environment by a liquid crystalline lipid bilayer for solid state NMR has generated a unique tool for the characterization of native conformational states, local and global dynamics, and high-resolution structure for these proteins. Protein-protein interactions can also benefit from this solid state NMR capability to characterize membrane proteins in a native-like environment. These complexes take the form of oligomeric structures and hetero-protein interactions both with water-soluble proteins and other membrane proteins. PMID:24034903

  5. Functionalizing Microporous Membranes for Protein Purification and Protein Digestion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Jinlan; Bruening, Merlin L.

    2015-07-01

    This review examines advances in the functionalization of microporous membranes for protein purification and the development of protease-containing membranes for controlled protein digestion prior to mass spectrometry analysis. Recent studies confirm that membranes are superior to bead-based columns for rapid protein capture, presumably because convective mass transport in membrane pores rapidly brings proteins to binding sites. Modification of porous membranes with functional polymeric films or TiO2 nanoparticles yields materials that selectively capture species ranging from phosphopeptides to His-tagged proteins, and protein-binding capacities often exceed those of commercial beads. Thin membranes also provide a convenient framework for creating enzyme-containing reactors that afford control over residence times. With millisecond residence times, reactors with immobilized proteases limit protein digestion to increase sequence coverage in mass spectrometry analysis and facilitate elucidation of protein structures. This review emphasizes the advantages of membrane-based techniques and concludes with some challenges for their practical application.

  6. Artificial membranes for membrane protein purification, functionality and structure studies.

    PubMed

    Parmar, Mayuriben J; Lousa, Carine De Marcos; Muench, Stephen P; Goldman, Adrian; Postis, Vincent L G

    2016-06-15

    Membrane proteins represent one of the most important targets for pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately, technical limitations have long been a major hindrance in our understanding of the function and structure of such proteins. Recent years have seen the refinement of classical approaches and the emergence of new technologies that have resulted in a significant step forward in the field of membrane protein research. This review summarizes some of the current techniques used for studying membrane proteins, with overall advantages and drawbacks for each method. PMID:27284055

  7. Nonlinear Optical Characterization of Membrane Protein Microcrystals and Nanocrystals.

    PubMed

    Newman, Justin A; Simpson, Garth J

    2016-01-01

    Nonlinear optical methods such as second harmonic generation (SHG) and two-photon excited UV fluorescence (TPE-UVF) imaging are promising approaches to address bottlenecks in the membrane protein structure determination pipeline. The general principles of SHG and TPE-UVF are discussed here along with instrument design considerations. Comparisons to conventional methods in high throughput crystallization condition screening and crystal quality assessment prior to X-ray diffraction are also discussed. PMID:27553237

  8. Automated protein crystal growth facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donald, Stacey

    1994-01-01

    A customer for the protein crystal growth facility fills the specially designed chamber with the correct solutions, fills the syringes with their quenching solutions, and submits the data needed for the proper growth of their crystal. To make sure that the chambers and syringes are filled correctly, a NASA representative may assist the customer. The data needed is the approximate growth time, the growth temperature, and the desired crystal size, but this data can be changed anytime from the ground, if needed. The chambers are gathered and placed into numbered slots in special drawers. Then, data is entered into a computer for each of the chambers. Technicians map out when each chamber's growth should be activated so that all of the chambers have enough time to grow. All of this data is up-linked to the space station when the previous growth session is over. Anti-vibrational containers need to be constructed for the high forces encountered during the lift off and the landing of the space shuttle, and though our team has not designed these containers, we do not feel that there is any reason why a suitable one could not be made. When the shuttle reaches the space station, an astronaut removes a drawer of quenched chambers from the growth facility and inserts a drawer of new chambers. All twelve of the drawers can be replaced in this fashion. The optical disks can also be removed this way. The old drawers are stored for the trip back to earth. Once inside the growth facility, a chamber is removed by the robot and placed in one of 144 active sites at a time previously picked by a technician. Growth begins when the chamber is inserted into an active site. Then, the sensing system starts to determine the size of the protein crystal. All during the crystal's growth, the customer can view the crystal and read all of the crystal's data, such as growth rate and crystal size. When the sensing system determines that the crystal has reached the predetermined size, the robot is

  9. The Crystal Structure of GXGD Membrane Protease FlaK

    SciTech Connect

    J Hu; Y Xue; S Lee; Y Ha

    2011-12-31

    The GXGD proteases are polytopic membrane proteins with catalytic activities against membrane-spanning substrates that require a pair of aspartyl residues. Representative members of the family include preflagellin peptidase, type 4 prepilin peptidase, presenilin and signal peptide peptidase. Many GXGD proteases are important in medicine. For example, type 4 prepilin peptidase may contribute to bacterial pathogenesis, and mutations in presenilin are associated with Alzheimer's disease. As yet, there is no atomic-resolution structure in this protease family. Here we report the crystal structure of FlaK, a preflagellin peptidase from Methanococcus maripaludis, solved at 3.6 {angstrom} resolution. The structure contains six transmembrane helices. The GXGD motif and a short transmembrane helix, helix 4, are positioned at the centre, surrounded by other transmembrane helices. The crystal structure indicates that the protease must undergo conformational changes to bring the GXGD motif and a second essential aspartyl residue from transmembrane helix 1 into close proximity for catalysis. A comparison of the crystal structure with models of presenilin derived from biochemical analysis reveals three common transmembrane segments that are similarly arranged around the active site. This observation reinforces the idea that the prokaryotic and human proteases are evolutionarily related. The crystal structure presented here provides a framework for understanding the mechanism of the GXGD proteases, and may facilitate the rational design of inhibitors that target specific members of the family.

  10. The crystal structure of GXGD membrane protease FlaK

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, Jian; Xue, Yi; Lee, Sangwon; Ha, Ya

    2011-09-20

    The GXGD proteases are polytopic membrane proteins with catalytic activities against membrane-spanning substrates that require a pair of aspartyl residues. Representative members of the family include preflagellin peptidase, type 4 prepilin peptidase, presenilin and signal peptide peptidase. Many GXGD proteases are important in medicine. For example, type 4 prepilin peptidase may contribute to bacterial pathogenesis, and mutations in presenilin are associated with Alzheimer's disease. As yet, there is no atomic-resolution structure in this protease family. Here we report the crystal structure of FlaK, a preflagellin peptidase from Methanococcus maripaludis, solved at 3.6 {angstrom} resolution. The structure contains six transmembrane helices. The GXGD motif and a short transmembrane helix, helix 4, are positioned at the centre, surrounded by other transmembrane helices. The crystal structure indicates that the protease must undergo conformational changes to bring the GXGD motif and a second essential aspartyl residue from transmembrane helix 1 into close proximity for catalysis. A comparison of the crystal structure with models of presenilin derived from biochemical analysis reveals three common transmembrane segments that are similarly arranged around the active site. This observation reinforces the idea that the prokaryotic and human proteases are evolutionarily related. The crystal structure presented here provides a framework for understanding the mechanism of the GXGD proteases, and may facilitate the rational design of inhibitors that target specific members of the family.

  11. Crystal structure of an antigenic outer-membrane protein from Salmonella Typhi suggests a potential antigenic loop and an efflux mechanism.

    PubMed

    Guan, Hong-Hsiang; Yoshimura, Masato; Chuankhayan, Phimonphan; Lin, Chien-Chih; Chen, Nai-Chi; Yang, Ming-Chi; Ismail, Asma; Fun, Hoong-Kun; Chen, Chun-Jung

    2015-01-01

    ST50, an outer-membrane component of the multi-drug efflux system from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, is an obligatory diagnostic antigen for typhoid fever. ST50 is an excellent and unique diagnostic antigen with 95% specificity and 90% sensitivity and is used in the commercial diagnosis test kit (TYPHIDOT(TM)). The crystal structure of ST50 at a resolution of 2.98 Å reveals a trimer that forms an α-helical tunnel and a β-barrel transmembrane channel traversing the periplasmic space and outer membrane. Structural investigations suggest significant conformational variations in the extracellular loop regions, especially extracellular loop 2. This is the location of the most plausible antibody-binding domain that could be used to target the design of new antigenic epitopes for the development of better diagnostics or drugs for the treatment of typhoid fever. A molecule of the detergent n-octyl-β-D-glucoside is observed in the D-cage, which comprises three sets of Asp361 and Asp371 residues at the periplasmic entrance. These structural insights suggest a possible substrate transport mechanism in which the substrate first binds at the periplasmic entrance of ST50 and subsequently, via iris-like structural movements to open the periplasmic end, penetrates the periplasmic domain for efflux pumping of molecules, including poisonous metabolites or xenobiotics, for excretion outside the pathogen. PMID:26563565

  12. Crystal structure of an antigenic outer-membrane protein from Salmonella Typhi suggests a potential antigenic loop and an efflux mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Hong-Hsiang; Yoshimura, Masato; Chuankhayan, Phimonphan; Lin, Chien-Chih; Chen, Nai-Chi; Yang, Ming-Chi; Ismail, Asma; Fun, Hoong-Kun; Chen, Chun-Jung

    2015-01-01

    ST50, an outer-membrane component of the multi-drug efflux system from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, is an obligatory diagnostic antigen for typhoid fever. ST50 is an excellent and unique diagnostic antigen with 95% specificity and 90% sensitivity and is used in the commercial diagnosis test kit (TYPHIDOTTM). The crystal structure of ST50 at a resolution of 2.98 Å reveals a trimer that forms an α-helical tunnel and a β-barrel transmembrane channel traversing the periplasmic space and outer membrane. Structural investigations suggest significant conformational variations in the extracellular loop regions, especially extracellular loop 2. This is the location of the most plausible antibody-binding domain that could be used to target the design of new antigenic epitopes for the development of better diagnostics or drugs for the treatment of typhoid fever. A molecule of the detergent n-octyl-β-D-glucoside is observed in the D-cage, which comprises three sets of Asp361 and Asp371 residues at the periplasmic entrance. These structural insights suggest a possible substrate transport mechanism in which the substrate first binds at the periplasmic entrance of ST50 and subsequently, via iris-like structural movements to open the periplasmic end, penetrates the periplasmic domain for efflux pumping of molecules, including poisonous metabolites or xenobiotics, for excretion outside the pathogen. PMID:26563565

  13. Protein Homeostasis at the Plasma Membrane

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The plasma membrane (PM) and endocytic protein quality control (QC) in conjunction with the endosomal sorting machinery either repairs or targets conformationally damaged membrane proteins for lysosomal/vacuolar degradation. Here, we provide an overview of emerging aspects of the underlying mechanisms of PM QC that fulfill a critical role in preserving cellular protein homeostasis in health and diseases. PMID:24985330

  14. Active membrane transport and receptor proteins from bacteria.

    PubMed

    Saidijam, M; Bettaney, K E; Szakonyi, G; Psakis, G; Shibayama, K; Suzuki, S; Clough, J L; Blessie, V; Abu-Bakr, A; Baumberg, S; Meuller, J; Hoyle, C K; Palmer, S L; Butaye, P; Walravens, K; Patching, S G; O'reilly, J; Rutherford, N G; Bill, R M; Roper, D I; Phillips-Jones, M K; Henderson, P J F

    2005-08-01

    A general strategy for the expression of bacterial membrane transport and receptor genes in Escherichia coli is described. Expression is amplified so that the encoded proteins comprise 5-35% of E. coli inner membrane protein. Depending upon their topology, proteins are produced with RGSH6 or a Strep tag at the C-terminus. These enable purification in mg quantities for crystallization and NMR studies. Examples of one nutrient uptake and one multidrug extrusion protein from Helicobacter pylori are described. This strategy is successful for membrane proteins from H. pylori, E. coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Microbacterium liquefaciens, Brucella abortus, Brucella melitensis, Campylobacter jejuni, Neisseria meningitides, Streptomyces coelicolor and Rhodobacter sphaeroides. PMID:16042616

  15. Domain formation in membranes caused by lipid wetting of protein.

    PubMed

    Akimov, Sergey A; Frolov, Vladimir A J; Kuzmin, Peter I; Zimmerberg, Joshua; Chizmadzhev, Yuri A; Cohen, Fredric S

    2008-05-01

    Formation of rafts and other domains in cell membranes is considered as wetting of proteins by lipids. The membrane is modeled as a continuous elastic medium. Thermodynamic functions of the lipid films that wet proteins are calculated using a mean-field theory of liquid crystals as adapted to biomembranes. This approach yields the conditions necessary for a macroscopic wetting film to form; its thickness could also be determined. It is shown that films of macroscopic thicknesses form around large (tens nanometers in diameter) lipid-protein aggregates; only thin adsorption films form around single proteins or small complexes. The means by which wetting films can facilitate the merger of these aggregates is considered. It is shown that a wetting film prevents a protein from leaving an aggregate. Using experimentally derived values of elastic moduli and spontaneous curvatures as well as height mismatch between aggregates and bulk membrane, we obtained numerical results, which can be compared with the experimental data. PMID:18643096

  16. Class II virus membrane fusion proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Kielian, Margaret . E-mail: kielian@aecom.yu.edu

    2006-01-05

    Enveloped animal viruses fuse their membrane with a host cell membrane, thus delivering the virus genetic material into the cytoplasm and initiating infection. This critical membrane fusion reaction is mediated by a virus transmembrane protein known as the fusion protein, which inserts its hydrophobic fusion peptide into the cell membrane and refolds to drive the fusion reaction. This review describes recent advances in our understanding of the structure and function of the class II fusion proteins of the alphaviruses and flaviviruses. Inhibition of the fusion protein refolding reaction confirms its importance in fusion and suggests new antiviral strategies for these medically important viruses.

  17. Mapping membrane protein structure with fluorescence

    PubMed Central

    Taraska, Justin W.

    2012-01-01

    Membrane proteins regulate many cellular processes including signaling cascades, ion transport, membrane fusion, and cell-to-cell communications. Understanding the architecture and conformational fluctuations of these proteins is critical to understanding their regulation and functions. Fluorescence methods including intensity mapping, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, and photo-induced electron transfer, allow for targeted measurements of domains within membrane proteins. These methods can reveal how a protein is structured and how it transitions between different conformational states. Here, I will review recent work done using fluorescence to map the structures of membrane proteins, focusing on how each of these methods can be applied to understanding the dynamic nature of individual membrane proteins and protein complexes. PMID:22445227

  18. Tetra Detector Analysis of Membrane Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Robbins, Rebecca A.; Stroud, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Well-characterized membrane protein detergent complexes (PDC) that are pure, homogenous and stable with minimized excess detergent micelles are essential for functional assays and crystallization studies. Procedural steps to measure the mass, size, shape, homogeneity and molecular composition of PDCs and their host detergent micelle using size exclusion chromatography (SEC) with a Viscotek tetra detector array (TDA; absorbance, refractive index, light scattering and viscosity detectors) are presented. The value of starting with a quality PDC sample, the precision and accuracy of the results, and the use of a digital bench top refractometer are emphasized. An alternate and simplified purification and characterization approach using SEC with dual absorbance and refractive index detectors to optimize detergent and lipid concentration while measuring the PDC homogeneity are also described. Applications relative to purification and characterization goals are illustrated as well. PMID:25081744

  19. Membrane Protein Insertion at the Endoplasmic Reticulum

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Sichen; Hegde, Ramanujan S.

    2014-01-01

    Integral membrane proteins of the cell surface and most intracellular compartments of eukaryotic cells are assembled at the endoplasmic reticulum. Two highly conserved and parallel pathways mediate membrane protein targeting to and insertion into this organelle. The classical cotranslational pathway, utilized by most membrane proteins, involves targeting by the signal recognition particle followed by insertion via the Sec61 translocon. A more specialized posttranslational pathway, employed by many tail-anchored membrane proteins, is composed of entirely different factors centered around a cytosolic ATPase termed TRC40 or Get3. Both of these pathways overcome the same biophysical challenges of ferrying hydrophobic cargo through an aqueous milieu, selectively delivering it to one among several intracellular membranes and asymmetrically integrating its transmembrane domain(s) into the lipid bilayer. Here, we review the conceptual and mechanistic themes underlying these core membrane protein insertion pathways, the complexities that challenge our understanding, and future directions to over-come these obstacles. PMID:21801011

  20. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of the periplasmic domain of FliP, an integral membrane component of the bacterial flagellar type III protein-export apparatus

    PubMed Central

    Fukumura, Takuma; Furukawa, Yukio; Kawaguchi, Tatsuya; Saijo-Hamano, Yumiko; Namba, Keiichi; Imada, Katsumi; Minamino, Tohru

    2014-01-01

    The bacterial flagellar proteins are transported via a specific export apparatus to the distal end of the growing structure for their self-assembly. FliP is an essential membrane component of the export apparatus. FliP has an N-terminal signal peptide and is predicted to have four transmembrane (TM) helices and a periplasmic domain (FliPP) between TM-2 and TM-3. In this study, FliPP from Thermotoga maritima (TmFliPP) and its selenomethionine derivative (SeMet-TmFliPP) were purified and crystallized. TmFliPP formed a homotetramer in solution. Crystals of TmFliPP and SeMet-TmFliPP were obtained by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion technique with 2-methyl-2,4-pentanediol as a precipitant. These two crystals grew in the hexagonal space group P6222 or P6422, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 114.9, c = 193.8 Å. X-ray diffraction data were collected from crystals of TmFliPP and SeMet-TmFliPP to 2.4 and 2.8 Å resolution, respectively. PMID:25195894

  1. Approaches to automated protein crystal harvesting

    SciTech Connect

    Deller, Marc C. Rupp, Bernhard

    2014-01-28

    Approaches to automated and robot-assisted harvesting of protein crystals are critically reviewed. While no true turn-key solutions for automation of protein crystal harvesting are currently available, systems incorporating advanced robotics and micro-electromechanical systems represent exciting developments with the potential to revolutionize the way in which protein crystals are harvested.

  2. Studying how protein crystals form

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Watching molecules of the iron-storing protein apoferritin come together to form a nucleus reveals some interesting behavior. In this series of images, researchers observed clusters of four molecules at the corners of a diamond shape (top). As more molecules attach to the cluster, they arrange themselves into rods (second from top), and a raft-like configuration of molecules forms the critical nucleus (third from top), suggesting that crystal growth is much slower than it could be were the molecules arranged in a more compact formation. In the final image, a crystallite consisting of three layers containing approximately 60 to 70 molecules each is formed. Atomic force microscopy made visualizing the process of nucleation possible for the first time. The principal investigator is Peter Vekilov, of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Vekilov's team at UAH studies protein solutions as they change phases from liquids to crystalline solids. They want to know if the molecules in the solution interact with one another, and if so, how, from the perspectives of thermodynamics and kinetics. They want to understand which forces -- electrical, electrostatic, hydrodynamic, or other kinds of forces -- are responsible for the interactions. They also study nucleation, the begirning stage of crystallization. This process is important to understand because it sets the stage for crystal growth in all kinds of solutions and liquid melts that are important in such diverse fields as agriculture, medicine, and the fabrication of metal components. Nucleation can determine the rate of crystal growth, the number of crystals that will be formed, and the quality and size of the crystals.

  3. Circular dichroism spectroscopy of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Miles, A J; Wallace, B A

    2016-09-21

    Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy is a well-established technique for studying the secondary structures, dynamics, folding pathways, and interactions of soluble proteins, and is complementary to the high resolution but generally static structures produced by X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, and cryo electron microscopy. CD spectroscopy has special relevance for the study of membrane proteins, which are difficult to crystallise and largely ignored in structural genomics projects. However, the requirement for membrane proteins to be embedded in amphipathic environments such as membranes, lipid vesicles, detergent micelles, bicelles, oriented bilayers, or nanodiscs, in order for them to be soluble or dispersed in solution whilst maintaining their structure and function, necessitates the use of different experimental and analytical approaches than those employed for soluble proteins. This review discusses specialised methods for collecting and analysing membrane protein CD data, highlighting where protocols for soluble and membrane proteins diverge. PMID:27347568

  4. Phosphoinositide Control of Membrane Protein Function

    PubMed Central

    Logothetis, Diomedes E.; Petrou, Vasileios I.; Zhang, Miao; Mahajan, Rahul; Meng, Xuan-Yu; Adney, Scott K.; Cui, Meng; Baki, Lia

    2015-01-01

    Anionic phospholipids are critical constituents of the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane, ensuring appropriate membrane topology of transmembrane proteins. Additionally, in eukaryotes, the negatively charged phosphoinositides serve as key signals not only through their hydrolysis products but also through direct control of transmembrane protein function. Direct phosphoinositide control of the activity of ion channels and transporters has been the most convincing case of the critical importance of phospholipid-protein interactions in the functional control of membrane proteins. Furthermore, second messengers, such as [Ca2+]i, or posttranslational modifications, such as phosphorylation, can directly or allosterically fine-tune phospholipid-protein interactions and modulate activity. Recent advances in structure determination of membrane proteins have allowed investigators to obtain complexes of ion channels with phosphoinositides and to use computational and experimental approaches to probe the dynamic mechanisms by which lipid-protein interactions control active and inactive protein states. PMID:25293526

  5. Effects of protein crowding on membrane systems.

    PubMed

    Guigas, Gernot; Weiss, Matthias

    2016-10-01

    Cellular membranes are typically decorated with a plethora of embedded and adsorbed macromolecules, e.g. proteins, that participate in numerous vital processes. With typical surface densities of 30,000 proteins per μm(2) cellular membranes are indeed crowded places that leave only few nanometers of private space for individual proteins. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of protein crowding in membrane systems. We first give a brief overview on state-of-the-art approaches in experiment and simulation that are frequently used to study crowded membranes. After that, we review how crowding can affect diffusive transport of proteins and lipids in membrane systems. Next, we discuss lipid and protein sorting in crowded membrane systems, including effects like protein cluster formation, phase segregation, and lipid droplet formation. Subsequently, we highlight recent progress in uncovering crowding-induced conformational changes of membranes, e.g. membrane budding and vesicle formation. Finally, we give a short outlook on potential future developments in the field of crowded membrane systems. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Biosimulations edited by Ilpo Vattulainen and Tomasz Róg. PMID:26724385

  6. Exceptional overproduction of a functional human membrane protein.

    PubMed

    Nyblom, Maria; Oberg, Fredrik; Lindkvist-Petersson, Karin; Hallgren, Karin; Findlay, Heather; Wikström, Jennie; Karlsson, Anders; Hansson, Orjan; Booth, Paula J; Bill, Roslyn M; Neutze, Richard; Hedfalk, Kristina

    2007-11-01

    Eukaryotic--especially human--membrane protein overproduction remains a major challenge in biochemistry. Heterologously overproduced and purified proteins provide a starting point for further biochemical, biophysical and structural studies, and the lack of sufficient quantities of functional membrane proteins is frequently a bottleneck hindering this. Here, we report exceptionally high production levels of a correctly folded and crystallisable recombinant human integral membrane protein in its active form; human aquaporin 1 (hAQP1) has been heterologously produced in the membranes of the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. After solubilisation and a two step purification procedure, at least 90 mg hAQP1 per liter of culture is obtained. Water channel activity of this purified hAQP1 was verified by reconstitution into proteoliposomes and performing stopped-flow vesicle shrinkage measurements. Mass spectrometry confirmed the identity of hAQP1 in crude membrane preparations, and also from purified protein reconstituted into proteoliposomes. Furthermore, crystallisation screens yielded diffraction quality crystals of untagged recombinant hAQP1. This study illustrates the power of the yeast P. pastoris as a host to produce exceptionally high yields of a functionally active, human integral membrane protein for subsequent functional and structural characterization. PMID:17869538

  7. Protein crystal growth in a microgravity environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, Charles E.

    1988-01-01

    Protein crystal growth is a major experimental problem and is the bottleneck in widespread applications of protein crystallography. Research efforts now being pursued and sponsored by NASA are making fundamental contributions to the understanding of the science of protein crystal growth. Microgravity environments offer the possibility of performing new types of experiments that may produce a better understanding of protein crystal growth processes and may permit growth environments that are more favorable for obtaining high quality protein crystals. A series of protein crystal growth experiments using the space shuttle was initiated. The first phase of these experiments was focused on the development of micro-methods for protein crystal growth by vapor diffusion techniques, using a space version of the hanging drop method. The preliminary space experiments were used to evolve prototype hardware that will form the basis for a more advanced system that can be used to evaluate effects of gravity on protein crystal growth.

  8. Can Solution Supersaturation Affect Protein Crystal Quality?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorti, Sridhar

    2013-01-01

    The formation of large protein crystals of "high quality" is considered a characteristic manifestation of microgravity. The physical processes that predict the formation of large, high quality protein crystals in the microgravity environment of space are considered rooted in the existence of a "depletion zone" in the vicinity of crystal. Namely, it is considered reasonable that crystal quality suffers in earth-grown crystals as a result of the incorporation of large aggregates, micro-crystals and/or large molecular weight "impurities", processes which are aided by density driven convective flow or mixing at the crystal-liquid interface. Sedimentation and density driven convection produce unfavorable solution conditions in the vicinity of the crystal surface, which promotes rapid crystal growth to the detriment of crystal size and quality. In this effort, we shall further present the hypothesis that the solution supersaturatoin at the crystal surface determines the growth mechanism, or mode, by which protein crystals grow. It is further hypothesized that protein crystal quality is affected by the mechanism or mode of crystal growth. Hence the formation of a depletion zone in microgravity environment is beneficial due to inhibition of impurity incorporatoin as well as preventing a kinetic roughening transition. It should be noted that for many proteins the magnitude of neither protein crystal growth rates nor solution supersaturation are predictors of a kinetic roughening transition. That is, the kinetic roughening transition supersaturation must be dtermined for each individual protein.

  9. Energy-coupled outer membrane transport proteins and regulatory proteins.

    PubMed

    Braun, Volkmar; Endriss, Franziska

    2007-06-01

    FhuA and FecA are two examples of energy-coupled outer membrane import proteins of gram-negative bacteria. FhuA transports iron complexed by the siderophore ferrichrome and serves as a receptor for phages, a toxic bacterial peptide, and a toxic protein. FecA transports diferric dicitrate and regulates transcription of an operon encoding five ferric citrate (Fec) transport genes. Properties of FhuA mutants selected according to the FhuA crystal structure are described. FhuA mutants in the TonB box, the hatch, and the beta-barrel are rather robust. TonB box mutants in FhuA FecA, FepA, Cir, and BtuB are compared; some mutations are suppressed by mutations in TonB. Mutant studies have not revealed a ferrichrome diffusion pathway, and tolerance to mutations in the region linking the TonB box to the hatch does not disclose a mechanism for how energy transfer from the cytoplasmic membrane to FhuA changes the conformation of FhuA such that bound substrates are released, the pore is opened, and substrates enter the periplasm, or how surface loops change their conformation such that TonB-dependent phages bind irreversibly and release their DNA into the cells. The FhuA and FecA crystal structures do not disclose the mechanism of these proteins, but they provide important information for specific functional studies. FecA is also a regulatory protein that transduces a signal from the cell surface into the cytoplasm. The interacting subdomains of the proteins in the FecA --> FecR --> FecI --> RNA polymerase signal transduction pathway resulting in fecABCDE transcription have been determined. Energy-coupled transporters transport not only iron and vitamin B12, but also other substrates of very low abundance such as sugars across the outer membrane; transcription regulation of the transport genes may occur similarly to that of the Fec transport genes. PMID:17370038

  10. Tandem Facial Amphiphiles for Membrane Protein Stabilization

    PubMed Central

    Chae, Pil Seok; Gotfryd, Kamil; Pacyna, Jennifer; Miercke, Larry J. W.; Rasmussen, Søren G. F.; Robbins, Rebecca A.; Rana, Rohini R.; Loland, Claus J.; Kobilka, Brian; Stroud, Robert; Byrne, Bernadette; Gether, Ulrik; Gellman, Samuel H.

    2010-01-01

    We describe a new type of synthetic amphiphile that is intended to support biochemical characterization of intrinsic membrane proteins. Members of this new family displayed favorable behavior with four of five membrane proteins tested, and these amphiphiles formed relatively small micelles. PMID:21049926

  11. Combining in Vitro Folding with Cell Free Protein Synthesis for Membrane Protein Expression.

    PubMed

    Focke, Paul J; Hein, Christopher; Hoffmann, Beate; Matulef, Kimberly; Bernhard, Frank; Dötsch, Volker; Valiyaveetil, Francis I

    2016-08-01

    Cell free protein synthesis (CFPS) has emerged as a promising methodology for protein expression. While polypeptide production is very reliable and efficient using CFPS, the correct cotranslational folding of membrane proteins during CFPS is still a challenge. In this contribution, we describe a two-step protocol in which the integral membrane protein is initially expressed by CFPS as a precipitate followed by an in vitro folding procedure using lipid vesicles for converting the protein precipitate to the correctly folded protein. We demonstrate the feasibility of using this approach for the K(+) channels KcsA and MVP and the amino acid transporter LeuT. We determine the crystal structure of the KcsA channel obtained by CFPS and in vitro folding to show the structural similarity to the cellular expressed KcsA channel and to establish the feasibility of using this two-step approach for membrane protein production for structural studies. Our studies show that the correct folding of these membrane proteins with complex topologies can take place in vitro without the involvement of the cellular machinery for membrane protein biogenesis. This indicates that the folding instructions for these complex membrane proteins are contained entirely within the protein sequence. PMID:27384110

  12. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Horse Serum Albumin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    Horse Serum Albumin crystals grown during the USML-1 (STS-50) mission's Protein Crystal Growth Glovebox Experiment. These crystals were grown using a vapor diffusion technique at 22 degrees C. The crystals were allowed to grow for nine days while in orbit. Crystals of 1.0 mm in length were produced. The most abundant blood serum protein, regulates blood pressure and transports ions, metabolites, and therapeutic drugs. Principal Investigator was Edward Meehan.

  13. Automated High Throughput Protein Crystallization Screening at Nanoliter Scale and Protein Structural Study on Lactate Dehydrogenase

    SciTech Connect

    Fenglei Li

    2006-08-09

    The purposes of our research were: (1) To develop an economical, easy to use, automated, high throughput system for large scale protein crystallization screening. (2) To develop a new protein crystallization method with high screening efficiency, low protein consumption and complete compatibility with high throughput screening system. (3) To determine the structure of lactate dehydrogenase complexed with NADH by x-ray protein crystallography to study its inherent structural properties. Firstly, we demonstrated large scale protein crystallization screening can be performed in a high throughput manner with low cost, easy operation. The overall system integrates liquid dispensing, crystallization and detection and serves as a whole solution to protein crystallization screening. The system can dispense protein and multiple different precipitants in nanoliter scale and in parallel. A new detection scheme, native fluorescence, has been developed in this system to form a two-detector system with a visible light detector for detecting protein crystallization screening results. This detection scheme has capability of eliminating common false positives by distinguishing protein crystals from inorganic crystals in a high throughput and non-destructive manner. The entire system from liquid dispensing, crystallization to crystal detection is essentially parallel, high throughput and compatible with automation. The system was successfully demonstrated by lysozyme crystallization screening. Secondly, we developed a new crystallization method with high screening efficiency, low protein consumption and compatibility with automation and high throughput. In this crystallization method, a gas permeable membrane is employed to achieve the gentle evaporation required by protein crystallization. Protein consumption is significantly reduced to nanoliter scale for each condition and thus permits exploring more conditions in a phase diagram for given amount of protein. In addition

  14. Protein Solvation in Membranes and at Water-Membrane Interfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Chipot, Christophe; Wilson, Michael A.

    2002-01-01

    Different salvation properties of water and membranes mediate a host of biologically important processes, such as folding, insertion into a lipid bilayer, associations and functions of membrane proteins. These processes will be discussed in several examples involving synthetic and natural peptides. In particular, a mechanism by which a helical peptide becomes inserted into a model membrane will be described. Further, the molecular mechanism of recognition and association of protein helical segments in membranes will be discussed. These processes are crucial for proper functioning of a cell. A membrane-spanning domain of glycophorin A, which exists as a helical dimer, serves as the model system. For this system, the free energy of dissociation of the helices is being determined for both the wild type and a mutant, in which dimerization is disrupted.

  15. IFITM Proteins Restrict Viral Membrane Hemifusion

    PubMed Central

    Golfetto, Ottavia; Bungart, Brittani; Li, Minghua; Ding, Shilei; He, Yuxian; Liang, Chen; Lee, James C.; Gratton, Enrico; Cohen, Fredric S.; Liu, Shan-Lu

    2013-01-01

    The interferon-inducible transmembrane (IFITM) protein family represents a new class of cellular restriction factors that block early stages of viral replication; the underlying mechanism is currently not known. Here we provide evidence that IFITM proteins restrict membrane fusion induced by representatives of all three classes of viral membrane fusion proteins. IFITM1 profoundly suppressed syncytia formation and cell-cell fusion induced by almost all viral fusion proteins examined; IFITM2 and IFITM3 also strongly inhibited their fusion, with efficiency somewhat dependent on cell types. Furthermore, treatment of cells with IFN also markedly inhibited viral membrane fusion and entry. By using the Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus envelope and influenza A virus hemagglutinin as models for study, we showed that IFITM-mediated restriction on membrane fusion is not at the steps of receptor- and/or low pH-mediated triggering; instead, the creation of hemifusion was essentially blocked by IFITMs. Chlorpromazine (CPZ), a chemical known to promote the transition from hemifusion to full fusion, was unable to rescue the IFITM-mediated restriction on fusion. In contrast, oleic acid (OA), a lipid analog that generates negative spontaneous curvature and thereby promotes hemifusion, virtually overcame the restriction. To explore the possible effect of IFITM proteins on membrane molecular order and fluidity, we performed fluorescence labeling with Laurdan, in conjunction with two-photon laser scanning and fluorescence-lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM). We observed that the generalized polarizations (GPs) and fluorescence lifetimes of cell membranes expressing IFITM proteins were greatly enhanced, indicating higher molecularly ordered and less fluidized membranes. Collectively, our data demonstrated that IFITM proteins suppress viral membrane fusion before the creation of hemifusion, and suggested that they may do so by reducing membrane fluidity and conferring a positive spontaneous

  16. Detergent-associated Solution Conformations of Helical and Beta-barrel Membrane Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Mo, Yiming; Lee, Byung-Kwon; Ankner, John Francis; Becker, Jeffrey Marvin; Heller, William T

    2008-01-01

    Membrane proteins present major challenges for structural biology. In particular, the production of suitable crystals for high-resolution structural determination continues to be a significant roadblock for developing an atomic-level understanding of these vital cellular systems. The use of detergents for extracting membrane proteins from the native membrane for either crystallization or reconstitution into model lipid membranes for further study is assumed to leave the protein with the proper fold with a belt of detergent encompassing the membrane-spanning segments of the structure. Small-angle X-ray scattering was used to probe the detergent-associated solution conformations of three membrane proteins, namely bacteriorhodopsin (BR), the Ste2p G-protein coupled receptor from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and the Escherichia coli porin OmpF. The results demonstrate that, contrary to the traditional model of a detergent-associated membrane protein, the helical proteins BR and Ste2p are not in the expected, compact conformation and associated with detergent micelles, while the ?-barrel OmpF is indeed embedded in a disk-like micelle in a properly folded state. The comparison provided by the BR and Ste2p, both members of the 7TM family of helical membrane proteins, further suggests that the interhelical interactions between the transmembrane helices of the two proteins differ, such that BR, like other rhodopsins, can properly refold to crystallize, while Ste2p continues to prove resistant to crystallization from an initially detergent-associated state.

  17. Laser Irradiated Growth of Protein Crystal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adachi, Hiroaki; Takano, Kazufumi; Hosokawa, Youichiroh; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Yoshimura, Masashi; Tsunaka, Yasuo; Morikawa, Masaaki; Kanaya, Shigenori; Masuhara, Hiroshi; Kai, Yasushi; Sasaki, Takatomo

    2003-07-01

    We succeeded in the first ever generation of protein crystals by laser irradiation. We call this process Laser Irradiated Growth Technique (LIGHT). Effective crystallization was confirmed by applying an intense femtosecond laser. The crystallization period was dramatically shortened by LIGHT. In addition, protein crystals were obtained by LIGHT from normally uncrystallized conditions. These results indicate that intense femtosecond laser irradiation generates crystal nuclei; protein crystals can then be grown from the nuclei that act as seeds in a supersaturated solution. The nuclei formation is possible primarily due to nonlinear nucleation processes of an intense femtosecond laser with a peak intensity of over a gigawatt (GW).

  18. Genome-wide Membrane Protein Structure Prediction

    PubMed Central

    Piccoli, Stefano; Suku, Eda; Garonzi, Marianna; Giorgetti, Alejandro

    2013-01-01

    Transmembrane proteins allow cells to extensively communicate with the external world in a very accurate and specific way. They form principal nodes in several signaling pathways and attract large interest in therapeutic intervention, as the majority pharmaceutical compounds target membrane proteins. Thus, according to the current genome annotation methods, a detailed structural/functional characterization at the protein level of each of the elements codified in the genome is also required. The extreme difficulty in obtaining high-resolution three-dimensional structures, calls for computational approaches. Here we review to which extent the efforts made in the last few years, combining the structural characterization of membrane proteins with protein bioinformatics techniques, could help describing membrane proteins at a genome-wide scale. In particular we analyze the use of comparative modeling techniques as a way of overcoming the lack of high-resolution three-dimensional structures in the human membrane proteome. PMID:24403851

  19. Multipass Membrane Protein Structure Prediction Using Rosetta

    PubMed Central

    Yarov-Yarovoy, Vladimir; Schonbrun, Jack; Baker, David

    2006-01-01

    We describe the adaptation of the Rosetta de novo structure prediction method for prediction of helical transmembrane protein structures. The membrane environment is modeled by embedding the protein chain into a model membrane represented by parallel planes defining hydrophobic, interface, and polar membrane layers for each energy evaluation. The optimal embedding is determined by maximizing the exposure of surface hydrophobic residues within the membrane and minimizing hydrophobic exposure outside of the membrane. Protein conformations are built up using the Rosetta fragment assembly method and evaluated using a new membrane-specific version of the Rosetta low-resolution energy function in which residue–residue and residue–environment interactions are functions of the membrane layer in addition to amino acid identity, distance, and density. We find that lower energy and more native-like structures are achieved by sequential addition of helices to a growing chain, which may mimic some aspects of helical protein biogenesis after translocation, rather than folding the whole chain simultaneously as in the Rosetta soluble protein prediction method. In tests on 12 membrane proteins for which the structure is known, between 51 and 145 residues were predicted with root-mean-square deviation <4Å from the native structure. PMID:16372357

  20. Functional dynamics of cell surface membrane proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishida, Noritaka; Osawa, Masanori; Takeuchi, Koh; Imai, Shunsuke; Stampoulis, Pavlos; Kofuku, Yutaka; Ueda, Takumi; Shimada, Ichio

    2014-04-01

    Cell surface receptors are integral membrane proteins that receive external stimuli, and transmit signals across plasma membranes. In the conventional view of receptor activation, ligand binding to the extracellular side of the receptor induces conformational changes, which convert the structure of the receptor into an active conformation. However, recent NMR studies of cell surface membrane proteins have revealed that their structures are more dynamic than previously envisioned, and they fluctuate between multiple conformations in an equilibrium on various timescales. In addition, NMR analyses, along with biochemical and cell biological experiments indicated that such dynamical properties are critical for the proper functions of the receptors. In this review, we will describe several NMR studies that revealed direct linkage between the structural dynamics and the functions of the cell surface membrane proteins, such as G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), ion channels, membrane transporters, and cell adhesion molecules.

  1. Integrated Protein-Crystal-Growing Apparatus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rhodes, Percy H.; Snyder, Robert S.; Pusey, Marc L.

    1991-01-01

    Proposed apparatus for research on growth of protein crystals dispenses drops of protein and precipitating solutions, provides controlled environment for crystalization, and stores crystals. Intended for use in microgravity of outer space, concept of apparatus also useful in design of self-contained terrestrial experiments for remote and/or automatic execution.

  2. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1991-01-01

    The objective of this research is to study the effect of low gravity on the growth of protein crystals and those parameters which will affect growth and crystal quality. The application of graphoepitaxy (artificial epitaxy) to proteins is detailed. The development of a method for the control of nucleation is discussed. The factor affecting the morphology of isocitrate lyase crystals is presented.

  3. Measurements of Protein Crystal Face Growth Rates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorti, S.

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystal growth rates will be determined for several hyperthermophile proteins.; The growth rates will be assessed using available theoretical models, including kinetic roughening.; If/when kinetic roughening supersaturations are established, determinations of protein crystal quality over a range of supersaturations will also be assessed.; The results of our ground based effort may well address the existence of a correlation between fundamental growth mechanisms and protein crystal quality.

  4. Active Nuclear Import of Membrane Proteins Revisited

    PubMed Central

    Laba, Justyna K.; Steen, Anton; Popken, Petra; Chernova, Alina; Poolman, Bert; Veenhoff, Liesbeth M.

    2015-01-01

    It is poorly understood how membrane proteins destined for the inner nuclear membrane pass the crowded environment of the Nuclear Pore Complex (NPC). For the Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteins Src1/Heh1 and Heh2, a transport mechanism was proposed where the transmembrane domains diffuse through the membrane while the extralumenal domains encoding a nuclear localization signal (NLS) and intrinsically disordered linker (L) are accompanied by transport factors and travel through the NPC. Here, we validate the proposed mechanism and explore and discuss alternative interpretations of the data. First, to disprove an interpretation where the membrane proteins become membrane embedded only after nuclear import, we present biochemical and localization data to support that the previously used, as well as newly designed reporter proteins are membrane-embedded irrespective of the presence of the sorting signals, the specific transmembrane domain (multipass or tail anchored), independent of GET, and also under conditions that the proteins are trapped in the NPC. Second, using the recently established size limit for passive diffusion of membrane proteins in yeast, and using an improved assay, we confirm active import of polytopic membrane protein with extralumenal soluble domains larger than those that can pass by diffusion on similar timescales. This reinforces that NLS-L dependent active transport is distinct from passive diffusion. Thirdly, we revisit the proposed route through the center of the NPC and conclude that the previously used trapping assay is, unfortunately, poorly suited to address the route through the NPC, and the route thus remains unresolved. Apart from the uncertainty about the route through the NPC, the data confirm active, transport factor dependent, nuclear transport of membrane-embedded mono- and polytopic membrane proteins in baker’s yeast. PMID:26473931

  5. Active Nuclear Import of Membrane Proteins Revisited.

    PubMed

    Laba, Justyna K; Steen, Anton; Popken, Petra; Chernova, Alina; Poolman, Bert; Veenhoff, Liesbeth M

    2015-01-01

    It is poorly understood how membrane proteins destined for the inner nuclear membrane pass the crowded environment of the Nuclear Pore Complex (NPC). For the Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteins Src1/Heh1 and Heh2, a transport mechanism was proposed where the transmembrane domains diffuse through the membrane while the extralumenal domains encoding a nuclear localization signal (NLS) and intrinsically disordered linker (L) are accompanied by transport factors and travel through the NPC. Here, we validate the proposed mechanism and explore and discuss alternative interpretations of the data. First, to disprove an interpretation where the membrane proteins become membrane embedded only after nuclear import, we present biochemical and localization data to support that the previously used, as well as newly designed reporter proteins are membrane-embedded irrespective of the presence of the sorting signals, the specific transmembrane domain (multipass or tail anchored), independent of GET, and also under conditions that the proteins are trapped in the NPC. Second, using the recently established size limit for passive diffusion of membrane proteins in yeast, and using an improved assay, we confirm active import of polytopic membrane protein with extralumenal soluble domains larger than those that can pass by diffusion on similar timescales. This reinforces that NLS-L dependent active transport is distinct from passive diffusion. Thirdly, we revisit the proposed route through the center of the NPC and conclude that the previously used trapping assay is, unfortunately, poorly suited to address the route through the NPC, and the route thus remains unresolved. Apart from the uncertainty about the route through the NPC, the data confirm active, transport factor dependent, nuclear transport of membrane-embedded mono- and polytopic membrane proteins in baker's yeast. PMID:26473931

  6. Real-time Monitoring of Intermediates Reveals the Reaction Pathway in the Thiol-Disulfide Exchange between Disulfide Bond Formation Protein A (DsbA) and B (DsbB) on a Membrane-immobilized Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) System*

    PubMed Central

    Yazawa, Kenjiro; Furusawa, Hiroyuki; Okahata, Yoshio

    2013-01-01

    Disulfide bond formation protein B (DsbBS-S,S-S) is an inner membrane protein in Escherichia coli that has two disulfide bonds (S-S, S-S) that play a role in oxidization of a pair of cysteine residues (SH, SH) in disulfide bond formation protein A (DsbASH,SH). The oxidized DsbAS-S, with one disulfide bond (S-S), can oxidize proteins with SH groups for maturation of a folding preprotein. Here, we have described the transient kinetics of the oxidation reaction between DsbASH,SH and DsbBS-S,S-S. We immobilized DsbBS-S,S-S embedded in lipid bilayers on the surface of a 27-MHz quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) device to detect both formation and degradation of the reaction intermediate (DsbA-DsbB), formed via intermolecular disulfide bonds, as a mass change in real time. The obtained kinetic parameters (intermediate formation, reverse, and oxidation rate constants (kf, kr, and kcat, respectively) indicated that the two pairs of cysteine residues in DsbBS-S,S-S were more important for the stability of the DsbA-DsbB intermediate than ubiquinone, an electron acceptor for DsbBS-S,S-S. Our data suggested that the reaction pathway of almost all DsbASH,SH oxidation processes would proceed through this stable intermediate, avoiding the requirement for ubiquinone. PMID:24145032

  7. Real-time monitoring of intermediates reveals the reaction pathway in the thiol-disulfide exchange between disulfide bond formation protein A (DsbA) and B (DsbB) on a membrane-immobilized quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) system.

    PubMed

    Yazawa, Kenjiro; Furusawa, Hiroyuki; Okahata, Yoshio

    2013-12-13

    Disulfide bond formation protein B (DsbBS-S,S-S) is an inner membrane protein in Escherichia coli that has two disulfide bonds (S-S, S-S) that play a role in oxidization of a pair of cysteine residues (SH, SH) in disulfide bond formation protein A (DsbASH,SH). The oxidized DsbAS-S, with one disulfide bond (S-S), can oxidize proteins with SH groups for maturation of a folding preprotein. Here, we have described the transient kinetics of the oxidation reaction between DsbASH,SH and DsbBS-S,S-S. We immobilized DsbBS-S,S-S embedded in lipid bilayers on the surface of a 27-MHz quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) device to detect both formation and degradation of the reaction intermediate (DsbA-DsbB), formed via intermolecular disulfide bonds, as a mass change in real time. The obtained kinetic parameters (intermediate formation, reverse, and oxidation rate constants (kf, kr, and kcat, respectively) indicated that the two pairs of cysteine residues in DsbBS-S,S-S were more important for the stability of the DsbA-DsbB intermediate than ubiquinone, an electron acceptor for DsbBS-S,S-S. Our data suggested that the reaction pathway of almost all DsbASH,SH oxidation processes would proceed through this stable intermediate, avoiding the requirement for ubiquinone. PMID:24145032

  8. Helical Membrane Protein Conformations and their Environment

    PubMed Central

    Cross, Timothy A.; Murray, Dylan T.; Watts, Anthony

    2013-01-01

    Evidence that membrane proteins respond conformationally and functionally to their environment is gaining pace. Structural models, by necessity, have been characterized in preparations where the protein has been removed from its native environment. Different structural methods have used various membrane mimetics that have recently included lipid bilayers as a more native-like environment. Structural tools applied to lipid bilayer-embedded integral proteins are informing us about important generic characteristics of how membrane proteins respond to the lipid environment as compared with their response to other non-lipid environments. Here, we review the current status of the field, with specific reference to observations of some well-studied α-helical membrane proteins, as a starting point to aid the development of possible generic principals for model refinement. PMID:23996195

  9. Glasslike Membrane Protein Diffusion in a Crowded Membrane.

    PubMed

    Munguira, Ignacio; Casuso, Ignacio; Takahashi, Hirohide; Rico, Felix; Miyagi, Atsushi; Chami, Mohamed; Scheuring, Simon

    2016-02-23

    Many functions of the plasma membrane depend critically on its structure and dynamics. Observation of anomalous diffusion in vivo and in vitro using fluorescence microscopy and single particle tracking has advanced our concept of the membrane from a homogeneous fluid bilayer with freely diffusing proteins to a highly organized crowded and clustered mosaic of lipids and proteins. Unfortunately, anomalous diffusion could not be related to local molecular details given the lack of direct and unlabeled molecular observation capabilities. Here, we use high-speed atomic force microscopy and a novel analysis methodology to analyze the pore forming protein lysenin in a highly crowded environment and document coexistence of several diffusion regimes within one membrane. We show the formation of local glassy phases, where proteins are trapped in neighbor-formed cages for time scales up to 10 s, which had not been previously experimentally reported for biological membranes. Furthermore, around solid-like patches and immobile molecules a slower glass phase is detected leading to protein trapping and creating a perimeter of decreased membrane diffusion. PMID:26859708

  10. The X-ray Structure of NccX from Cupriavidus metallidurans 31A Illustrates Potential Dangers of Detergent Solubilization When Generating and Interpreting Crystal Structures of Membrane Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ziani, Widade; Maillard, Antoine P.; Petit-Härtlein, Isabelle; Garnier, Norbert; Crouzy, Serge; Girard, Eric; Covès, Jacques

    2014-01-01

    The x-ray structure of NccX, a type II transmembrane metal sensor, from Cupriavidus metallidurans 31A has been determined at a resolution of 3.12 Å. This was achieved after solubilization by dodecylphosphocholine and purification in the presence of the detergent. NccX crystal structure did not match the model based on the extensively characterized periplasmic domain of its closest homologue CnrX. Instead, the periplasmic domains of NccX appeared collapsed against the hydrophobic transmembrane segments, leading to an aberrant topology incompatible with membrane insertion. This was explained by a detergent-induced redistribution of the hydrophobic interactions among the transmembrane helices and a pair of hydrophobic patches keeping the periplasmic domains together in the native dimer. Molecular dynamics simulations performed with the full-length protein or with the transmembrane segments were used along with in vivo homodimerization assays (TOXCAT) to evaluate the determinants of the interactions between NccX protomers. Taken as a whole, computational and experimental results are in agreement with the structural model of CnrX where a cradle-shaped periplasmic metal sensor domain is anchored into the inner membrane by two N-terminal helices. In addition, they show that the main determinant of NccX dimerization is the periplasmic soluble domain and that the interaction between transmembrane segments is highly dynamic. The present work introduces a new crystal structure for a transmembrane protein and, in line with previous studies, substantiates the use of complementary theoretical and in vivo investigations to rationalize a three-dimensional structure obtained in non-native conditions. PMID:25258316

  11. The X-ray structure of NccX from Cupriavidus metallidurans 31A illustrates potential dangers of detergent solubilization when generating and interpreting crystal structures of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Ziani, Widade; Maillard, Antoine P; Petit-Härtlein, Isabelle; Garnier, Norbert; Crouzy, Serge; Girard, Eric; Covès, Jacques

    2014-11-01

    The x-ray structure of NccX, a type II transmembrane metal sensor, from Cupriavidus metallidurans 31A has been determined at a resolution of 3.12 Å. This was achieved after solubilization by dodecylphosphocholine and purification in the presence of the detergent. NccX crystal structure did not match the model based on the extensively characterized periplasmic domain of its closest homologue CnrX. Instead, the periplasmic domains of NccX appeared collapsed against the hydrophobic transmembrane segments, leading to an aberrant topology incompatible with membrane insertion. This was explained by a detergent-induced redistribution of the hydrophobic interactions among the transmembrane helices and a pair of hydrophobic patches keeping the periplasmic domains together in the native dimer. Molecular dynamics simulations performed with the full-length protein or with the transmembrane segments were used along with in vivo homodimerization assays (TOXCAT) to evaluate the determinants of the interactions between NccX protomers. Taken as a whole, computational and experimental results are in agreement with the structural model of CnrX where a cradle-shaped periplasmic metal sensor domain is anchored into the inner membrane by two N-terminal helices. In addition, they show that the main determinant of NccX dimerization is the periplasmic soluble domain and that the interaction between transmembrane segments is highly dynamic. The present work introduces a new crystal structure for a transmembrane protein and, in line with previous studies, substantiates the use of complementary theoretical and in vivo investigations to rationalize a three-dimensional structure obtained in non-native conditions. PMID:25258316

  12. Membrane protein expression in Lactococcus lactis.

    PubMed

    King, Martin S; Boes, Christoph; Kunji, Edmund R S

    2015-01-01

    The Gram-positive bacterium Lactococcus lactis has many properties that are ideal for the overproduction of membrane proteins in a functional form. Growth of lactococci is rapid, proceeds to high cell densities, and does not require aeration, which facilitates large-scale fermentation. The available promoter systems are strong and tightly regulated, allowing expression of toxic gene products in a controlled manner. Expressed membrane proteins are targeted exclusively to the cytoplasmic membrane, allowing the use of ionophores, ligands, and inhibitors to study activity of the membrane protein in whole cells. Constructed plasmids are stable and expression levels are highly reproducible. The relatively small genome size of the organism causes little redundancy, which facilitates complementation studies and allows for easier purification. The produced membrane proteins are often stable, as the organism has limited proteolytic capability, and they are readily solubilized from the membrane with mild detergents. Lactococci are multiple amino acid auxotrophs, allowing the incorporation of labels, such as selenomethionine. Among the few disadvantages are the low transformation frequency, AT-rich codon usage, and resistance to lysis by mechanical means, but these problems can be overcome fairly easily. We will describe in detail the protocols used to express membrane proteins in L. lactis, from cloning of the target gene to the isolation of membrane vesicles for the determination of expression levels. PMID:25857778

  13. Polyene antibiotic that inhibits membrane transport proteins

    PubMed Central

    te Welscher, Yvonne Maria; van Leeuwen, Martin Richard; de Kruijff, Ben; Dijksterhuis, Jan; Breukink, Eefjan

    2012-01-01

    The limited therapeutic arsenal and the increase in reports of fungal resistance to multiple antifungal agents have made fungal infections a major therapeutic challenge. The polyene antibiotics are the only group of antifungal antibiotics that directly target the plasma membrane via a specific interaction with the main fungal sterol, ergosterol, often resulting in membrane permeabilization. In contrast to other polyene antibiotics that form pores in the membrane, the mode of action of natamycin has remained obscure but is not related to membrane permeabilization. Here, we demonstrate that natamycin inhibits growth of yeasts and fungi via the immediate inhibition of amino acid and glucose transport across the plasma membrane. This is attributable to ergosterol-specific and reversible inhibition of membrane transport proteins. It is proposed that ergosterol-dependent inhibition of membrane proteins is a general mode of action of all the polyene antibiotics, of which some have been shown additionally to permeabilize the plasma membrane. Our results imply that sterol-protein interactions are fundamentally important for protein function even for those proteins that are not known to reside in sterol-rich domains. PMID:22733749

  14. Polyene antibiotic that inhibits membrane transport proteins.

    PubMed

    te Welscher, Yvonne Maria; van Leeuwen, Martin Richard; de Kruijff, Ben; Dijksterhuis, Jan; Breukink, Eefjan

    2012-07-10

    The limited therapeutic arsenal and the increase in reports of fungal resistance to multiple antifungal agents have made fungal infections a major therapeutic challenge. The polyene antibiotics are the only group of antifungal antibiotics that directly target the plasma membrane via a specific interaction with the main fungal sterol, ergosterol, often resulting in membrane permeabilization. In contrast to other polyene antibiotics that form pores in the membrane, the mode of action of natamycin has remained obscure but is not related to membrane permeabilization. Here, we demonstrate that natamycin inhibits growth of yeasts and fungi via the immediate inhibition of amino acid and glucose transport across the plasma membrane. This is attributable to ergosterol-specific and reversible inhibition of membrane transport proteins. It is proposed that ergosterol-dependent inhibition of membrane proteins is a general mode of action of all the polyene antibiotics, of which some have been shown additionally to permeabilize the plasma membrane. Our results imply that sterol-protein interactions are fundamentally important for protein function even for those proteins that are not known to reside in sterol-rich domains. PMID:22733749

  15. Solid-state NMR and Membrane Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Opella, Stanley J.

    2015-01-01

    The native environment for a membrane protein is a phospholipid bilayer. Because the protein is immobilized on NMR timescales by the interactions within a bilayer membrane, solid-state NMR methods are essential to obtain high-resolution spectra. Approaches have been developed for both unoriented and oriented samples, however, they all rest on the foundation of the most fundamental aspects solid-state NMR, and the chemical shift and homo- and hetero-nuclear dipole-dipole interactions. Solid-state NMR has advanced sufficiently to enable the structures of membrane proteins to be determined under near-native conditions in phospholipid bilayers. PMID:25681966

  16. Biophysical EPR Studies Applied to Membrane Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Sahu, Indra D; Lorigan, Gary A

    2015-01-01

    Membrane proteins are very important in controlling bioenergetics, functional activity, and initializing signal pathways in a wide variety of complicated biological systems. They also represent approximately 50% of the potential drug targets. EPR spectroscopy is a very popular and powerful biophysical tool that is used to study the structural and dynamic properties of membrane proteins. In this article, a basic overview of the most commonly used EPR techniques and examples of recent applications to answer pertinent structural and dynamic related questions on membrane protein systems will be presented. PMID:26855825

  17. Towards Simulations of Outer Membrane Proteins in Lipopolysaccharide Membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Soares, Thereza A.; Straatsma, TP

    2007-12-26

    Biomolecular simulation derived properties of LPS membranes that impact the structural and internal dynamics of transmembrane proteins are shown to exhibit good agreement with available experimental data within the time scale simulated, chosen force field and simulation conditions. The molecular model used offers an accurate representation of the LPS layer, including the high asymmetry and low fluidity characteristics of outer membranes. This contribution describes the data intensive analysis of the large molecular time trajectories generated for these systems using massively parallel computing resources.

  18. Applications of the second virial coefficient: protein crystallization and solubility

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, William W.; DeLucas, Lawrence J.

    2014-01-01

    This article begins by highlighting some of the ground-based studies emanating from NASA’s Microgravity Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) program. This is followed by a more detailed discussion of the history of and the progress made in one of the NASA-funded PCG investigations involving the use of measured second virial coefficients (B values) as a diagnostic indicator of solution conditions conducive to protein crystallization. A second application of measured B values involves the determination of solution conditions that improve or maximize the solubility of aqueous and membrane proteins. These two important applications have led to several technological improvements that simplify the experimental expertise required, enable the measurement of membrane proteins and improve the diagnostic capability and measurement throughput. PMID:24817708

  19. Membrane proteins: is the future disc shaped?

    PubMed

    Lee, Sarah C; Pollock, Naomi L

    2016-08-15

    The use of styrene maleic acid lipid particles (SMALPs) for the purification of membrane proteins (MPs) is a rapidly developing technology. The amphiphilic copolymer of styrene and maleic acid (SMA) disrupts biological membranes and can extract membrane proteins in nanodiscs of approximately 10 nm diameter. These discs contain SMA, protein and membrane lipids. There is evidence that MPs in SMALPs retain their native structures and functions, in some cases with enhanced thermal stability. In addition, the method is compatible with biological buffers and a wide variety of biophysical and structural analysis techniques. The use of SMALPs to solubilize and stabilize MPs offers a new approach in our attempts to understand, and influence, the structure and function of MPs and biological membranes. In this review, we critically assess progress with this method, address some of the associated technical challenges, and discuss opportunities for exploiting SMA and SMALPs to expand our understanding of MP biology. PMID:27528746

  20. An Approach to Heterologous Expression of Membrane Proteins. The Case of Bacteriorhodopsin

    PubMed Central

    Round, Ekaterina; Shevchenko, Vitaly; Gushchin, Ivan; Polovinkin, Vitaly; Borshchevskiy, Valentin; Gordeliy, Valentin

    2015-01-01

    Heterologous overexpression of functional membrane proteins is a major bottleneck of structural biology. Bacteriorhodopsin from Halobium salinarum (bR) is a striking example of the difficulties in membrane protein overexpression. We suggest a general approach with a finite number of steps which allows one to localize the underlying problem of poor expression of a membrane protein using bR as an example. Our approach is based on constructing chimeric proteins comprising parts of a protein of interest and complementary parts of a homologous protein demonstrating advantageous expression. This complementary protein approach allowed us to increase bR expression by two orders of magnitude through the introduction of two silent mutations into bR coding DNA. For the first time the high quality crystals of bR expressed in E. Coli were obtained using the produced protein. The crystals obtained with in meso nanovolume crystallization diffracted to 1.67 Å. PMID:26046789

  1. Protein crystallization facilitated by molecularly imprinted polymers

    PubMed Central

    Saridakis, Emmanuel; Khurshid, Sahir; Govada, Lata; Phan, Quan; Hawkins, Daniel; Crichlow, Gregg V.; Lolis, Elias; Reddy, Subrayal M.; Chayen, Naomi E.

    2011-01-01

    We present a previously undescribed initiative and its application, namely the design of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for producing protein crystals that are essential for determining high-resolution 3D structures of proteins. MIPs, also referred to as “smart materials,” are made to contain cavities capable of rebinding protein; thus the fingerprint of the protein created on the polymer allows it to serve as an ideal template for crystal formation. We have shown that six different MIPs induced crystallization of nine proteins, yielding crystals in conditions that do not give crystals otherwise. The incorporation of MIPs in screening experiments gave rise to crystalline hits in 8–10% of the trials for three target proteins. These hits would have been missed using other known nucleants. MIPs also facilitated the formation of large single crystals at metastable conditions for seven proteins. Moreover, the presence of MIPs has led to faster formation of crystals in all cases where crystals would appear eventually and to major improvement in diffraction in some cases. The MIPs were effective for their cognate proteins and also for other proteins, with size compatibility being a likely criterion for efficacy. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements demonstrated specific affinity between the MIP cavities and a protein-functionalized AFM tip, corroborating our hypothesis that due to the recognition of proteins by the cavities, MIPs can act as nucleation-inducing substrates (nucleants) by harnessing the proteins themselves as templates. PMID:21690356

  2. EH domain proteins regulate cardiac membrane protein targeting

    PubMed Central

    Gudmundsson, Hjalti; Hund, Thomas J.; Wright, Patrick J.; Kline, Crystal F.; Snyder, Jedidiah S.; Qian, Lan; Koval, Olha M.; Cunha, Shane R.; George, Manju; Rainey, Mark A.; Kashef, Farshid E.; Dun, Wen; Boyden, Penelope A.; Anderson, Mark E.; Band, Hamid; Mohler, Peter J.

    2010-01-01

    Rationale Cardiac membrane excitability is tightly regulated by an integrated network of membrane-associated ion channels, transporters, receptors, and signaling molecules. Membrane protein dynamics in health and disease are maintained by a complex ensemble of intracellular targeting, scaffolding, recycling, and degradation pathways. Surprisingly, despite decades of research linking dysfunction in membrane protein trafficking with human cardiovascular disease, essentially nothing is known regarding the molecular identity or function of these intracellular targeting pathways in excitable cardiomyocytes. Objective We sought to discover novel pathways for membrane protein targeting in primary cardiomyocytes. Methods and Results We report the initial characterization of a large family of membrane trafficking proteins in human heart. We employed a tissue-wide screen for novel ankyrin-associated trafficking proteins and identified four members of a unique Eps15 homology (EH) domain-containing protein family (EHD1, EHD2, EHD3, EHD4) that serve critical roles in endosome-based membrane protein targeting in other cell types. We show that EHD1-4 directly associate with ankyrin, provide the first information on the expression and localization of these molecules in primary cardiomyocytes, and demonstrate that EHD1-4 are co-expressed with ankyrin-B in the myocyte perinuclear region. Notably, the expression of multiple EHD proteins is increased in animal models lacking ankyrin-B, and EHD3-deficient cardiomyocytes display aberrant ankyrin-B localization and selective loss of Na/Ca exchanger expression and function. Finally, we report significant modulation of EHD expression following myocardial infarction, suggesting that these proteins may play a key role in regulating membrane excitability in normal and diseased heart. Conclusions Our findings identify and characterize a new class of cardiac trafficking proteins, define the first group of proteins associated with the ankyrin

  3. Cell-free methods to produce structurally intact mammalian membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Shinoda, Takehiro; Shinya, Naoko; Ito, Kaori; Ishizuka-Katsura, Yoshiko; Ohsawa, Noboru; Terada, Takaho; Hirata, Kunio; Kawano, Yoshiaki; Yamamoto, Masaki; Tomita, Taisuke; Ishibashi, Yohei; Hirabayashi, Yoshio; Kimura-Someya, Tomomi; Shirouzu, Mikako; Yokoyama, Shigeyuki

    2016-01-01

    The crystal structures of four membrane proteins, from bacteria or a unicellular alga, have been solved with samples produced by cell-free protein synthesis. In this study, for mammalian membrane protein production, we established the precipitating and soluble membrane fragment methods: membrane proteins are synthesized with the Escherichia coli cell-free system in the presence of large and small membrane fragments, respectively, and are simultaneously integrated into the lipid environments. We applied the precipitating membrane fragment method to produce various mammalian membrane proteins, including human claudins, glucosylceramide synthase, and the γ-secretase subunits. These proteins were produced at levels of about 0.1-1.0 mg per ml cell-free reaction under the initial conditions, and were obtained as precipitates by ultracentrifugation. Larger amounts of membrane proteins were produced by the soluble membrane fragment method, collected in the ultracentrifugation supernatants, and purified directly by column chromatography. For several proteins, the conditions of the membrane fragment methods were further optimized, such as by the addition of specific lipids/detergents. The functional and structural integrities of the purified proteins were confirmed by analyses of their ligand binding activities, size-exclusion chromatography profiles, and/or thermal stabilities. We successfully obtained high-quality crystals of the complex of human claudin-4 with an enterotoxin. PMID:27465719

  4. Cell-free methods to produce structurally intact mammalian membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Shinoda, Takehiro; Shinya, Naoko; Ito, Kaori; Ishizuka-Katsura, Yoshiko; Ohsawa, Noboru; Terada, Takaho; Hirata, Kunio; Kawano, Yoshiaki; Yamamoto, Masaki; Tomita, Taisuke; Ishibashi, Yohei; Hirabayashi, Yoshio; Kimura-Someya, Tomomi; Shirouzu, Mikako; Yokoyama, Shigeyuki

    2016-01-01

    The crystal structures of four membrane proteins, from bacteria or a unicellular alga, have been solved with samples produced by cell-free protein synthesis. In this study, for mammalian membrane protein production, we established the precipitating and soluble membrane fragment methods: membrane proteins are synthesized with the Escherichia coli cell-free system in the presence of large and small membrane fragments, respectively, and are simultaneously integrated into the lipid environments. We applied the precipitating membrane fragment method to produce various mammalian membrane proteins, including human claudins, glucosylceramide synthase, and the γ-secretase subunits. These proteins were produced at levels of about 0.1–1.0 mg per ml cell-free reaction under the initial conditions, and were obtained as precipitates by ultracentrifugation. Larger amounts of membrane proteins were produced by the soluble membrane fragment method, collected in the ultracentrifugation supernatants, and purified directly by column chromatography. For several proteins, the conditions of the membrane fragment methods were further optimized, such as by the addition of specific lipids/detergents. The functional and structural integrities of the purified proteins were confirmed by analyses of their ligand binding activities, size-exclusion chromatography profiles, and/or thermal stabilities. We successfully obtained high-quality crystals of the complex of human claudin-4 with an enterotoxin. PMID:27465719

  5. Detergents in Membrane Protein Purification and Crystallisation.

    PubMed

    Anandan, Anandhi; Vrielink, Alice

    2016-01-01

    Detergents play a significant role in structural and functional characterisation of integral membrane proteins (IMPs). IMPs reside in the biological membranes and exhibit a great variation in their structural and physical properties. For in vitro biophysical studies, structural and functional analyses, IMPs need to be extracted from the membrane lipid bilayer environment in which they are found and purified to homogeneity while maintaining a folded and functionally active state. Detergents are capable of successfully solubilising and extracting the IMPs from the membrane bilayers. A number of detergents with varying structure and physicochemical properties are commercially available and can be applied for this purpose. Nevertheless, it is important to choose a detergent that is not only able to extract the membrane protein but also provide an optimal environment while retaining the correct structural and physical properties of the protein molecule. Choosing the best detergent for this task can be made possible by understanding the physical and chemical properties of the different detergents and their interaction with the IMPs. In addition, understanding the mechanism of membrane solubilisation and protein extraction along with crystallisation requirements, if crystallographic studies are going to be undertaken, can help in choosing the best detergent for the purpose. This chapter aims to present the fundamental properties of detergents and highlight information relevant to IMP crystallisation. The first section of the chapter reviews the physicochemical properties of detergents and parameters essential for predicting their behaviour in solution. The second section covers the interaction of detergents with the biologic membranes and proteins followed by their role in membrane protein crystallisation. The last section will briefly cover the types of detergent and their properties focusing on custom designed detergents for membrane protein studies. PMID:27553232

  6. Mass Spectrometry of Intact Membrane Protein Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Laganowsky, Arthur; Reading, Eamonn; Hopper, Jonathan T.S.; Robinson, Carol V.

    2014-01-01

    Mass spectrometry of intact soluble protein complexes has emerged as a powerful technique to study the stoichiometry, structure-function and dynamics of protein assemblies. Recent developments have extended this technique to the study of membrane protein complexes where it has already revealed subunit stoichiometries and specific phospholipid interactions. Here, we describe a protocol for mass spectrometry of membrane protein complexes. The protocol begins with preparation of the membrane protein complex enabling not only the direct assessment of stoichiometry, delipidation, and quality of the target complex, but also evaluation of the purification strategy. A detailed list of compatible non-ionic detergents is included, along with a protocol for screening detergents to find an optimal one for mass spectrometry, biochemical and structural studies. This protocol also covers the preparation of lipids for protein-lipid binding studies and includes detailed settings for a Q-ToF mass spectrometer after introduction of complexes from gold-coated nanoflow capillaries. PMID:23471109

  7. Detergent-Free Membrane Protein Purification.

    PubMed

    Rothnie, Alice J

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins are localized within a lipid bilayer; in order to purify them for functional and structural studies the first step must involve solubilizing or extracting the protein from these lipids. To date this has been achieved using detergents which disrupt the bilayer and bind to the protein in the transmembrane region. However finding conditions for optimal extraction, without destabilizing protein structure, is time consuming and expensive. Here we present a recently-developed method using a styrene-maleic acid (SMA) co-polymer instead of detergents. The SMA co-polymer extracts membrane proteins in a small disc of lipid bilayer which can be used for affinity chromatography purification, thus enabling the purification of membrane proteins while maintaining their native lipid bilayer environment. PMID:27485341

  8. Efficient preparation and analysis of membrane and membrane protein systems.

    PubMed

    Javanainen, Matti; Martinez-Seara, Hector

    2016-10-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have become a highly important technique to consider lipid membrane systems, and quite often they provide considerable added value to laboratory experiments. Rapid development of both software and hardware has enabled the increase of time and size scales reachable by MD simulations to match those attainable by several accurate experimental techniques. However, until recently, the quality and maturity of software tools available for building membrane models for simulations as well as analyzing the results of these simulations have seriously lagged behind. Here, we discuss the recent developments of such tools from the end-users' point of view. In particular, we review the software that can be employed to build lipid bilayers and other related structures with or without embedded membrane proteins to be employed in MD simulations. Additionally, we provide a brief critical insight into force fields and MD packages commonly used for membrane and membrane protein simulations. Finally, we list analysis tools that can be used to study the properties of membrane and membrane protein systems. In all these points we comment on the respective compatibility of the covered tools. We also share our opinion on the current state of the available software. We briefly discuss the most commonly employed tools and platforms on which new software can be built. We conclude the review by providing a few ideas and guidelines on how the development of tools can be further boosted to catch up with the rapid pace at which the field of membrane simulation progresses. This includes improving the compatibility between software tools and promoting the openness of the codes on which these applications rely. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Biosimulations edited by Ilpo Vattulainen and Tomasz Róg. PMID:26947184

  9. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth on STS-26

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    Mission Specialist George (Pinky) D. Nelson uses a 35 mm camera to photograph a protein crystal grown during the STS-26 Protein Crystal Growth (PCG-II-01) experiment. The protein crystal growth (PCG) carrier is shown deployed from the PCG Refrigerator/Incubator Mocule (R/IM) located in the middeck forward locker. The R/IM contained three Vapor Diffusion Apparatus (VDS) trays (one of which is shown). A total of sixty protein crystal samples were processed during the STS-26 mission.

  10. Protein-crystal growth experiment (planned)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fujita, S.; Asano, K.; Hashitani, T.; Kitakohji, T.; Nemoto, H.; Kitamura, S.

    1988-01-01

    To evaluate the effectiveness of a microgravity environment on protein crystal growth, a system was developed using 5 cubic feet Get Away Special payload canister. In the experiment, protein (myoglobin) will be simultaneously crystallized from an aqueous solution in 16 crystallization units using three types of crystallization methods, i.e., batch, vapor diffusion, and free interface diffusion. Each unit has two compartments: one for the protein solution and the other for the ammonium sulfate solution. Compartments are separated by thick acrylic or thin stainless steel plates. Crystallization will be started by sliding out the plates, then will be periodically recorded up to 120 hours by a still camera. The temperature will be passively controlled by a phase transition thermal storage component and recorded in IC memory throughout the experiment. Microgravity environment can then be evaluated for protein crystal growth by comparing crystallization in space with that on Earth.

  11. Surface recognition elements of membrane protein oligomerization.

    PubMed

    Rath, Arianna; Deber, Charles M

    2008-02-15

    Although certain membrane proteins are functional as monomeric polypeptides, others must assemble into oligomers to carry out their biological roles. High-resolution membrane protein structures provide a valuable resource for examining the sequence features that facilitate-or preclude-assembly of membrane protein monomers into multimeric structures. Here we have utilized a data set of 28 high-resolution alpha-helical membrane protein structures comprising 32 nonredundant polypeptides to address this issue. The lipid-exposed surfaces of membrane proteins that have reached their fully assembled and functional biological units have been compared with those of the individual subunits that build quaternary structures. Though the overall amino acid composition of each set of surfaces is similar, a key distinction-the distribution of small-xxx-small motifs-delineates subunits from membrane proteins that have reached a functioning oligomeric state. Quaternary structure formation may therefore be dictated by small-xxx-small motifs that are not satisfied by intrachain contacts. PMID:17729275

  12. An improved tripod amphiphile for membrane protein solubilization.

    PubMed Central

    Yu, S. M.; McQuade, D. T.; Quinn, M. A.; Hackenberger, C. P.; Krebs, M. P.; Polans, A. S.; Gellman, S. H.

    2000-01-01

    Intrinsic membrane proteins represent a large fraction of the proteins produced by living organisms and perform many crucial functions. Structural and functional characterization of membrane proteins generally requires that they be extracted from the native lipid bilayer and solubilized with a small synthetic amphiphile, for example, a detergent. We describe the development of a small molecule with a distinctive amphiphilic architecture, a "tripod amphiphile," that solubilizes both bacteriorhodopsin (BR) and bovine rhodopsin (Rho). The polar portion of this amphiphile contains an amide and an amine-oxide; small variations in this polar segment are found to have profound effects on protein solubilization properties. The optimal tripod amphiphile extracts both BR and Rho from the native membrane environments and maintains each protein in a monomeric native-like form for several weeks after delipidation. Tripod amphiphiles are designed to display greater conformational rigidity than conventional detergents, with the long-range goal of promoting membrane protein crystallization. The results reported here represent an important step toward that ultimate goal. PMID:11206073

  13. Crystal structure of a COG4313 outer membrane channel

    PubMed Central

    Berg, Bert van den; Bhamidimarri, Satya Prathyusha; Winterhalter, Mathias

    2015-01-01

    COG4313 proteins form a large and widespread family of outer membrane channels and have been implicated in the uptake of a variety of hydrophobic molecules. Structure-function studies of this protein family have so far been hampered by a lack of structural information. Here we present the X-ray crystal structure of Pput2725 from the biodegrader Pseudomonas putida F1, a COG4313 channel of unknown function, using data to 2.3 Å resolution. The structure shows a 12-stranded barrel with an N-terminal segment preceding the first β-strand occluding the lumen of the barrel. Single channel electrophysiology and liposome swelling experiments suggest that while the narrow channel visible in the crystal structure does allow passage of ions and certain small molecules in vitro, Pput2725 is unlikely to function as a channel for hydrophilic molecules. Instead, the presence of bound detergent molecules inside the barrel suggests that Pput2725 mediates uptake of hydrophobic molecules. Sequence alignments and the locations of highly conserved residues suggest the presence of a dynamic lateral opening through which hydrophobic molecules might gain entry into the cell. Our results provide the basis for structure-function studies of COG4313 family members with known function, such as the SphA sphingosine uptake channel of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. PMID:26149193

  14. Renaturing Membrane Proteins in the Lipid Cubic Phase, a Nanoporous Membrane Mimetic

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dianfan; Caffrey, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Membrane proteins play vital roles in the life of the cell and are important therapeutic targets. Producing them in large quantities, pure and fully functional is a major challenge. Many promising projects end when intractable aggregates or precipitates form. Here we show how such unfolded aggregates can be solubilized and the solution mixed with lipid to spontaneously self-assemble a bicontinuous cubic mesophase into the bilayer of which the protein, in a confined, chaperonin-like environment, reconstitutes with 100% efficiency. The test protein, diacylglycerol kinase, reconstituted in the bilayer of the mesophase, was then crystallized in situ by the in meso or lipid cubic phase method providing an X-ray structure to a resolution of 2.55 Å. This highly efficient, inexpensive, simple and rapid approach should find application wherever properly folded, membrane reconstituted and functional proteins are required where the starting material is a denatured aggregate. PMID:25055873

  15. Method for controlling protein crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noever, David A. (Inventor)

    1993-01-01

    A method and apparatus for controlling the crystallization of protein by solvent evaporation including placing a drop of protein solution between and in contact with a pair of parallel plates and driving one of the plates toward and away from the other plate in a controlled manner to adjust the spacing between the plates is presented. The drop of solution forms a liquid cylinder having a height dependent upon the plate spacing thereby effecting the surface area available for solvent evaporation. When the spacing is close, evaporation is slow. Evaporation is increased by increasing the spacing between the plates until the breaking point of the liquid cylinder. One plate is mounted upon a fixed post while the other plate is carried by a receptacle movable relative to the post and driven by a belt driven screw drive. The temperature and humidity of the drop of protein solution are controlled by sealing the drop within the receptacle and mounting a heater and dessicant within the receptacle.

  16. Gold nanoparticle capture within protein crystal scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Kowalski, Ann E; Huber, Thaddaus R; Ni, Thomas W; Hartje, Luke F; Appel, Karina L; Yost, Jarad W; Ackerson, Christopher J; Snow, Christopher D

    2016-07-01

    DNA assemblies have been used to organize inorganic nanoparticles into 3D arrays, with emergent properties arising as a result of nanoparticle spacing and geometry. We report here the use of engineered protein crystals as an alternative approach to biologically mediated assembly of inorganic nanoparticles. The protein crystal's 13 nm diameter pores result in an 80% solvent content and display hexahistidine sequences on their interior. The hexahistidine sequence captures Au25(glutathione)∼17 (nitrilotriacetic acid)∼1 nanoclusters throughout a chemically crosslinked crystal via the coordination of Ni(ii) to both the cluster and the protein. Nanoparticle loading was validated by confocal microscopy and elemental analysis. The nanoparticles may be released from the crystal by exposure to EDTA, which chelates the Ni(ii) and breaks the specific protein/nanoparticle interaction. The integrity of the protein crystals after crosslinking and nanoparticle capture was confirmed by single crystal X-ray crystallography. PMID:27264210

  17. Applications of the second virial coefficient: protein crystallization and solubility

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, William W.; DeLucas, Lawrence J.

    2014-04-30

    This article highlights some of the ground-based studies emanating from NASA’s Microgravity Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) program, and includes a more detailed discussion of the history and the progress made in one of the NASA-funded PCG investigations involving the use of measured second virial coefficients (B values) as a diagnostic indicator of solution conditions conducive to protein crystallization. This article begins by highlighting some of the ground-based studies emanating from NASA’s Microgravity Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) program. This is followed by a more detailed discussion of the history of and the progress made in one of the NASA-funded PCG investigations involving the use of measured second virial coefficients (B values) as a diagnostic indicator of solution conditions conducive to protein crystallization. A second application of measured B values involves the determination of solution conditions that improve or maximize the solubility of aqueous and membrane proteins. These two important applications have led to several technological improvements that simplify the experimental expertise required, enable the measurement of membrane proteins and improve the diagnostic capability and measurement throughput.

  18. Gold nanoparticle capture within protein crystal scaffolds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalski, Ann E.; Huber, Thaddaus R.; Ni, Thomas W.; Hartje, Luke F.; Appel, Karina L.; Yost, Jarad W.; Ackerson, Christopher J.; Snow, Christopher D.

    2016-06-01

    DNA assemblies have been used to organize inorganic nanoparticles into 3D arrays, with emergent properties arising as a result of nanoparticle spacing and geometry. We report here the use of engineered protein crystals as an alternative approach to biologically mediated assembly of inorganic nanoparticles. The protein crystal's 13 nm diameter pores result in an 80% solvent content and display hexahistidine sequences on their interior. The hexahistidine sequence captures Au25(glutathione)~17 (nitrilotriacetic acid)~1 nanoclusters throughout a chemically crosslinked crystal via the coordination of Ni(ii) to both the cluster and the protein. Nanoparticle loading was validated by confocal microscopy and elemental analysis. The nanoparticles may be released from the crystal by exposure to EDTA, which chelates the Ni(ii) and breaks the specific protein/nanoparticle interaction. The integrity of the protein crystals after crosslinking and nanoparticle capture was confirmed by single crystal X-ray crystallography.DNA assemblies have been used to organize inorganic nanoparticles into 3D arrays, with emergent properties arising as a result of nanoparticle spacing and geometry. We report here the use of engineered protein crystals as an alternative approach to biologically mediated assembly of inorganic nanoparticles. The protein crystal's 13 nm diameter pores result in an 80% solvent content and display hexahistidine sequences on their interior. The hexahistidine sequence captures Au25(glutathione)~17 (nitrilotriacetic acid)~1 nanoclusters throughout a chemically crosslinked crystal via the coordination of Ni(ii) to both the cluster and the protein. Nanoparticle loading was validated by confocal microscopy and elemental analysis. The nanoparticles may be released from the crystal by exposure to EDTA, which chelates the Ni(ii) and breaks the specific protein/nanoparticle interaction. The integrity of the protein crystals after crosslinking and nanoparticle capture was

  19. Toward structure determination using membrane-protein nanocrystals and microcrystals

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, Mark S.; Fromme, Petra

    2012-01-01

    Membrane proteins are very important for all living cells, being involved in respiration, photosynthesis, cellular uptake and signal transduction, amongst other vital functions. However, less than 300 unique membrane protein structures have been determined to date, often due to difficulties associated with the growth of sufficiently large and well-ordered crystals. This work has been focused on showing the first proof of concept for using membrane protein nanocrystals and microcrystals for high-resolution structure determination. Upon determining that crystals of the membrane protein Photosystem I, which is the largest and most complex membrane protein crystallized to date, exist with only a hundred unit cells with sizes of less than 200 nm on an edge, work was done to develop a technique that could exploit the growth of the Photosystem I nanocrystals and microcrystals. Femtosecond X-ray protein nanocrystallography was developed for use at the first high-energy X-ray free electron laser, the LCLS at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, in which a liquid jet brought fully-hydrated Photosystem I nanocrystals into the interaction region of the pulsed X-ray source. Diffraction patterns were recorded from millions of individual PSI nanocrystals and data from thousands of different, randomly oriented crystallites were integrated using Monte Carlo integration of the peak intensities. The short pulses (~ 70 fs) provided by the LCLS allowed the possibility to collect the diffraction data before the onset of radiation damage, exploiting the diffract-before-destroy principle. During the initial experiments at the AMO beamline using 6.9-Å wavelength, Bragg peaks were recorded to 8.5-Å resolution, and an electron-density map was determined that did not show any effects of X-ray-induced radiation damage [Chapman H.N., et al. Femtosecond X-ray protein nanocrystallography, Nature 470 (2011) 73–81]. Many additional techniques still need to be developed to explore the

  20. Growth of shaped single crystals of proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno, Abel; Rondón, Deyanira; García-Ruiz, Juan Ma.

    1996-09-01

    We present a procedure for obtaining protein single crystals that fill the capillary tubes in which they grow. The implementation was typical of the gel acupuncture method and the four different proteins are used as examples: lysozyme (HEW), thaumatin I, ferritin and insulin. Rod- and prismatic-shaped protein single crystals of these four proteins were grown inside capillary tubes of 0.2, 0.3, 0.5 mm in diameter and, for the case of lysozyme, up to 1.2 mm in diameter. The maximum length measured along the long axes of the rod crystals was 1.6 mm again for lysozyme crystals. It was observed that, once the capillary tube was filled, the crystal continues to grow by diffusion of the precipitating agent throughout the porous network formed by the protein crystal structure. We also discuss the possibility of growing these cylinders of crystalline proteins by the addition of protein solution to the mother liquor through the upper end of the glass capillary while the precipitating agent diffuses through the protein crystal itself. X-ray diffraction patterns confirm the single crystal character of the protein rods.

  1. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1989-01-01

    The mechanisms involved in protein crystallization and those parameters which influence the growth process and crystalline perfection were studied. The analysis of the flows around growing crystals is detailed. The preliminary study of the growth of isocitrate lyase and the crystal morphologies found are discussed. Preliminary results of controlled nucleation studies are presented.

  2. Approaches to automated protein crystal harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Deller, Marc C.; Rupp, Bernhard

    2014-01-01

    The harvesting of protein crystals is almost always a necessary step in the determination of a protein structure using X-ray crystallographic techniques. However, protein crystals are usually fragile and susceptible to damage during the harvesting process. For this reason, protein crystal harvesting is the single step that remains entirely dependent on skilled human intervention. Automation has been implemented in the majority of other stages of the structure-determination pipeline, including cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and data collection. The gap in automation between crystallization and data collection results in a bottleneck in throughput and presents unfortunate opportunities for crystal damage. Several automated protein crystal harvesting systems have been developed, including systems utilizing microcapillaries, microtools, microgrippers, acoustic droplet ejection and optical traps. However, these systems have yet to be commonly deployed in the majority of crystallography laboratories owing to a variety of technical and cost-related issues. Automation of protein crystal harvesting remains essential for harnessing the full benefits of fourth-generation synchrotrons, free-electron lasers and microfocus beamlines. Furthermore, automation of protein crystal harvesting offers several benefits when compared with traditional manual approaches, including the ability to harvest microcrystals, improved flash-cooling procedures and increased throughput. PMID:24637746

  3. Approaches to automated protein crystal harvesting.

    PubMed

    Deller, Marc C; Rupp, Bernhard

    2014-02-01

    The harvesting of protein crystals is almost always a necessary step in the determination of a protein structure using X-ray crystallographic techniques. However, protein crystals are usually fragile and susceptible to damage during the harvesting process. For this reason, protein crystal harvesting is the single step that remains entirely dependent on skilled human intervention. Automation has been implemented in the majority of other stages of the structure-determination pipeline, including cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and data collection. The gap in automation between crystallization and data collection results in a bottleneck in throughput and presents unfortunate opportunities for crystal damage. Several automated protein crystal harvesting systems have been developed, including systems utilizing microcapillaries, microtools, microgrippers, acoustic droplet ejection and optical traps. However, these systems have yet to be commonly deployed in the majority of crystallography laboratories owing to a variety of technical and cost-related issues. Automation of protein crystal harvesting remains essential for harnessing the full benefits of fourth-generation synchrotrons, free-electron lasers and microfocus beamlines. Furthermore, automation of protein crystal harvesting offers several benefits when compared with traditional manual approaches, including the ability to harvest microcrystals, improved flash-cooling procedures and increased throughput. PMID:24637746

  4. Protein Stains to Detect Antigen on Membranes.

    PubMed

    Dsouza, Anil; Scofield, R Hal

    2015-01-01

    Western blotting (protein blotting/electroblotting) is the gold standard in the analysis of complex protein mixtures. Electroblotting drives protein molecules from a polyacrylamide (or less commonly, of an agarose) gel to the surface of a binding membrane, thereby facilitating an increased availability of the sites with affinity for both general and specific protein reagents. The analysis of these complex protein mixtures is achieved by the detection of specific protein bands on a membrane, which in turn is made possible by the visualization of protein bands either by chemical staining or by reaction with an antibody of a conjugated ligand. Chemical methods employ staining with organic dyes, metal chelates, autoradiography, fluorescent dyes, complexing with silver, or prelabeling with fluorophores. All of these methods have differing sensitivities and quantitative determinations vary significantly. This review will describe the various protein staining methods applied to membranes after western blotting. "Detection" precedes and is a prerequisite to obtaining qualitative and quantitative data on the proteins in a sample, as much as to comparing the protein composition of different samples. "Detection" is often synonymous to staining, i.e., the reversible or irreversible binding by the proteins of a colored organic or inorganic chemical. PMID:26139252

  5. The MORPHEUS II protein crystallization screen

    PubMed Central

    Gorrec, Fabrice

    2015-01-01

    High-quality macromolecular crystals are a prerequisite for the process of protein structure determination by X-ray diffraction. Unfortunately, the relative yield of diffraction-quality crystals from crystallization experiments is often very low. In this context, innovative crystallization screen formulations are continuously being developed. In the past, MORPHEUS, a screen in which each condition integrates a mix of additives selected from the Protein Data Bank, a cryoprotectant and a buffer system, was developed. Here, MORPHEUS II, a follow-up to the original 96-condition initial screen, is described. Reagents were selected to yield crystals when none might be observed in traditional initial screens. Besides, the screen includes heavy atoms for experimental phasing and small polyols to ensure the cryoprotection of crystals. The suitability of the resulting novel conditions is shown by the crystallization of a broad variety of protein samples and their efficiency is compared with commercially available conditions. PMID:26144227

  6. Biophysical Characterization of Membrane Proteins in Nanodiscs

    PubMed Central

    Inagaki, Sayaka; Ghirlando, Rodolfo; Grisshammer, Reinhard

    2012-01-01

    Nanodiscs are self-assembled discoidal phospholipid bilayers surrounded and stabilized by membrane scaffold proteins (MSP), that have become a powerful and promising tool for the study of membrane proteins. Even though their reconstitution is highly regulated by the type of MSP and phospholipid input, a biophysical characterization leading to the determination of the stoichiometry of MSP, lipid and membrane protein is essential. This is important for biological studies, as the oligomeric state of membrane proteins often correlates with their functional activity. Typically combinations of several methods are applied using, for example, modified samples that incorporate fluorescent labels, along with procedures that result in nanodisc disassembly and lipid dissolution. To obtain a comprehensive understanding of the native properties of nanodiscs, modification-free analysis methods are required. In this work we provide a strategy, using a combination of dynamic light scattering and analytical ultracentrifugation, for the biophysical characterization of unmodified nanodiscs. In this manner we characterize the nanodisc preparation in terms of its overall polydispersity and characterize the hydrodynamically resolved nanodisc of interest in terms of its sedimentation coefficient, Stokes’ radius and overall protein and lipid stoichiometry. Functional and biological applications are also discussed for the study of the membrane protein embedded in nanodiscs under defined experimental conditions. PMID:23219517

  7. Advanced protein crystal growth programmatic sensitivity study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to define the costs of various APCG (Advanced Protein Crystal Growth) program options and to determine the parameters which, if changed, impact the costs and goals of the programs and to what extent. This was accomplished by developing and evaluating several alternate programmatic scenarios for the microgravity Advanced Protein Crystal Growth program transitioning from the present shuttle activity to the man tended Space Station to the permanently manned Space Station. These scenarios include selected variations in such sensitivity parameters as development and operational costs, schedules, technology issues, and crystal growth methods. This final report provides information that will aid in planning the Advanced Protein Crystal Growth Program.

  8. Which strategy for a protein crystallization project?

    PubMed

    Kundrot, C E

    2004-03-01

    The three-dimensional, atomic-resolution protein structures produced by X-ray crystallography over the past 50+ years have led to tremendous chemical understanding of fundamental biochemical processes. The pace of discovery in protein crystallography has increased greatly with advances in molecular biology, crystallization techniques, cryocrystallography, area detectors, synchrotrons and computing. While the methods used to produce single, well-ordered crystals have also evolved over the years in response to increased understanding and advancing technology, crystallization strategies continue to be rooted in trial-and-error approaches. This review summarizes the current approaches in protein crystallization and surveys the first results to emerge from the structural genomics efforts. PMID:15004692

  9. Which strategy for a protein crystallization project?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kundrot, C. E.

    2004-01-01

    The three-dimensional, atomic-resolution protein structures produced by X-ray crystallography over the past 50+ years have led to tremendous chemical understanding of fundamental biochemical processes. The pace of discovery in protein crystallography has increased greatly with advances in molecular biology, crystallization techniques, cryocrystallography, area detectors, synchrotrons and computing. While the methods used to produce single, well-ordered crystals have also evolved over the years in response to increased understanding and advancing technology, crystallization strategies continue to be rooted in trial-and-error approaches. This review summarizes the current approaches in protein crystallization and surveys the first results to emerge from the structural genomics efforts.

  10. Which Strategy for a Protein Crystallization Project?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kundrot, Craig E.

    2003-01-01

    The three-dimensional, atomic-resolution protein structures produced by X-ray crystallography over the past 50+ years have led to tremendous chemical understanding of fundamental biochemical processes. The pace of discovery in protein crystallography has increased greatly with advances in molecular biology, crystallization techniques, cryo-crystallography, area detectors, synchrotrons and computing. While the methods used to produce single, well-ordered crystals have also evolved over the years in response to increased understanding and advancing technology, crystallization strategies continue to be rooted in trial-and-error approaches. This review summarizes the current approaches in protein crystallization and surveys the first results to emerge from the structural genomics efforts.

  11. Intrinsically disordered proteins drive membrane curvature

    PubMed Central

    Busch, David J.; Houser, Justin R.; Hayden, Carl C.; Sherman, Michael B.; Lafer, Eileen M.; Stachowiak, Jeanne C.

    2015-01-01

    Assembly of highly curved membrane structures is essential to cellular physiology. The prevailing view has been that proteins with curvature-promoting structural motifs, such as wedge-like amphipathic helices and crescent-shaped BAR domains, are required for bending membranes. Here we report that intrinsically disordered domains of the endocytic adaptor proteins, Epsin1 and AP180 are highly potent drivers of membrane curvature. This result is unexpected since intrinsically disordered domains lack a well-defined three-dimensional structure. However, in vitro measurements of membrane curvature and protein diffusivity demonstrate that the large hydrodynamic radii of these domains generate steric pressure that drives membrane bending. When disordered adaptor domains are expressed as transmembrane cargo in mammalian cells, they are excluded from clathrin-coated pits. We propose that a balance of steric pressure on the two surfaces of the membrane drives this exclusion. These results provide quantitative evidence for the influence of steric pressure on the content and assembly of curved cellular membrane structures. PMID:26204806

  12. Intrinsically disordered proteins drive membrane curvature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busch, David J.; Houser, Justin R.; Hayden, Carl C.; Sherman, Michael B.; Lafer, Eileen M.; Stachowiak, Jeanne C.

    2015-07-01

    Assembly of highly curved membrane structures is essential to cellular physiology. The prevailing view has been that proteins with curvature-promoting structural motifs, such as wedge-like amphipathic helices and crescent-shaped BAR domains, are required for bending membranes. Here we report that intrinsically disordered domains of the endocytic adaptor proteins, Epsin1 and AP180 are highly potent drivers of membrane curvature. This result is unexpected since intrinsically disordered domains lack a well-defined three-dimensional structure. However, in vitro measurements of membrane curvature and protein diffusivity demonstrate that the large hydrodynamic radii of these domains generate steric pressure that drives membrane bending. When disordered adaptor domains are expressed as transmembrane cargo in mammalian cells, they are excluded from clathrin-coated pits. We propose that a balance of steric pressure on the two surfaces of the membrane drives this exclusion. These results provide quantitative evidence for the influence of steric pressure on the content and assembly of curved cellular membrane structures.

  13. Class III viral membrane fusion proteins

    PubMed Central

    Backovic, Marija

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Accumulating structural studies of viral fusion glycoproteins have revealed unanticipated structural relationships between unrelated virus families and allowed the grouping of these membrane fusogens into three distinct classes. Here we review the newly identified group of class III viral fusion proteins, whose members include fusion proteins from rhabdoviruses, herpesviruses and baculoviruses. While clearly related in structure, the class III viral fusion proteins exhibit distinct structural features in their architectures as well as in their membrane-interacting fusion loops, which are likely related to their virus-specific differences in cellular entry. Further study of the similarities and differences in the class III viral fusion glycoproteins may provide greater insights into protein:membrane interactions that are key to promoting efficient bilayer fusion during virus entry. PMID:19356922

  14. Protein transfer to membranes upon shape deformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagis, L. M. C.; Bijl, E.; Antono, L.; de Ruijter, N. C. A.; van Valenberg, H.

    2013-05-01

    Red blood cells, milk fat droplets, or liposomes all have interfaces consisting of lipid membranes. These particles show significant shape deformations as a result of flow. Here we show that these shape deformations can induce adsorption of proteins to the membrane. Red blood cell deformability is an important factor in several diseases involving obstructions of the microcirculatory system, and deformation induced protein adsorption will alter the rigidity of their membranes. Deformation induced protein transfer will also affect adsorption of cells onto implant surfaces, and the performance of liposome based controlled release systems. Quantitative models describing this phenomenon in biomaterials do not exist. Using a simple quantitative model, we provide new insight in this phenomenon. We present data that show convincingly that for cells or droplets with diameters upwards of a few micrometers, shape deformations induce adsorption of proteins at their interface even at moderate flow rates.

  15. Crystal structures of MBP fusion proteins.

    PubMed

    Waugh, David S

    2016-03-01

    Although chaperone-assisted protein crystallization remains a comparatively rare undertaking, the number of crystal structures of polypeptides fused to maltose-binding protein (MBP) that have been deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) has grown dramatically during the past decade. Altogether, 102 fusion protein structures were detected by Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) analysis. Collectively, these structures comprise a range of sizes, space groups, and resolutions that are typical of the PDB as a whole. While most of these MBP fusion proteins were equipped with short inter-domain linkers to increase their rigidity, fusion proteins with long linkers have also been crystallized. In some cases, surface entropy reduction mutations in MBP appear to have facilitated the formation of crystals. A comparison of the structures of fused and unfused proteins, where both are available, reveals that MBP-mediated structural distortions are very rare. PMID:26682969

  16. Protein Crystals Grown in the hand-held Protein Crystallization Apparatus for Microgravity (PCAM)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    Crystals grown in the hand-held Protein Crystallization Apparatus for Microgravity (PCAM) onboard STS-61C. The PCAM has a pedestal in the center of a circular chamber, the surrounding chamber holds an absorbent reservoir that contains a solution of the precipitant. Vapor pressure differences between the protein solution and the reservoir solution force water to move from the protein solution to the reservoir. As protein concentrations increase, protein crystals begin to nucleate and grow.

  17. Helix insertion into bilayers and the evolution of membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Polytopic α-helical membrane proteins cannot spontaneously insert into lipid bilayers without assistance from polytopic α-helical membrane proteins that already reside in the membrane. This raises the question of how these proteins evolved. Our current knowledge of the insertion of α-helices into natural and model membranes is reviewed with the goal of gaining insight into the evolution of membrane proteins. Topics include: translocon-dependent membrane protein insertion, antibiotic peptides and proteins, in vitro insertion of membrane proteins, chaperone-mediated insertion of transmembrane helices, and C-terminal tail-anchored (TA) proteins. Analysis of the E. coli genome reveals several predicted C-terminal TA proteins that may be descendents of proteins involved in pre-cellular membrane protein insertion. Mechanisms of pre-translocon polytopic α-helical membrane protein insertion are discussed. PMID:20039094

  18. Protein separation using an electrically tunable membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jou, Ining; Melnikov, Dmitriy; Gracheva, Maria

    Separation of small proteins by charge with a solid-state porous membrane requires control over the protein's movement. Semiconductor membrane has this ability due to the electrically tunable electric potential profile inside the nanopore. In this work we investigate the possibility to separate the solution of two similar sized proteins by charge. As an example, we consider two small globular proteins abundant in humans: insulin (negatively charged) and ubiquitin (neutral). We find that the localized electric field inside the pore either attracts or repels the charged protein to or from the pore wall which affects the delay time before a successful translocation of the protein through the nanopore. However, the motion of the uncharged ubiquitin is unaffected. The difference in the delay time (and hence the separation) can be further increased by the application of the electrolyte bias which induces an electroosmotic flow in the pore. NSF DMR and CBET Grant No. 1352218.

  19. Deducing the symmetry of helical assemblies: Applications to membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Coudray, Nicolas; Lasala, Ralph; Zhang, Zhening; Clark, Kathy M; Dumont, Mark E; Stokes, David L

    2016-08-01

    Helical reconstruction represents a convenient and powerful approach for structure determination of macromolecules that assemble into helical arrays. In the case of membrane proteins, formation of tubular crystals with helical symmetry represents an attractive alternative, especially when their small size precludes the use of single-particle analysis. An essential first step for helical reconstruction is to characterize the helical symmetry. This process is often daunting, due to the complexity of helical diffraction and to the low signal-to-noise ratio in images of individual assemblies. Furthermore, the large diameters of the tubular crystals produced by membrane proteins exacerbates the innate ambiguities that, if not resolved, will produce incorrect structures. In this report, we describe a set of tools that can be used to eliminate ambiguities and to validate the choice of symmetry. The first approach increases the signal-to-noise ratio along layer lines by incoherently summing data from multiple helical assemblies, thus producing several candidate indexing schemes. The second approach compares the layer lines from images with those from synthetic models built with the various candidate schemes. The third approach uses unit cell dimensions measured from collapsed tubes to distinguish between these candidate schemes. These approaches are illustrated with tubular crystals from a boron transporter from yeast, Bor1p, and a β-barrel channel from the outer membrane of E. coli, OmpF. PMID:27255388

  20. Membrane protein structure from rotational diffusion☆

    PubMed Central

    Das, Bibhuti B.; Park, Sang Ho; Opella, Stanley J.

    2014-01-01

    The motional averaging of powder pattern line shapes is one of the most fundamental aspects of sold-state NMR. Since membrane proteins in liquid crystalline phospholipid bilayers undergo fast rotational diffusion, all of the signals reflect the angles of the principal axes of their dipole–dipole and chemical shift tensors with respect to the axis defined by the bilayer normal. The frequency span and sign of the axially symmetric powder patterns that result from motional averaging about a common axis provide sufficient structural restraints for the calculation of the three-dimensional structure of a membrane protein in a phospholipid bilayer environment. The method is referred to as rotationally aligned (RA) solid-state NMR and demonstrated with results on full-length, unmodified membrane proteins with one, two, and seven trans-membrane helices. RA solid-state NMR is complementary to other solid-state NMR methods, in particular oriented sample (OS) solid-state NMR of stationary, aligned samples. Structural distortions of membrane proteins from the truncations of terminal residues and other sequence modifications, and the use of detergent micelles instead of phospholipid bilayers have also been demonstrated. Thus, it is highly advantageous to determine the structures of unmodified membrane proteins in liquid crystalline phospholipid bilayers under physiological conditions. RA solid-state NMR provides a general method for obtaining accurate and precise structures of membrane proteins under near-native conditions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: NMR Spectroscopy for Atomistic Views of Biomembranes and Cell Surfaces. PMID:24747039

  1. Crystal structures of fusion proteins with large-affinity tags.

    PubMed

    Smyth, Douglas R; Mrozkiewicz, Marek K; McGrath, William J; Listwan, Pawel; Kobe, Bostjan

    2003-07-01

    The fusion of a protein of interest to a large-affinity tag, such as the maltose-binding protein (MBP), thioredoxin (TRX), or glutathione-S-transferase (GST), can be advantageous in terms of increased expression, enhanced solubility, protection from proteolysis, improved folding, and protein purification via affinity chromatography. Unfortunately, crystal growth is hindered by the conformational heterogeneity induced by the fusion tag, requiring that the tag is removed by a potentially problematic cleavage step. The first three crystal structures of fusion proteins with large-affinity tags have been reported recently. All three structures used a novel strategy to rigidly fuse the protein of interest to MBP via a short three- to five-amino acid spacer. This strategy has the potential to aid structure determination of proteins that present particular experimental challenges and are not conducive to more conventional crystallization strategies (e.g., membrane proteins). Structural genomics initiatives may also benefit from this approach as a way to crystallize problematic proteins of significant interest. PMID:12824478

  2. Breaking the barriers in membrane protein crystallography.

    PubMed

    Kang, Hae Joo; Lee, Chiara; Drew, David

    2013-03-01

    As we appreciate the importance of stabilising membrane proteins, the barriers towards their structure determination are being broken down. This change in mindset comes hand-in-hand with more effort placed on developing methods focused at screening for membrane proteins which are naturally stable in detergent solution or improving those that are not so. In practice, however, it is not easy to decide the best strategy to monitor and improve detergent stability, requiring a decision-making process that can be even more difficult for those new to the field. In this review we outline the importance of membrane protein stability with discussions of the stabilisation strategies applied in context with the use of crystallisation scaffolds and the different types of crystallisation methods themselves. Where possible we also highlight areas that we think could push this field forward with emerging technologies, such as X-ray free electron lasers (X-feL), which could have a big impact on the membrane protein structural biology community. We hope this review will serve as a useful guide for those striving to solve structures of both pro- and eukaryotic membrane proteins. PMID:23291355

  3. Protein crystal growth (5-IML-1)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, Charles E.

    1992-01-01

    Proteins (enzymes, hormones, immunoglobulins) account for 50 pct. or more of the dry weight of most living systems. A detailed understanding of the structural makeup of a protein is essential to any systematic research pertaining to it. Most macromolecules are extremely difficult to crystallize, and many otherwise exciting projects have terminated at the crystal growth stage. In principle, there are several aspects of microgravity that might be exploited to enhance protein crystal growth. The major factor is the elimination of density driven convective flow. Other factors that can be controlled in the absence of gravity is the sedimentation of growing crystals in a gravitational field, and the potential advantage of doing containerless crystal growth. As a result of these theories and facts, one can readily understand why the microgravity environment of an Earth orbiting vehicle seems to offer unique opportunities for the protein crystallographer. This perception has led to the establishment of the Protein Crystal Growth in a Microgravity Environment (PCG/ME) project. The results of experiments already performed during STS missions have in many cases resulted in large protein crystals which are structurally correct. Thus, the near term objective of the PCG/ME project is to continue to improve the techniques, procedures, and hardware systems used to grow protein crystals in Earth orbit.

  4. Growth Of Oriented Crystals At Polymerized Membranes

    DOEpatents

    Charych, Deborah H. , Berman, Amir

    2000-01-25

    The present invention relates to methods and compositions for the growth and alignment of crystals at biopolymeric films. The methods and compositions of the present invention provide means to generate a variety of dense crystalline ceramic films, with totally aligned crystals, at low temperatures and pressures, suitable for use with polymer and plastic substrates.

  5. Curvature-mediated interactions between membrane proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Kim, K S; Neu, J; Oster, G

    1998-01-01

    Membrane proteins can deform the lipid bilayer in which they are embedded. If the bilayer is treated as an elastic medium, then these deformations will generate elastic interactions between the proteins. The interaction between a single pair is repulsive. However, for three or more proteins, we show that there are nonpairwise forces whose magnitude is similar to the pairwise forces. When there are five or more proteins, we show that the nonpairwise forces permit the existence of stable protein aggregates, despite their pairwise repulsions. PMID:9788923

  6. Identifying the hub proteins from complicated membrane protein network systems.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yi-Zhen; Ding, Yong-Sheng; Gu, Quan; Chou, Kuo-Chen

    2010-05-01

    The so-called "hub proteins" are those proteins in a protein-protein interaction network system that have remarkably higher interaction relations (or degrees) than the others. Therefore, the information of hub proteins can provide very useful insights for selecting or prioritizing targets during drug development. In this paper, by combining the multi-agent-based method with the graphical spectrum analysis and immune-genetic algorithm, a novel simulator for identifying the hub proteins from membrane protein interaction networks is proposed. As a demonstration of using the simulator, two hub membrane proteins, YPL227C and YIL147C, were identified from a complicated network system consisting of 1500 membrane proteins. Meanwhile, along with the two identified hub proteins, their molecular functions, biological processes, and cellular components were also revealed. It is anticipated that the hub-protein-simulator may become a very useful tool for system biology and drug development, particularly in deciphering unknown protein functions, determining protein complexes, and in identifying the key targets from a complicated disease system. PMID:20507268

  7. The MORPHEUS II protein crystallization screen

    SciTech Connect

    Gorrec, Fabrice

    2015-06-27

    MORPHEUS II is a 96-condition initial crystallization screen formulated de novo. The screen incorporates reagents selected from the Protein Data Bank to yield crystals that are not observed in traditional conditions. In addition, the formulation facilitates the optimization and cryoprotection of crystals. High-quality macromolecular crystals are a prerequisite for the process of protein structure determination by X-ray diffraction. Unfortunately, the relative yield of diffraction-quality crystals from crystallization experiments is often very low. In this context, innovative crystallization screen formulations are continuously being developed. In the past, MORPHEUS, a screen in which each condition integrates a mix of additives selected from the Protein Data Bank, a cryoprotectant and a buffer system, was developed. Here, MORPHEUS II, a follow-up to the original 96-condition initial screen, is described. Reagents were selected to yield crystals when none might be observed in traditional initial screens. Besides, the screen includes heavy atoms for experimental phasing and small polyols to ensure the cryoprotection of crystals. The suitability of the resulting novel conditions is shown by the crystallization of a broad variety of protein samples and their efficiency is compared with commercially available conditions.

  8. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1990-01-01

    The effect of low gravity on the growth of protein crystals and those parameters which will affect growth and crystal quality was studied. The proper design of the flight hardware and experimental protocols are highly dependent on understanding the factors which influence the nucleation and growth of crystals of biological macromolecules. Thus, those factors are investigated and the body of knowledge which has been built up for small molecule crystallization. These data also provide a basis of comparison for the results obtained from low-g experiments. The flows around growing crystals are detailed. The preliminary study of the growth of isocitrate lyase, the crystal morphologies found and the preliminary x ray results are discussed. The design of two apparatus for protein crystal growth by temperature control are presented along with preliminary results.

  9. Transmembrane protein sorting driven by membrane curvature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strahl, H.; Ronneau, S.; González, B. Solana; Klutsch, D.; Schaffner-Barbero, C.; Hamoen, L. W.

    2015-11-01

    The intricate structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells depends on the ability to target proteins to specific cellular locations. In most cases, we have a poor understanding of the underlying mechanisms. A typical example is the assembly of bacterial chemoreceptors at cell poles. Here we show that the classical chemoreceptor TlpA of Bacillus subtilis does not localize according to the consensus stochastic nucleation mechanism but accumulates at strongly curved membrane areas generated during cell division. This preference was confirmed by accumulation at non-septal curved membranes. Localization appears to be an intrinsic property of the protein complex and does not rely on chemoreceptor clustering, as was previously shown for Escherichia coli. By constructing specific amino-acid substitutions, we demonstrate that the preference for strongly curved membranes arises from the curved shape of chemoreceptor trimer of dimers. These findings demonstrate that the intrinsic shape of transmembrane proteins can determine their cellular localization.

  10. Transmembrane protein sorting driven by membrane curvature

    PubMed Central

    Strahl, H.; Ronneau, S.; González, B. Solana; Klutsch, D.; Schaffner-Barbero, C.; Hamoen, L. W.

    2015-01-01

    The intricate structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells depends on the ability to target proteins to specific cellular locations. In most cases, we have a poor understanding of the underlying mechanisms. A typical example is the assembly of bacterial chemoreceptors at cell poles. Here we show that the classical chemoreceptor TlpA of Bacillus subtilis does not localize according to the consensus stochastic nucleation mechanism but accumulates at strongly curved membrane areas generated during cell division. This preference was confirmed by accumulation at non-septal curved membranes. Localization appears to be an intrinsic property of the protein complex and does not rely on chemoreceptor clustering, as was previously shown for Escherichia coli. By constructing specific amino-acid substitutions, we demonstrate that the preference for strongly curved membranes arises from the curved shape of chemoreceptor trimer of dimers. These findings demonstrate that the intrinsic shape of transmembrane proteins can determine their cellular localization. PMID:26522943

  11. Atomic-level analysis of membrane-protein structure.

    PubMed

    Hendrickson, Wayne A

    2016-06-01

    Membrane proteins are substantially more challenging than natively soluble proteins as subjects for structural analysis. Thus, membrane proteins are greatly underrepresented in structural databases. Recently, focused consortium efforts and advances in methodology for protein production, crystallographic analysis and cryo-EM analysis have accelerated the pace of atomic-level structure determination of membrane proteins. PMID:27273628

  12. Protein permeation through an electrically tunable membrane.

    PubMed

    Jou, Ining A; Melnikov, Dmitriy V; Gracheva, Maria E

    2016-05-20

    Protein filtration is important in many fields of science and technology such as medicine, biology, chemistry, and engineering. Recently, protein separation and filtering with nanoporous membranes has attracted interest due to the possibility of fast separation and high throughput volume. This, however, requires understanding of the protein's dynamics inside and in the vicinity of the nanopore. In this work, we utilize a Brownian dynamics approach to study the motion of the model protein insulin in the membrane-electrolyte electrostatic potential. We compare the results of the atomic model of the protein with the results of a coarse-grained and a single-bead model, and find that the coarse-grained representation of protein strikes the best balance between the accuracy of the results and the computational effort required. Contrary to common belief, we find that to adequately describe the protein, a single-bead model cannot be utilized without a significant effort to tabulate the simulation parameters. Similar to results for nanoparticle dynamics, our findings also indicate that the electric field and the electro-osmotic flow due to the applied membrane and electrolyte biases affect the capture and translocation of the biomolecule by either attracting or repelling it to or from the nanopore. Our computational model can also be applied to other types of proteins and separation conditions. PMID:27044064

  13. Outer membrane proteins of Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath).

    PubMed

    Fjellbirkeland, A; Kleivdal, H; Joergensen, C; Thestrup, H; Jensen, H B

    1997-08-01

    Membranes obtained from whole-cell lysates of Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath) were separated by Triton X-100 extraction. The resulting insoluble fraction was enriched in outer membranes as assessed by electron microscopy and by the content of beta-hydroxy palmitic acid and particulate methane monooxygenase. Major proteins with molecular masses of approximately 27, 40, 46, 59, and 66 kDa were detected by SDS-PAGE of the Triton-X-100-insoluble membranes. MopA, MopB, MopC, MopD, and MopE (Methylococcus outer membrane protein) are proposed to designate these proteins. Several of the Mop proteins exhibited heat-modifiable properties in SDS-PAGE and were influenced by the presence of 2-mercaptoethanol in the sample buffer. The 46- and 59-kDa bands migrated as a single high-molecular-mass 95-kDa oligomer under mild denaturing conditions. When reconstituted into black lipid membranes, this oligomer was shown to serve as a channel with an estimated single-channel conductance of 1.4 nS in 1 M KCl. PMID:9238104

  14. Femtosecond crystallography of membrane proteins in the lipidic cubic phase

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Wei; Wacker, Daniel; Wang, Chong; Abola, Enrique; Cherezov, Vadim

    2014-01-01

    Despite recent technological advances in heterologous expression, stabilization and crystallization of membrane proteins (MPs), their structural studies remain difficult and require new transformative approaches. During the past two years, crystallization in lipidic cubic phase (LCP) has started gaining a widespread acceptance, owing to the spectacular success in high-resolution structure determination of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and to the introduction of commercial instrumentation, tools and protocols. The recent appearance of X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) has enabled structure determination from substantially smaller crystals than previously possible with minimal effects of radiation damage, offering new exciting opportunities in structural biology. The unique properties of LCP material have been exploited to develop special protocols and devices that have established a new method of serial femtosecond crystallography of MPs in LCP (LCP-SFX). In this method, microcrystals are generated in LCP and streamed continuously inside the same media across the intersection with a pulsed XFEL beam at a flow rate that can be adjusted to minimize sample consumption. Pioneering studies that yielded the first room temperature GPCR structures, using a few hundred micrograms of purified protein, validate the LCP-SFX approach and make it attractive for structure determination of difficult-to-crystallize MPs and their complexes with interacting partners. Together with the potential of femtosecond data acquisition to interrogate unstable intermediate functional states of MPs, LCP-SFX holds promise to advance our understanding of this biomedically important class of proteins. PMID:24914147

  15. The Protein Crystallization Facility STS-95

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The Protein Crystallization Facility will be used to grow crystals of human insulin. Insulin is the primary treatment for diabetes, the fourth leading cause of death by disease. Research on STS-95 is aimed at producing crystals of even higher quality, which when combined with new analysis techniques will permit a better understanding of the interaction between insulin and its receptor. This has the potential to aid in the development of a new commercially available insulin product with unique time release properties that could reduce fluctuations in a patient's blood sugar level. The Protein Crystallization Facility supports large-scale commercial investigations.

  16. Protein Crystallization Using Room Temperature Ionic Fluids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Paley, Mark Steve; Turner, Megan B.; Rogers, Robin D.

    2006-01-01

    The ionic liquids (ILs) 1-butyl-3-methylimidizolium chloride (C4mim-C1), 1-butyl-3- methylimidizolium diethyleneglycol monomethylethersulfate ([C4mim]DEMGS), and 1-butyl-1 -methylpyrollidinium dihydrogenphosphate ([p1,4]dhp) were tested for their effects on the crystallization of the proteins canavalin, beta-lactoglobulin B, xylanase, and glucose isomerase, using a standard high throughput screen. The crystallization experiments were set up with the ILs added to the protein solutions at 0.2 and 0.4 M final concentrations. Crystallization droplets were set up at three proteixprecipitant ratios (1:1, 2:1, and 4:l), which served to progressively dilute the effects of the screen components while increasing the equilibrium protein and IL concentrations. Crystals were obtained for all four proteins at a number of conditions where they were not obtained from the IL-free control experiment. Over half of the protein-IL combinations tested had more successful outcomes than negative, where the IL-free crystallization was better than the corresponding IL-containing outcome, relative to the control. One of the most common causes of a negative outcome was solubilization of the protein by the IL, resulting in a clear drop. In one instance, we were able to use the IL-induced solubilizing to obtain beta-lactoglobulin B crystals from conditions that gave precipitated protein in the absence of IL. The results suggest that it may be feasible to develop ILs specifically for the task of macromolecule crystallization.

  17. Major intrinsic proteins in biomimetic membranes.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Claus Hélix

    2010-01-01

    Biological membranes define the structural and functional boundaries in living cells and their organelles. The integrity of the cell depends on its ability to separate inside from outside and yet at the same time allow massive transport of matter in and out the cell. Nature has elegantly met this challenge by developing membranes in the form of lipid bilayers in which specialized transport proteins are incorporated. This raises the question: is it possible to mimic biological membranes and create a membrane based sensor and/or separation device? In the development of a biomimetic sensor/separation technology, a unique class of membrane transport proteins is especially interesting-the major intrinsic proteins (MIPs). Generally, MIPs conduct water molecules and selected solutes in and out of the cell while preventing the passage of other solutes, a property critical for the conservation of the cells internal pH and salt concentration. Also known as water channels or aquaporins they are highly efficient membrane pore proteins some of which are capable of transporting water at very high rates up to 10(9) molecules per second. Some MIPs transport other small, uncharged solutes, such as glycerol and other permeants such as carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide and the metalloids antimonite, arsenite, silicic and boric acid depending on the effective restriction mechanism of the protein. The flux properties of MIPs thus lead to the question ifMIPs can be used in separation devices or as sensor devices based on, e.g., the selective permeation of metalloids. In principle a MIP based membrane sensor/separation device requires the supporting biomimetic matrix to be virtually impermeable to anything but water or the solute in question. In practice, however, a biomimetic support matrix will generally have finite permeabilities to both electrolytes and non-electrolytes. The feasibility of a biomimetic MIP device thus depends on the relative transport

  18. Membrane Protein Crystallisation: Current Trends and Future Perspectives.

    PubMed

    Parker, Joanne L; Newstead, Simon

    2016-01-01

    Alpha helical membrane proteins are the targets for many pharmaceutical drugs and play important roles in physiology and disease processes. In recent years, substantial progress has been made in determining their atomic structure using X-ray crystallography. However, a major bottleneck still remains; the identification of conditions that give crystals that are suitable for structure determination. Over the past 10 years we have been analysing the crystallisation conditions reported for alpha helical membrane proteins with the aim to facilitate a rational approach to the design and implementation of successful crystallisation screens. The result has been the development of MemGold, MemGold2 and the additive screen MemAdvantage. The associated analysis, summarised and updated in this chapter, has revealed a number of surprisingly successfully strategies for crystallisation and detergent selection. PMID:27553235

  19. A Survey of Membrane Proteins in Human Serum

    PubMed Central

    Dung, Nguyen Tien; Van Chi, Phan

    2012-01-01

    Serum and membrane proteins are two of the most attractive targets for proteomic analysis. Previous membrane protein studies tend to focus on tissue sample, while membrane protein studies in serum are still limited. In this study, an analysis of membrane proteins in normal human serum was carried out. Nano-liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (NanoLC-ESI-MS/MS) and bioinformatics tools were used to identify membrane proteins. Two hundred and seventeen membrane proteins were detected in the human serum, of which 129 membrane proteins have at least one transmembrane domain (TMD). Further characterizations of identified membrane proteins including their subcellular distributions, molecular weights, post translational modifications, transmembrane domains and average of hydrophobicity, were also implemented. Our results showed the potential of membrane proteins in serum for diagnosis and treatment of diseases. PMID:25288886

  20. Thermal crystallization mechanism of silk fibroin protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiao

    In this thesis, the thermal crystallization mechanism of silk fibroin protein from Bombyx mori silkworm, was treated as a model for the general study of protein based materials, combining theories from both biophysics and polymer physics fields. A systematic and scientific path way to model the dynamic beta-sheet crystallization process of silk fibroin protein was presented in the following sequence: (1) The crystallinity, fractions of secondary structures, and phase compositions in silk fibroin proteins at any transition stage were determined. Two experimental methods, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) with Fourier self-deconvolution, and specific reversing heat capacity, were used together for the first time for modeling the static structures and phases in the silk fibroin proteins. The protein secondary structure fractions during the crystallization were quantitatively determined. The possibility of existence of a "rigid amorphous phase" in silk protein was also discussed. (2) The function of bound water during the crystallization process of silk fibroin was studied using heat capacity, and used to build a silk-water dynamic crystallization model. The fundamental concepts and thermal properties of silk fibroin with/without bound water were discussed. Results show that intermolecular bound water molecules, acting as a plasticizer, will cause silk to display a water-induced glass transition around 80°C. During heating, water is lost, and the change of the microenvironment in the silk fibroin chains induces a mesophase prior to thermal crystallization. Real time FTIR during heating and isothermal holding above Tg show the tyrosine side chain changes only during the former process, while beta sheet crystallization occurs only during the latter process. Analogy is made between the crystallization of synthetic polymers according to the four-state scheme of Strobl, and the crystallization process of silk fibroin, which includes an intermediate precursor

  1. Polymer single crystal membrane from liquid/liquid interface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wenda; Li, Christopher; Soft Matter Research Group-Drexel University Team

    2013-03-01

    Vesicles, mimicking the structure of cell membrane at the molecular scale, are small membrane-enclosed sacks that can store or transport substances. The weak mechanical properties and the nature of environment-sensitivity of the current available vesicles: liposomes, polymersomes, colloidsomes limit their applications as an excellent candidate for targeting delivery of drugs/genes in biomedical engineering and treatment. Recently, we developed an emulsion-based method to grow curved polymer single crystals. Varying the polymer concentration and/or the emulsification conditions (such as surfactant concentration, water-oil volume ratio), curved crystals with different sizes and different openness could be obtained. This growing process was attributed to polymer crystal growth along the liquid/liquid interface. In addition, the liquid/liquid interfacial crystal growth is promising for synthesis of enclosed hollow sphere.

  2. Characterization of the Outer Membrane Protein OprF of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a Lipopolysaccharide Membrane by Computer Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Straatsma, TP; Soares, Thereza A.

    2009-02-01

    The N-terminal domain of outer membrane protein OprF of Pseudomonas aeruginosa forms a membrane spanning eight-stranded anti-parallel β-barrel domain that folds into a membrane channel with low conductance. The structure of this protein has been modeled after the crystal structure of the homologous protein OmpA of Escherichia coli. A number of molecular dynamics simulations have been carried out for the homology modeled structure of OprF in an explicit molecular model for the rough lipopolysaccharide (LPS) outer membrane of P. aeruginosa. The structural stability of the outer membrane model as a result of the strong electrostatic interactions compared to simple lipid bilayers is restricting both the conformational flexibility and the lateral diffusion of the porin in the membrane. Constricting side-chain interactions within the pore are similar to those found in reported simulations of the protein in a solvated lipid bilayer membrane. Because of the strong interactions between the loop regions of OprF and functional groups in the saccharide core of the LPS, the entrance to the channel from the extracellular space is widened compared to the lipid bilayer simulations in which the loops are extruding in the solvent. The specific electrostatic signature of the LPS membrane, which results in a net intrinsic dipole across the membrane, is found to be altered by the presence of OprF, resulting in a small electrically positive patch at the position of the channel.

  3. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Porcine Elastase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Porcine Elastase. This enzyme is associated with the degradation of lung tissue in people suffering from emphysema. It is useful in studying causes of this disease. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Charles Bugg.

  4. The Nucleation and Growth of Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc

    2004-01-01

    Obtaining crystals of suitable size and high quality continues to be a major bottleneck in macromolecular crystallography. Currently, structural genomics efforts are achieving on average about a 10% success rate in going from purified protein to a deposited crystal structure. Growth of crystals in microgravity was proposed as a means of overcoming size and quality problems, which subsequently led to a major NASA effort in microgravity crystal growth, with the agency also funding research into understanding the process. Studies of the macromolecule crystal nucleation and growth process were carried out in a number of labs in an effort to understand what affected the resultant crystal quality on Earth, and how microgravity improved the process. Based upon experimental evidence, as well as simple starting assumptions, we have proposed that crystal nucleation occurs by a series of discrete self assembly steps, which 'set' the underlying crystal symmetry. This talk will review the model developed, and its origins, in our laboratory for how crystals nucleate and grow, and will then present, along with preliminary data, how we propose to use this model to improve the success rate for obtaining crystals from a given protein.

  5. Membrane Protein Solubilization and Composition of Protein Detergent Complexes.

    PubMed

    Duquesne, Katia; Prima, Valérie; Sturgis, James N

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins are typically expressed in heterologous systems with a view to in vitro characterization. A critical step in the preparation of membrane proteins after expression in any system is the solubilization of the protein in aqueous solution, typically using detergents and lipids, to obtain the protein in a form suitable for purification, structural or functional analysis. This process is particularly difficult as the objective is to prepare the protein in an unnatural environment, a protein detergent complex, separating it from its natural lipid partners while causing the minimum destabilization or modification of the structure. Although the process is difficult, and relatively hard to master, an increasing number of membrane proteins have been successfully isolated after expression in a wide variety of systems. In this chapter we give a general protocol for preparing protein detergent complexes that is aimed at guiding the reader through the different critical steps. In the second part of the chapter we illustrate how to analyze the composition of protein detergent complexes; this analysis is important as it has been found that compositional variation often causes irreproducible results. PMID:27485340

  6. Can Supersaturation Affect Protein Crystal Quality?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorti, Sridhar

    2013-01-01

    In quiescent environments (microgravity, capillary tubes, gels) formation of a depletion zone is to be expected, due either to limited sedimentation, density driven convection or a combination of both. The formation of a depletion zone can: Modify solution supersaturation near crystal; Give rise to impurity partitioning. It is conjectured that both supersaturation and impurity partitioning affect protein crystal quality and size. Further detailed investigations on various proteins are needed to assess above hypothesis.

  7. Self diffusion of interacting membrane proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Abney, J R; Scalettar, B A; Owicki, J C

    1989-01-01

    A two-dimensional version of the generalized Smoluchowski equation is used to analyze the time (or distance) dependent self diffusion of interacting membrane proteins in concentrated membrane systems. This equation provides a well established starting point for descriptions of the diffusion of particles that interact through both direct and hydrodynamic forces; in this initial work only the effects of direct interactions are explicitly considered. Data describing diffusion in the presence of hard-core repulsions, soft repulsions, and soft repulsions with weak attractions are presented. The effect that interactions have on the self-diffusion coefficient of a real protein molecule from mouse liver gap junctions is also calculated. The results indicate that self diffusion is always inhibited by direct interactions; this observation is interpreted in terms of the caging that will exist at finite protein concentration. It is also noted that, over small distance scales, the diffusion coefficient is determined entirely by the very strong Brownian forces; therefore, as a function of displacement the self-diffusion coefficient decays (rapidly) from its value at infinite dilution to its steady-state interaction-averaged value. The steady-state self-diffusion coefficient describes motion over distance scales that range from approximately 10 nm to cellular dimensions and is the quantity measured in fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments. The short-ranged behavior of the diffusion coefficient is important on the interparticle-distance scale and may therefore influence the rate at which nearest-neighbor collisional processes take place. The hard-disk theoretical results presented here are in excellent agreement with lattice Monte-Carlo results obtained by other workers. The concentration dependence of experimentally measured diffusion coefficients of antibody-hapten complexes bound to the membrane surface is consistent with that predicted by the theory. The

  8. Protein crystallization on liquid surfaces: Forced versus natural crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirsa, A.

    2005-11-01

    Two-dimensional crystallization of proteins has recently been reported where streptavidin protein dissolved in the bulk liquid anchors to binding sites on a biotinylated lipid monolayer initially spread on the liquid surface. Thermodynamic aspects investigated include the effects of subphase buffer and pH, dilution of bulk protein and monolayer. Here, we investigate three possible avenues where flow can influence protein crystallization: i) change the initial state of monolayer, ii) advect dissolved protein to the interface, iii) apply direct hydrodynamic force on the crystals at the interface. The flow system consists of a stationary open cylinder driven by constant rotation of the floor, in the axisymmetric flow regime with inertia. Direct imaging of the interface illuminated by forward scattering of a laser was utilized to avoid labeling proteins for conventional fluorescence microscopy. These images provide greater detail than Brewster angle microscopy. Scientific motivation is to use flow to probe protein structure, and the application is to make designer protein thin-films, e.g. for biosensors.

  9. Trace fluorescent labeling for protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Pusey, Marc; Barcena, Jorge; Morris, Michelle; Singhal, Anuj; Yuan, Qunying; Ng, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Fluorescence can be a powerful tool to aid in the crystallization of proteins. In the trace-labeling approach, the protein is covalently derivatized with a high-quantum-yield visible-wavelength fluorescent probe. The final probe concentration typically labels ≤0.20% of the protein molecules, which has been shown to not affect the crystal nucleation or diffraction quality. The labeled protein is then used in a plate-screening experiment in the usual manner. As the most densely packed state of the protein is the crystalline form, then crystals show as the brightest objects in the well under fluorescent illumination. A study has been carried out on the effects of trace fluorescent labeling on the screening results obtained compared with nonlabeled protein, and it was found that considering the stochastic nature of the crystal nucleation process the presence of the probe did not affect the outcomes obtained. Other effects are realised when using fluorescence. Crystals are clearly seen even when buried in precipitate. This approach also finds ‘hidden’ leads, in the form of bright spots, with ∼30% of the leads found being optimized to crystals in a single-pass optimization trial. The use of visible fluorescence also enables the selection of colors that bypass interfering substances, and the screening materials do not have to be UV-transparent. PMID:26144224

  10. Two puzzling aspects of protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grant, M. L.; Saville, D. A.

    1988-01-01

    A study is presented of several mechanisms which may reduce crystal growth rates and or terminate crystal growth. It is found that salt gradients which change the local chemical potential of the protein are insufficient to account for the slow crystal growth rates which have been reported. Contaminants which adsorb protein from solution may reduce the effective protein concentration, but the impurity's concentration and its affinity for protein are unknown. Association of protein molecules in bulk solution can reduce the monomer concentration significantly, but extant theory and experiment are not sensitive enough to determine the actual concentration of aggregates in solution. For systems of interest, shear-induced effects were found to be too weak to interfere with normal binding of incoming protein molecules. Although we found that most crystal growth occurs in a regime where both interfacial kinetics and diffusion influence crystal growth, the role of mass transfer rates on the terminal size of crystals is unknown, primarily because no data exist which cover the size range of interest (0.1 mm to 1 mm in length).

  11. MemProtMD: Automated Insertion of Membrane Protein Structures into Explicit Lipid Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Stansfeld, Phillip J.; Goose, Joseph E.; Caffrey, Martin; Carpenter, Elisabeth P.; Parker, Joanne L.; Newstead, Simon; Sansom, Mark S.P.

    2015-01-01

    Summary There has been exponential growth in the number of membrane protein structures determined. Nevertheless, these structures are usually resolved in the absence of their lipid environment. Coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CGMD) simulations enable insertion of membrane proteins into explicit models of lipid bilayers. We have automated the CGMD methodology, enabling membrane protein structures to be identified upon their release into the PDB and embedded into a membrane. The simulations are analyzed for protein-lipid interactions, identifying lipid binding sites, and revealing local bilayer deformations plus molecular access pathways within the membrane. The coarse-grained models of membrane protein/bilayer complexes are transformed to atomistic resolution for further analysis and simulation. Using this automated simulation pipeline, we have analyzed a number of recently determined membrane protein structures to predict their locations within a membrane, their lipid/protein interactions, and the functional implications of an enhanced understanding of the local membrane environment of each protein. PMID:26073602

  12. Engineering Lipid Bilayer Membranes for Protein Studies

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Muhammad Shuja; Dosoky, Noura Sayed; Williams, John Dalton

    2013-01-01

    Lipid membranes regulate the flow of nutrients and communication signaling between cells and protect the sub-cellular structures. Recent attempts to fabricate artificial systems using nanostructures that mimic the physiological properties of natural lipid bilayer membranes (LBM) fused with transmembrane proteins have helped demonstrate the importance of temperature, pH, ionic strength, adsorption behavior, conformational reorientation and surface density in cellular membranes which all affect the incorporation of proteins on solid surfaces. Much of this work is performed on artificial templates made of polymer sponges or porous materials based on alumina, mica, and porous silicon (PSi) surfaces. For example, porous silicon materials have high biocompatibility, biodegradability, and photoluminescence, which allow them to be used both as a support structure for lipid bilayers or a template to measure the electrochemical functionality of living cells grown over the surface as in vivo. The variety of these media, coupled with the complex physiological conditions present in living systems, warrant a summary and prospectus detailing which artificial systems provide the most promise for different biological conditions. This study summarizes the use of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) data on artificial biological membranes that are closely matched with previously published biological systems using both black lipid membrane and patch clamp techniques. PMID:24185908

  13. Manipulating lipid membrane architecture by liquid crystal-analog curvature elasticity (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sin-Doo

    2015-10-01

    Soft matters such as liquid crystals and biological molecules exhibit a variety of interesting physical phenomena as well as new applications. Recently, in mimicking biological systems that have the ability to sense, regulate, grow, react, and regenerate in a highly responsive and self-adaptive manner, the significance of the liquid crystal order in living organisms, for example, a biological membrane possessing the lamellar order, is widely recognized from the viewpoints of physics and chemistry of interfaces and membrane biophysics. Lipid bilayers, resembling cell membranes, provide primary functions for the transport of biological components of ions and molecules in various cellular activities, including vesicle budding and membrane fusion, through lateral organization of the membrane components such as proteins. In this lecture, I will describe how the liquid crystal-analog curvature elasticity of a lipid bilayer plays a critical role in developing a new platform for understanding diverse biological functions at a cellular level. The key concept is to manipulate the local curvature at an interface between a solid substrate and a model membrane. Two representative examples will be demonstrated: one of them is the topographic control of lipid rafts in a combinatorial array where the ligand-receptor binding event occurs and the other concerns the reconstitution of a ring-type lipid raft in bud-mimicking architecture within the framework of the curvature elasticity.

  14. Cell-Free Production of Membrane Proteins in Escherichia coli Lysates for Functional and Structural Studies.

    PubMed

    Rues, Ralf-Bernhardt; Henrich, Erik; Boland, Coilin; Caffrey, Martin; Bernhard, Frank

    2016-01-01

    The complexity of membrane protein synthesis is largely reduced in cell-free systems and it results into high success rates of target expression. Protocols for the preparation of bacterial lysates have been optimized in order to ensure reliable efficiencies in membrane protein production that are even sufficient for structural applications. The open accessibility of the semisynthetic cell-free expression reactions allows to adjust membrane protein solubilization conditions according to the optimal folding requirements of individual targets. Two basic strategies will be exemplified. The post-translational solubilization of membrane proteins in detergent micelles is most straightforward for crystallization approaches. The co-translational integration of membrane proteins into preformed nanodiscs will enable their functional characterization in a variety of natural lipid environments. PMID:27485326

  15. When physics takes over: BAR proteins and membrane curvature

    PubMed Central

    Simunovic, Mijo; Voth, Gregory A.; Callan-Jones, Andrew; Bassereau, Patricia

    2016-01-01

    Cell membranes become highly curved during membrane trafficking, cytokinesis, infection, immune response or cell motion. Bin/amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain proteins with their intrinsically curved and anisotropic shape are involved in many of these processes, but with a large spectrum of modes of action. In vitro experiments and multiscale computer simulations have contributed in identifying a minimal set of physical parameters, namely protein density on the membrane, membrane tension, and membrane shape, that control how bound BAR domain proteins behave on the membrane. In this review, we summarize the multifaceted coupling of BAR proteins to membrane mechanics and propose a simple phase diagram that recapitulates the effects of these parameters. PMID:26519988

  16. SNARE proteins and ‘membrane rafts’

    PubMed Central

    Lang, Thorsten

    2007-01-01

    The original ‘lipid raft’ hypothesis proposed that lipid-platforms/rafts form in the exoplasmic plasmalemmal leaflet by tight clustering of sphingolipids and cholesterol. Their physical state, presumably similar to liquid-ordered phases in model membranes, would confer detergent resistance to rafts and enriched proteins therein. Based on this concept, detergent resistant membranes (DRMs) from solubilized cells were considered to reflect pre-existing ‘lipid rafts’ in live cells. To date, more than 200 proteins were found in DRMs including also members of the SNARE superfamily, which are small membrane proteins involved in intracellular fusion steps. Their raft association indicates that they are not uniformly distributed, and, indeed, microscopic studies revealed that SNAREs concentrate in submicrometre-sized, cholesterol-dependent clusters at which vesicles fuse. However, the idea that SNARE clusters are ‘lipid rafts’ was challenged, as they do not colocalize with raft markers, and SNAREs are excluded from liquid-ordered phases in model membranes. Independent from this disagreement, in recent years the solubilization criterion has been criticized for several reasons, calling for a more exact definition of rafts. At a recent consensus on a revised raft model, the term ‘lipid rafts’ was replaced by ‘membrane rafts’ that were defined as ‘small (10–200 nm), heterogeneous, highly dynamic, sterol- and sphingolipid-enriched domains that compartmentalize cellular processes’. As a result, after dismissing the terms ‘detergent resistant’ and ‘liquid-ordered’, it now appears that SNARE clusters are bona fide ‘membrane rafts’. PMID:17478530

  17. Induction of protein crystallization by platinum nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takeda, Yoshihiro; Mafuné, Fumitaka

    2016-03-01

    We have investigated effects of platinum nanoparticles (PtNPs) on protein crystal nucleation. The presence of PtNPs increased the number of crystals in a crystallization solution, indicating that the PtNPs have the ability to promote the crystal nucleation. Dynamic light scattering measurements revealed that the PtNP gathers more than 10 lysozyme molecules around it to form an embryonic complex of PtNP and lysozyme. Zeta potential measurements revealed that the charges of the lysozyme molecules were reduced by delocalization of their charges in the complex. As a result, the energy barrier of association between the complexes is reduced, followed by the nucleation.

  18. Membrane protein structure determination — The next generation☆☆☆

    PubMed Central

    Moraes, Isabel; Evans, Gwyndaf; Sanchez-Weatherby, Juan; Newstead, Simon; Stewart, Patrick D. Shaw

    2014-01-01

    The field of Membrane Protein Structural Biology has grown significantly since its first landmark in 1985 with the first three-dimensional atomic resolution structure of a membrane protein. Nearly twenty-six years later, the crystal structure of the beta2 adrenergic receptor in complex with G protein has contributed to another landmark in the field leading to the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. At present, more than 350 unique membrane protein structures solved by X-ray crystallography (http://blanco.biomol.uci.edu/mpstruc/exp/list, Stephen White Lab at UC Irvine) are available in the Protein Data Bank. The advent of genomics and proteomics initiatives combined with high-throughput technologies, such as automation, miniaturization, integration and third-generation synchrotrons, has enhanced membrane protein structure determination rate. X-ray crystallography is still the only method capable of providing detailed information on how ligands, cofactors, and ions interact with proteins, and is therefore a powerful tool in biochemistry and drug discovery. Yet the growth of membrane protein crystals suitable for X-ray diffraction studies amazingly remains a fine art and a major bottleneck in the field. It is often necessary to apply as many innovative approaches as possible. In this review we draw attention to the latest methods and strategies for the production of suitable crystals for membrane protein structure determination. In addition we also highlight the impact that third-generation synchrotron radiation has made in the field, summarizing the latest strategies used at synchrotron beamlines for screening and data collection from such demanding crystals. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Structural and biophysical characterisation of membrane protein-ligand binding. PMID:23860256

  19. Protein permeation through an electrically tunable membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jou, Ining A.; Melnikov, Dmitriy V.; Gracheva, Maria E.

    2016-05-01

    Protein filtration is important in many fields of science and technology such as medicine, biology, chemistry, and engineering. Recently, protein separation and filtering with nanoporous membranes has attracted interest due to the possibility of fast separation and high throughput volume. This, however, requires understanding of the protein’s dynamics inside and in the vicinity of the nanopore. In this work, we utilize a Brownian dynamics approach to study the motion of the model protein insulin in the membrane–electrolyte electrostatic potential. We compare the results of the atomic model of the protein with the results of a coarse-grained and a single-bead model, and find that the coarse-grained representation of protein strikes the best balance between the accuracy of the results and the computational effort required. Contrary to common belief, we find that to adequately describe the protein, a single-bead model cannot be utilized without a significant effort to tabulate the simulation parameters. Similar to results for nanoparticle dynamics, our findings also indicate that the electric field and the electro-osmotic flow due to the applied membrane and electrolyte biases affect the capture and translocation of the biomolecule by either attracting or repelling it to or from the nanopore. Our computational model can also be applied to other types of proteins and separation conditions.

  20. Identification of extracellularly phosphorylated membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Burghoff, Sandra; Willberg, Wibke; Schrader, Jürgen

    2015-10-01

    Ecto-protein kinases phosphorylate extracellular membrane proteins and exhibit similarities to casein kinases and protein kinases A and C. However, the identification of their protein substrates still remains a challenge because a clear separation from intracellular phosphoproteins is difficult. Here, we describe a straightforward method for the identification of extracellularly phosphorylated membrane proteins in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and K562 cells which used the protease bromelain to selectively remove ectoproteins from intact cells and combined this with the subsequent analysis using IMAC and LC-MS/MS. A "false-positive" strategy in which cells without protease treatment served as controls was applied. Using this approach we identified novel phosphorylation sites on five ectophosphoproteins (NOTCH1, otopetrin 1, regulator of G-protein signalling 13 (RGS13), protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type D isoform 3 (PTPRD), usherin isoform B (USH2A)). Use of bromelain appears to be a reliable technique for the further identification of phosphorylated surface-exposed peptides when extracellular adenosine-5'-triphosphate is elevated during purinergic signalling. PMID:26152529

  1. Droplet hydrodynamics during lysozyme protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Pradhan, T; Asfer, M; Panigrahi, P K

    2012-11-01

    Various experimental studies in zero gravity have been reported in the literature for generation of superior quality crystals due to the importance of convective transport on protein crystal quality. However, limited experimental and numerical studies are available in the literature for a complete characterization of transport phenomena during the protein crystal growth process. The present investigation reports experimental results on convective motion inside the droplet during protein crystallization by the vapor diffusion method. Lysozyme crystals are grown using a sitting drop method and micro-particle image velocimetry is used for investigating the detailed hydrodynamics inside the droplet. Dynamic evolution of the flow field for the complete crystal growth process, i.e., during the prenucleation, nucleation, and postnucleation stage, is reported. Various flow transitions are observed during the complete cycle of the protein crystal growth process. Significant Marangoni convection is observed during the prenucleation period followed by buoyancy-driven convection during the postnucleation period. The Marangoni convection flow patterns observed during the prenucleation stage match those of evaporating droplets. The postnucleation convection patterns are similar to those of ethanol-water mixture evaporation with high ethanol concentration. PMID:23214788

  2. Convection effects in protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Glyn O.

    1988-01-01

    Protein crystals for X-ray diffraction study are usually grown resting on the bottom of a hanging drop of a saturated protein solution, with slow evaporation to the air in a small enclosed cell. The evaporation rate is controlled by hanging the drop above a reservoir of water, with its saturation vapor pressure decreased by a low concentration of a passive solute. The drop has a lower solute concentration, and its volume shrinks by evaporation until the molecular concentrations match. Protein crystals can also be grown from a seed crystal suspended or supported in the interior of a supersaturated solution. The main analysis of this report concerns this case because it is less complicated than hanging-drop growth. Convection effects have been suggested as the reason for the apparent cessation of growth at a certain rather small crystal size. It seeems that as the crystal grows, the number of dislocations increases to a point where further growth is hindered. Growth in the microgravity environment of an orbiting space vehicle has been proposed as a method for obtaining larger crystals. Experimental observations of convection effects during the growth of protein crystals have been reported.

  3. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1993-01-01

    This Final Technical Report for NASA Grant NAG8-774 covers the period from April 27, 1989 through December 31, 1992. It covers five main topics: fluid flow studies, the influence of growth conditions on the morphology of isocitrate lyase crystals, control of nucleation, the growth of lysozyme by the temperature gradient method and graphoepitaxy of protein crystals. The section on fluid flow discusses the limits of detectability in the Schlieren imaging of fluid flows around protein crystals. The isocitrate lyase study compares crystals grown terrestrially under a variety of conditions with those grown in space. The controlling factor governing the morphology of the crystals is the supersaturation. The lack of flow in the interface between the drop and the atmosphere in microgravity causes protein precipitation in the boundary layer and a lowering of the supersaturation in the drop. This lowered supersaturation leads to improved crystal morphology. Preliminary experiments with lysozyme indicated that localized temperature gradients could be used to nucleate crystals in a controlled manner. An apparatus (thermonucleator) was designed to study the controlled nucleation of protein crystals. This apparatus has been used to nucleate crystals of materials with both normal (ice-water, Rochelle salt and lysozyme) and retrograde (horse serum albumin and alpha chymotrypsinogen A) solubility. These studies have lead to the design of an new apparatus that small and more compatible with use in microgravity. Lysozyme crystals were grown by transporting nutrient from a source (lysozyme powder) to the crystal in a temperature gradient. The influence of path length and cross section on the growth rate was demonstrated. This technique can be combined with the thermonucleator to control both nucleation and growth. Graphoepitaxy utilizes a patterned substrate to orient growing crystals. In this study, silicon substrates with 10 micron grooves were used to grow crystals of catalase

  4. Two-Dimensional Crystallization Procedure, from Protein Expression to Sample Preparation

    PubMed Central

    Kuang, Qie; Purhonen, Pasi; Hebert, Hans

    2015-01-01

    Membrane proteins play important roles for living cells. Structural studies of membrane proteins provide deeper understanding of their mechanisms and further aid in drug design. As compared to other methods, electron microscopy is uniquely suitable for analysis of a broad range of specimens, from small proteins to large complexes. Of various electron microscopic methods, electron crystallography is particularly well-suited to study membrane proteins which are reconstituted into two-dimensional crystals in lipid environments. In this review, we discuss the steps and parameters for obtaining large and well-ordered two-dimensional crystals. A general description of the principle in each step is provided since this information can also be applied to other biochemical and biophysical methods. The examples are taken from our own studies and published results with related proteins. Our purpose is to give readers a more general idea of electron crystallography and to share our experiences in obtaining suitable crystals for data collection. PMID:26413539

  5. Golgi protein FAPP2 tubulates membranes

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Xinwang; Coskun, Ünal; Rössle, Manfred; Buschhorn, Sabine B.; Grzybek, Michal; Dafforn, Timothy R.; Lenoir, Marc; Overduin, Michael; Simons, Kai

    2009-01-01

    The Golgi-associated four-phosphate adaptor protein 2 (FAPP2) has been shown to possess transfer activity for glucosylceramide both in vitro and in cells. We have previously shown that FAPP2 is involved in apical transport from the Golgi complex in epithelial MDCK cells. In this paper we assign an unknown activity for the protein as well as providing structural insight into protein assembly and a low-resolution envelope structure. By applying analytical ultracentrifugation and small-angle x-ray scattering, we show that FAPP2 is a dimeric protein in solution, having a curved shape 30 nm in length. The purified FAPP2 protein has the capability to form tubules from membrane sheets in vitro. This activity is dependent on the phosphoinositide-binding activity of the PH domain of FAPP2. These data suggest that FAPP2 functions directly in the formation of apical carriers in the trans-Golgi network. PMID:19940249

  6. Trace fluorescent labeling for protein crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    Pusey, Marc Barcena, Jorge; Morris, Michelle; Singhal, Anuj; Yuan, Qunying; Ng, Joseph

    2015-06-27

    The presence of a covalently bound fluorescent probe at a concentration of <0.5% does not affect the outcome of macromolecule crystallization screening experiments. Additionally, the fluorescence can be used to determine new, not immediately apparent, lead crystallization conditions. Fluorescence can be a powerful tool to aid in the crystallization of proteins. In the trace-labeling approach, the protein is covalently derivatized with a high-quantum-yield visible-wavelength fluorescent probe. The final probe concentration typically labels ≤0.20% of the protein molecules, which has been shown to not affect the crystal nucleation or diffraction quality. The labeled protein is then used in a plate-screening experiment in the usual manner. As the most densely packed state of the protein is the crystalline form, then crystals show as the brightest objects in the well under fluorescent illumination. A study has been carried out on the effects of trace fluorescent labeling on the screening results obtained compared with nonlabeled protein, and it was found that considering the stochastic nature of the crystal nucleation process the presence of the probe did not affect the outcomes obtained. Other effects are realised when using fluorescence. Crystals are clearly seen even when buried in precipitate. This approach also finds ‘hidden’ leads, in the form of bright spots, with ∼30% of the leads found being optimized to crystals in a single-pass optimization trial. The use of visible fluorescence also enables the selection of colors that bypass interfering substances, and the screening materials do not have to be UV-transparent.

  7. Crystallization Optimum Solubility Screening: using crystallization results to identify the optimal buffer for protein crystal formation

    SciTech Connect

    Collins, Bernard; Stevens, Raymond C.; Page, Rebecca

    2005-12-01

    It is shown how protein crystallization results can be used to identify buffers that improve protein solubility and, in turn, crystallization success. An optimal solubility screen is described that uses the results of crystallization trials to identify buffers that improve protein solubility and, in turn, crystallization success. This screen is useful not only for standard crystallization experiments, but also can easily be implemented into any high-throughput structure-determination pipeline. As a proof of principle, the predicted novel-fold protein AF2059 from Archaeoglobus fulgidus, which was known to precipitate in most buffers and particularly during concentration experiments, was selected. Using the crystallization results of 192 independent crystallization trials, it was possible to identify a buffer containing 100 mM CHES pH 9.25 that significantly improves its solubility. After transferring AF2059 into this ‘optimum-solubility’ buffer, the protein was rescreened for crystal formation against these same 192 conditions. Instead of extensive precipitation, as observed initially, it was found that 24 separate conditions produced crystals and the exchange of AF2059 into CHES buffer significantly improved crystallization success. Fine-screen optimization of these conditions led to the production of a crystal suitable for high-resolution (2.2 Å) structure determination.

  8. Fluorescence-Detectino Size-Exclusion Chromatography for Precrystallization Screening of Integral Membrane Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Kawate,T.; Gouaux, E.

    2006-01-01

    Formation of well-ordered crystals of membrane proteins is a bottleneck for structure determination by X-ray crystallography. Nevertheless, one can increase the probability of successful crystallization by precrystallization screening, a process by which one analyzes the monodispersity and stability of the protein-detergent complex. Traditionally, this has required microgram to milligram quantities of purified protein and a concomitant investment of time and resources. Here, we describe a rapid and efficient precrystallization screening strategy in which the target protein is covalently fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP) and the resulting unpurified protein is analyzed by fluorescence-detection size-exclusion chromatography (FSEC). This strategy requires only nanogram quantities of unpurified protein and allows one to evaluate localization and expression level, the degree of monodispersity, and the approximate molecular mass. We show the application of this precrystallization screening to four membrane proteins derived from prokaryotic or eukaryotic organisms.

  9. Protein Crystallization for X-ray Crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Dessau, Moshe A.; Modis, Yorgo

    2011-01-01

    Using the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules to infer how they function is one of the most important fields of modern biology. The availability of atomic resolution structures provides a deep and unique understanding of protein function, and helps to unravel the inner workings of the living cell. To date, 86% of the Protein Data Bank (rcsb-PDB) entries are macromolecular structures that were determined using X-ray crystallography. To obtain crystals suitable for crystallographic studies, the macromolecule (e.g. protein, nucleic acid, protein-protein complex or protein-nucleic acid complex) must be purified to homogeneity, or as close as possible to homogeneity. The homogeneity of the preparation is a key factor in obtaining crystals that diffract to high resolution (Bergfors, 1999; McPherson, 1999). Crystallization requires bringing the macromolecule to supersaturation. The sample should therefore be concentrated to the highest possible concentration without causing aggregation or precipitation of the macromolecule (usually 2-50 mg/ mL). Introducing the sample to precipitating agent can promote the nucleation of protein crystals in the solution, which can result in large three-dimensional crystals growing from the solution. There are two main techniques to obtain crystals: vapor diffusion and batch crystallization. In vapor diffusion, a drop containing a mixture of precipitant and protein solutions is sealed in a chamber with pure precipitant. Water vapor then diffuses out of the drop until the osmolarity of the drop and the precipitant are equal (Figure 1A). The dehydration of the drop causes a slow concentration of both protein and precipitant until equilibrium is achieved, ideally in the crystal nucleation zone of the phase diagram. The batch method relies on bringing the protein directly into the nucleation zone by mixing protein with the appropriate amount of precipitant (Figure 1B). This method is usually performed under a paraffin

  10. Advances in structural and functional analysis of membrane proteins by electron crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Wisedchaisri, Goragot; Reichow, Steve L.; Gonen, Tamir

    2011-01-01

    Summary Electron crystallography is a powerful technique for the study of membrane protein structure and function in the lipid environment. When well-ordered two-dimensional crystals are obtained the structure of both protein and lipid can be determined and lipid-protein interactions analyzed. Protons and ionic charges can be visualized by electron crystallography and the protein of interest can be captured for structural analysis in a variety of physiologically distinct states. This review highlights the strengths of electron crystallography and the momentum that is building up in automation and the development of high throughput tools and methods for structural and functional analysis of membrane proteins by electron crystallography. PMID:22000511

  11. Protein Crystallization: Specific Phenomena and General Insights on Crystallization Kinetics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, F.

    1998-01-01

    Experimental and simulation studies of the nucleation and growth kinetics of proteins have revealed phenomena that are specific for macromolecular crystallization, and others that provide a more detailed understanding of solution crystallization in general. The more specific phenomena, which include metastable liquid-liquid phase separations and gelation prior to solid nucleation, are due to the small ratio of the intermolecular interaction-range to the size of molecules involved. The apparently more generally applicable mechanisms include the cascade-like formation of macrosteps, as an intrinsic morphological instability that roots in the coupled bulk transport and nonlinear interface kinetics in systems with mixed growth rate control. Analyses of this nonlinear response provide (a) criteria for the choice of bulk transport conditions to minimize structural defect formation, and (b) indications that the "slow" protein crystallization kinetics stems from the mutual retardation of growth steps.

  12. Probing peptide and protein insertion in a biomimetic S-layer supported lipid membrane platform.

    PubMed

    Damiati, Samar; Schrems, Angelika; Sinner, Eva-Kathrin; Sleytr, Uwe B; Schuster, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    The most important aspect of synthetic lipid membrane architectures is their ability to study functional membrane-active peptides and membrane proteins in an environment close to nature. Here, we report on the generation and performance of a biomimetic platform, the S-layer supported lipid membrane (SsLM), to investigate the structural and electrical characteristics of the membrane-active peptide gramicidin and the transmembrane protein α-hemolysin in real-time using a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring in combination with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. A shift in membrane resistance is caused by the interaction of α-hemolysin and gramicidin with SsLMs, even if only an attachment onto, or functional channels through the lipid membrane, respectively, are formed. Moreover, the obtained results did not indicate the formation of functional α-hemolysin pores, but evidence for functional incorporation of gramicidin into this biomimetic architecture is provided. PMID:25633104

  13. Probing Peptide and Protein Insertion in a Biomimetic S-Layer Supported Lipid Membrane Platform

    PubMed Central

    Damiati, Samar; Schrems, Angelika; Sinner, Eva-Kathrin; Sleytr, Uwe B.; Schuster, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    The most important aspect of synthetic lipid membrane architectures is their ability to study functional membrane-active peptides and membrane proteins in an environment close to nature. Here, we report on the generation and performance of a biomimetic platform, the S-layer supported lipid membrane (SsLM), to investigate the structural and electrical characteristics of the membrane-active peptide gramicidin and the transmembrane protein α-hemolysin in real-time using a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring in combination with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. A shift in membrane resistance is caused by the interaction of α-hemolysin and gramicidin with SsLMs, even if only an attachment onto, or functional channels through the lipid membrane, respectively, are formed. Moreover, the obtained results did not indicate the formation of functional α-hemolysin pores, but evidence for functional incorporation of gramicidin into this biomimetic architecture is provided. PMID:25633104

  14. Pinkbar is an epithelial-specific BAR domain protein that generates planar membrane structures

    SciTech Connect

    Pykäläinen, Anette; Boczkowska, Malgorzata; Zhao, Hongxia; Saarikangas, Juha; Rebowski, Grzegorz; Jansen, Maurice; Hakanen, Janne; Koskela, Essi V.; Peränen, Johan; Vihinen, Helena; Jokitalo, Eija; Salminen, Marjo; Ikonen, Elina; Dominguez, Roberto; Lappalainen, Pekka

    2013-05-29

    Bin/amphipysin/Rvs (BAR)-domain proteins sculpt cellular membranes and have key roles in processes such as endocytosis, cell motility and morphogenesis. BAR domains are divided into three subfamilies: BAR- and F-BAR-domain proteins generate positive membrane curvature and stabilize cellular invaginations, whereas I-BAR-domain proteins induce negative curvature and stabilize protrusions. We show that a previously uncharacterized member of the I-BAR subfamily, Pinkbar, is specifically expressed in intestinal epithelial cells, where it localizes to Rab13-positive vesicles and to the plasma membrane at intercellular junctions. Notably, the BAR domain of Pinkbar does not induce membrane tubulation but promotes the formation of planar membrane sheets. Structural and mutagenesis analyses reveal that the BAR domain of Pinkbar has a relatively flat lipid-binding interface and that it assembles into sheet-like oligomers in crystals and in solution, which may explain its unique membrane-deforming activity.

  15. Protein Crystal Growth Dynamics and Impurity Incorporation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, Alex A.; Thomas, Bill

    2000-01-01

    The general concepts and theories of crystal growth are proven to work for biomolecular crystallization. This allowed us to extract basic parameters controlling growth kinetics - free surface energy, alpha, and kinetic coefficient, beta, for steps. Surface energy per molecular site in thermal units, alpha(omega)(sup 2/3)/kT approx. = 1, is close to the one for inorganic crystals in solution (omega is the specific molecular volume, T is the temperature). Entropic restrictions on incorporation of biomolecules into the lattice reduce the incorporation rate, beta, by a factor of 10(exp 2) - 10(exp 3) relative to inorganic crystals. A dehydration barrier of approx. 18kcal/mol may explain approx. 10(exp -6) times difference between frequencies of adding a molecule to the lattice and Brownian attempts to do so. The latter was obtained from AFM measurements of step and kink growth rates on orthorhombic lysozyme. Protein and many inorganic crystals typically do not belong to the Kossel type, thus requiring a theory to account for inequivalent molecular positions within its unit cell. Orthorhombic lysozyme will serve as an example of how to develop such a theory. Factors deteriorating crystal quality - stress and strain, mosaicity, molecular disorder - will be reviewed with emphasis on impurities. Dimers in ferritin and lysozyme and acetylated lysozyme, are microheterogeneous i.e. nearly isomorphic impurities that are shown to be preferentially trapped by tetragonal lysozyme and ferritin crystals, respectively. The distribution coefficient, K defined as a ratio of the (impurity/protein) ratios in crystal and in solution is a measure of trapping. For acetylated lysoyzme, K = 2.15 or, 3.42 for differently acetylated forms, is independent of both the impurity and the crystallizing protein concentration. The reason is that impurity flux to the surface is constant while the growth rate rises with supersaturation. About 3 times lower dimer concentration in space grown ferritin and

  16. Outer membrane proteins of pathogenic spirochetes

    PubMed Central

    Cullen, Paul A.; Haake, David A.; Adler, Ben

    2009-01-01

    Pathogenic spirochetes are the causative agents of several important diseases including syphilis, Lyme disease, leptospirosis, swine dysentery, periodontal disease and some forms of relapsing fever. Spirochetal bacteria possess two membranes and the proteins present in the outer membrane are at the site of interaction with host tissue and the immune system. This review describes the current knowledge in the field of spirochetal outer membrane protein (OMP) biology. What is known concerning biogenesis and structure of OMPs, with particular regard to the atypical signal peptide cleavage sites observed amongst the spirochetes, is discussed. We examine the functions that have been determined for several spirochetal OMPs including those that have been demonstrated to function as adhesins, porins or to have roles in complement resistance. A detailed description of the role of spirochetal OMPs in immunity, including those that stimulate protective immunity or that are involved in antigenic variation, is given. A final section is included which covers experimental considerations in spirochetal outer membrane biology. This section covers contentious issues concerning cellular localization of putative OMPs, including determination of surface exposure. A more detailed knowledge of spirochetal OMP biology will hopefully lead to the design of new vaccines and a better understanding of spirochetal pathogenesis. PMID:15449605

  17. Datamining protein structure databanks for crystallization patterns of proteins.

    PubMed

    Valafar, Homayoun; Prestegard, James H; Valafar, Faramarz

    2002-12-01

    A study of 345 protein structures selected among 1,500 structures determined by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods, revealed useful correlations between crystallization properties and several parameters for the studied proteins. NMR methods of structure determination do not require the growth of protein crystals, and hence allow comparison of properties of proteins that have or have not been the subject of crystallographic approaches. One- and two-dimensional statistical analyses of the data confirmed a hypothesized relation between the size of the molecule and its crystallization potential. Furthermore, two-dimensional Bayesian analysis revealed a significant relationship between relative ratio of different secondary structures and the likelihood of success for crystallization trials. The most immediate result is an apparent correlation of crystallization potential with protein size. Further analysis of the data revealed a relationship between the unstructured fraction of proteins and the success of its crystallization. Utilization of Bayesian analysis on the latter correlation resulted in a prediction performance of about 64%, whereas a two-dimensional Bayesian analysis succeeded with a performance of about 75%. PMID:12594078

  18. Binding contribution between synaptic vesicle membrane and plasma membrane proteins in neurons: an AFM study.

    PubMed

    Sritharan, K C; Quinn, A S; Taatjes, D J; Jena, B P

    1998-01-01

    The final step in the exocytotic process is the docking and fusion of membrane-bound secretory vesicles at the cell plasma membrane. This docking and fusion is brought about by several participating vesicle membrane, plasma membrane and soluble cytosolic proteins. A clear understanding of the interactions between these participating proteins giving rise to vesicle docking and fusion is essential. In this study, the binding force profiles between synaptic vesicle membrane and plasma membrane proteins have been examined for the first time using the atomic force microscope. Binding force contributions of a synaptic vesicle membrane protein VAMP1, and the plasma membrane proteins SNAP-25 and syntaxin, are also implicated from these studies. Our study suggests that these three proteins are the major, if not the only contributors to the interactive binding force that exist between the two membranes. PMID:10452835

  19. Super-thin single crystal diamond membrane radiation detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Pomorski, Michal; Caylar, Benoit; Bergonzo, Philippe

    2013-09-09

    We propose to use the non-electronic grade (nitrogen content 5 ppb < [N] < 5 ppm) single crystal (sc) chemical vapour deposited (CVD) diamond as a thin-membrane radiation detector. Using deep Ar/O{sub 2} plasma etching it is possible to produce self-supported few micrometres thick scCVD membranes of a size approaching 7 mm × 7 mm, with a very good surface quality. After metallization and contacting, electrical properties of diamond membrane detectors were probed with 5.486 MeV α-particles as an ionization source. Despite nitrogen impurity, scCVD membrane detectors exhibit stable operation, charge collection efficiency close to 100%, with homogenous response, and extraordinary dielectric strength up to 30 V/μm.

  20. Membrane-targeting liquid crystal nanoparticles (LCNPs) for drug delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nag, Okhil K.; Naciri, Jawad; Spillmann, Christopher M.; Delehanty, James B.

    2016-03-01

    In addition to maintaining the structural integrity of the cell, the plasma membrane regulates multiple important cellular processes, such as endocytosis and trafficking, apoptotic pathways and drug transport. The modulation or tracking of such cellular processes by means of controlled delivery of drugs or imaging agents via nanoscale delivery systems is very attractive. Nanoparticle-mediated delivery systems that mediate long-term residence (e.g., days) and controlled release of the cargoes in the plasma membrane while simultaneously not interfering with regular cellular physiology would be ideal for this purpose. Our laboratory has developed a plasma membrane-targeted liquid crystal nanoparticle (LCNP) formulation that can be loaded with dyes or drugs which can be slowly released from the particle over time. Here we highlight the utility of these nanopreparations for membrane delivery and imaging.

  1. Reconstitution of a nanomachine driving the assembly of proteins into bacterial outer membranes

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Hsin-Hui; Belousoff, Matthew J.; Noinaj, Nicholas; Lu, Jingxiong; Holt, Stephen A.; Tan, Khershing; Selkrig, Joel; Webb, Chaille T.; Buchanan, Susan K.; Martin, Lisandra L.; Lithgow, Trevor

    2015-01-01

    In biological membranes, various protein secretion devices function as nanomachines, and measuring the internal movements of their component parts is a major technological challenge. The translocation assembly module (the TAM) is a nanomachine required for virulence of bacterial pathogens. We have reconstituted a membrane containing the TAM onto a gold surface for characterization by Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation (QCM-D) and Magnetic Contrast Neutron Reflectrometry (MCNR). The MCNR studies provided structural resolution down to 1Å, enabling accurate measurement of protein domains projecting from the membrane layer. Here, we show that dynamic movements within the TamA component of the TAM are initiated in the presence of a substrate protein, Ag43, and that these movements recapitulate an initial stage in membrane protein assembly. The reconstituted system provides a powerful new means to study molecular movements in biological membranes, and the technology is widely applicable to studying the dynamics of diverse cellular nanomachines. PMID:25341963

  2. Reconstitution of a nanomachine driving the assembly of proteins into bacterial outer membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Hsin-Hui; Leyton, Denisse L.; Shiota, Takuya; Belousoff, Matthew J.; Noinaj, Nicholas; Lu, Jingxiong; Holt, Stephen A.; Tan, Khershing; Selkrig, Joel; Webb, Chaille T.; Buchanan, Susan K.; Martin, Lisandra L.; Lithgow, Trevor

    2014-10-01

    In biological membranes, various protein secretion devices function as nanomachines, and measuring the internal movements of their component parts is a major technological challenge. The translocation and assembly module (TAM) is a nanomachine required for virulence of bacterial pathogens. We have reconstituted a membrane containing the TAM onto a gold surface for characterization by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) and magnetic contrast neutron reflectrometry (MCNR). The MCNR studies provided structural resolution down to 1 Å, enabling accurate measurement of protein domains projecting from the membrane layer. Here we show that dynamic movements within the TamA component of the TAM are initiated in the presence of a substrate protein, Ag43, and that these movements recapitulate an initial stage in membrane protein assembly. The reconstituted system provides a powerful new means to study molecular movements in biological membranes, and the technology is widely applicable to studying the dynamics of diverse cellular nanomachines.

  3. The New York Consortium on Membrane Protein Structure (NYCOMPS): a high-throughput platform for structural genomics of integral membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Love, James; Mancia, Filippo; Shapiro, Lawrence; Punta, Marco; Rost, Burkhard; Girvin, Mark; Wang, Da-Neng; Zhou, Ming; Hunt, John F.; Szyperski, Thomas; Gouaux, Eric; MacKinnon, Roderick; McDermott, Ann; Honig, Barry; Inouye, Masayori; Montelione, Gaetano

    2011-01-01

    The New York Consortium on Membrane Protein Structure (NYCOMPS) was formed to accelerate the acquisition of structural information on membrane proteins by applying a structural genomics approach. NY-COMPS comprises a bioinformatics group, a centralized facility operating a high-throughput cloning and screening pipeline, a set of associated wet labs that perform high-level protein production and structure determination by x-ray crystallography and NMR, and a set of investigators focused on methods development. In the first three years of operation, the NYCOMPS pipeline has so far produced and screened 7,250 expression constructs for 8,045 target proteins. Approximately 600 of these verified targets were scaled up to levels required for structural studies, so far yielding 24 membrane protein crystals. Here we describe the overall structure of NYCOMPS and provide details on the high-throughput pipeline. PMID:20690043

  4. Nucleation and growth control in protein crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Nyce, Thomas A.; Meehan, Edward J.; Sowers, Jennifer W.; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1990-01-01

    The five topics summarized in this final report are as follows: (1) a technique for the expedient, semi-automated determination of protein solubilities as a function of temperature and application of this technique to proteins other than lysozyme; (2) a small solution cell with adjustable temperature gradients for the growth of proteins at a predetermined location through temperature programming; (3) a microscopy system with image storage and processing capability for high resolution optical studies of temperature controlled protein growth and etching kinetics; (4) growth experiments with lysozyme in thermosyphon flow ; and (5) a mathematical model for the evolution of evaporation/diffusion induced concentration gradients in the hanging drop protein crystallization technique.

  5. Liquid nitrogen dewar for protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Gaseous Nitrogen Dewar apparatus developed by Dr. Alex McPherson of the University of California, Irvine for use aboard Mir and the International Space Station allows large quantities of protein samples to be crystallized in orbit. The specimens are contained either in plastic tubing (heat-sealed at each end). Biological samples are prepared with a precipitating agent in either a batch or liquid-liquid diffusion configuration. The samples are then flash-frozen in liquid nitrogen before crystallization can start. On orbit, the Dewar is placed in a quiet area of the station and the nitrogen slowly boils off (it is taken up by the environmental control system), allowing the proteins to thaw to begin crystallization. The Dewar is returned to Earth after one to four months on orbit, depending on Shuttle flight opportunities. The tubes then are analyzed for crystal presence and quality

  6. Membrane tension controls the assembly of curvature-generating proteins

    PubMed Central

    Simunovic, Mijo; Voth, Gregory A.

    2015-01-01

    Proteins containing a Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain regulate membrane curvature in the cell. Recent simulations have revealed that BAR proteins assemble into linear aggregates, strongly affecting membrane curvature and its in-plane stress profile. Here, we explore the opposite question: do mechanical properties of the membrane impact protein association? By using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, we show that increased surface tension significantly impacts the dynamics of protein assembly. While tensionless membranes promote a rapid formation of long-living linear aggregates of N-BAR proteins, increase in tension alters the geometry of protein association. At high tension, protein interactions are strongly inhibited. Increasing surface density of proteins leads to a wider range of protein association geometries, promoting the formation of meshes, which can be broken apart with membrane tension. Our work indicates that surface tension may play a key role in recruiting proteins to membrane-remodelling sites in the cell. PMID:26008710

  7. Cry Protein Crystals: A Novel Platform for Protein Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Bonnegarde-Bernard, Astrid; Wallace, Julie A.; Dean, Donald H.; Ostrowski, Michael C.; Burry, Richard W.; Boyaka, Prosper N.; Chan, Michael K.

    2015-01-01

    Protein delivery platforms are important tools in the development of novel protein therapeutics and biotechnologies. We have developed a new class of protein delivery agent based on sub-micrometer-sized Cry3Aa protein crystals that naturally form within the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. We demonstrate that fusion of the cry3Aa gene to that of various reporter proteins allows for the facile production of Cry3Aa fusion protein crystals for use in subsequent applications. These Cry3Aa fusion protein crystals are efficiently taken up and retained by macrophages and other cell lines in vitro, and can be delivered to mice in vivo via multiple modes of administration. Oral delivery of Cry3Aa fusion protein crystals to C57BL/6 mice leads to their uptake by MHC class II cells, including macrophages in the Peyer’s patches, supporting the notion that the Cry3Aa framework can be used to stabilize cargo protein against degradation for delivery to gastrointestinal lymphoid tissues. PMID:26030844

  8. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1992-01-01

    A study is presented of the crystallization of isocitrate lyase (ICL) and the influence of the lack of thermal solutal convection in microgravity on the morphology of ICL crystals is discussed. The latest results of studies with thermonucleation are presented. These include the nucleation of a protein with retrograde solubility and an unknown solubility curve. A new design for a more microgravity compatible thermonuclear is presented.

  9. X-ray transparent Microfluidics for Protein Crystallization and Biomineralization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Opathalage, Achini

    Protein crystallization demands the fundamental understanding of nucleation and applying techniques to find the optimal conditions to achieve the kinetic pathway for a large and defect free crystal. Classical nucleation theory predicts that the nucleation occurs at high supersaturation conditions. In this dissertation we sought out to develop techniques to attain optimal supersaturation profile to a large defect free crystal and subject it to in-situ X-ray diffraction using microfluidics. We have developed an emulsion-based serial crystallographic technology in nanolitre-sized droplets of protein solution encapsulated in to nucleate one crystal per drop. Diffraction data are measured, one crystal at a time, from a series of room temperature crystals stored on an X-ray semi-transparent microfluidic chip, and a 93% complete data set is obtained by merging single diffraction frames taken from different un-oriented crystals. As proof of concept, the structure of Glucose Isomerase was solved to 2.1 A. We have developed a suite of X-ray semi-transparent micrfluidic devices which enables; controlled evaporation as a method of increasing supersaturation and manipulating the phase space of proteins and small molecules. We exploited the inherently high water permeability of the thin X-ray semi-transparent devices as a mean of increasing the supersaturation by controlling the evaporation. We fabricated the X-ray semi-transparent version of the PhaseChip with a thin PDMS membrane by which the storage and the reservoir layers are separated, and studies the phase transition of amorphous CaCO3.

  10. Magnetic Control of Convection during Protein Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramachandran, N.; Leslie, F. W.

    2004-01-01

    An important component in biotechnology, particularly in the area of protein engineering and rational drug design is the knowledge of the precise three-dimensional molecular structure of proteins. The quality of structural information obtained from X-ray diffraction methods is directly dependent on the degree of perfection of the protein crystals. As a consequence, the growth of high quality macromolecular Crystals for diffraction analyses has been the central focus for bio-chemists, biologists, and bioengineers. Macromolecular crystals are obtained from solutions that contain the crystallizing species in equilibrium with higher aggregates, ions, precipitants, other possible phases of the protein, foreign particles, the walls of container, and a likely host of other impurities. By changing transport modes in general, i.e., reduction of convection and Sedimentation as is achieved in "microgravity", we have been able to dramatically affect the movement and distribution of macromolecules in the fluid, and thus their transport, f o d o n of crystal nuclei, and adsorption to the crystal surface. While a limited number of high quality crystals from space flights have been obtained, as the recent National Research Council (NRC) review of the NASA microgravity crystallization program pointed out, the scientific approach and research in crystallization of proteins has been mainly empirical yielding inconclusive results. We postulate that we can reduce convection in ground-based experiments and we can understand the different aspects of convection control through the use of strong magnetic fields and field gradients. We postulate that limited convection in a magnetic field will provide the environment for the growth of high quality crystals. The approach exploits the variation of fluid magnetic susceptibility with counteracts on for this purpose and the convective damping is realized by appropriately positioning the crystal growth cell so that the magnetic susceptibility

  11. Protein crystallization - is it rocket science?

    PubMed

    DeLucas, L J.

    2001-07-01

    Fueled by initial space shuttle results, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been supporting fundamental studies of macromolecular crystal growth since 1985. The majority of this research is directed at understanding the relationship between experimental variables and important crystal characteristics. The program has resulted in new methods and technology that will benefit the crystallography community's effort to meet the ever-increasing demand for protein structural information. Microgravity crystallization results indicate a potential impact on structural biology's more challenging problems, as soon as long-duration experiments can be performed on the International Space Station. PMID:11445465

  12. Rotating Vessels for Growing Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cottingham, Paul

    2005-01-01

    Rotating vessels have been proposed as means of growing larger, more nearly uniform protein crystals than would otherwise be possible in the presence of normal Earth gravitation. Heretofore, nonrotating vessels have been used. It is difficult to grow high-quality protein crystals in the terrestrial gravitational field because of convection plumes created by the interaction between gravitation and density gradients in protein-solution depletion layers around growing crystals. The density gradients and the associated convection plumes cause the surfaces of growing crystals to be exposed to nonuniform solution densities, thereby causing the crystals to form in irregular shapes. The microgravitational environment of outer space has been utilized to eliminate gravitation-induced convection, but this approach is generally not favorable because of the high cost and limited availability of space flight. The use of a rotating vessel according to the proposal is intended to ameliorate the effects of gravitation and the resultant convection, relative to the corresponding effects in a non-rotating vessel. The rotation would exert an averaging effect over time, distributing the convective force on the depletion layer. Therefore, the depletion layer would be more nearly uniform and, as a result, the growing crystal would be more nearly perfect. The proposal admits of variations (see figure), including the following: The growing crystal could be rotated about its own central axis or an external axis. The crystal-growth vessel could be of any of various shapes, including cylindrical, hemispherical, conical, and combinations thereof. The crystal-growth vessel could be suspended in a viscous fluid in an outer vessel to isolate the growing crystal from both ambient vibrations and vibrations induced by a mechanism that drives the rotation. The rotation could be coupled to the crystal-growth vessel by viscous or magnetic means. The crystal-growth vessel could be supported within the

  13. Nramp defines a family of membrane proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Cellier, M; Privé, G; Belouchi, A; Kwan, T; Rodrigues, V; Chia, W; Gros, P

    1995-01-01

    Nramp (natural resistance-associated macrophage protein) is a newly identified family of integral membrane proteins whose biochemical function is unknown. We report on the identification of Nramp homologs from the fly Drosophila melanogaster, the plant Oryza sativa, and the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Optimal alignment of protein sequences required insertion of very few gaps and revealed remarkable sequence identity of 28% (yeast), 40% (plant), and 55% (fly) with the mammalian proteins (46%, 58%, and 73% similarity), as well as a common predicted transmembrane topology. This family is defined by a highly conserved hydrophobic core encoding 10 transmembrane segments. Other features of this hydrophobic core include several invariant charged residues, helical periodicity of sequence conservation suggesting conserved and nonconserved faces for several transmembrane helices, a consensus transport signature on the intracytoplasmic face of the membrane, and structural determinants previously described in ion channels. These characteristics suggest that the Nramp polypeptides form part of a group of transporters or channels that act on as yet unidentified substrates. Images Fig. 1 PMID:7479731

  14. Reconstitution of the membrane protein OmpF into biomimetic block copolymer-phospholipid hybrid membranes.

    PubMed

    Bieligmeyer, Matthias; Artukovic, Franjo; Nussberger, Stephan; Hirth, Thomas; Schiestel, Thomas; Müller, Michaela

    2016-01-01

    Structure and function of many transmembrane proteins are affected by their environment. In this respect, reconstitution of a membrane protein into a biomimetic polymer membrane can alter its function. To overcome this problem we used membranes formed by poly(1,4-isoprene-block-ethylene oxide) block copolymers blended with 1,2-diphytanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine. By reconstituting the outer membrane protein OmpF from Escherichia coli into these membranes, we demonstrate functionality of this protein in biomimetic lipopolymer membranes, independent of the molecular weight of the block copolymers. At low voltages, the channel conductance of OmpF in 1 M KCl was around 2.3 nS. In line with these experiments, integration of OmpF was also revealed by impedance spectroscopy. Our results indicate that blending synthetic polymer membranes with phospholipids allows for the reconstitution of transmembrane proteins under preservation of protein function, independent of the membrane thickness. PMID:27547605

  15. Reconstitution of the membrane protein OmpF into biomimetic block copolymer–phospholipid hybrid membranes

    PubMed Central

    Bieligmeyer, Matthias; Artukovic, Franjo; Hirth, Thomas; Schiestel, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Summary Structure and function of many transmembrane proteins are affected by their environment. In this respect, reconstitution of a membrane protein into a biomimetic polymer membrane can alter its function. To overcome this problem we used membranes formed by poly(1,4-isoprene-block-ethylene oxide) block copolymers blended with 1,2-diphytanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine. By reconstituting the outer membrane protein OmpF from Escherichia coli into these membranes, we demonstrate functionality of this protein in biomimetic lipopolymer membranes, independent of the molecular weight of the block copolymers. At low voltages, the channel conductance of OmpF in 1 M KCl was around 2.3 nS. In line with these experiments, integration of OmpF was also revealed by impedance spectroscopy. Our results indicate that blending synthetic polymer membranes with phospholipids allows for the reconstitution of transmembrane proteins under preservation of protein function, independent of the membrane thickness. PMID:27547605

  16. Preliminary crystallographic studies of yeast mitochondrial peripheral membrane protein Tim44p

    SciTech Connect

    Josyula, Ratnakar; Jin, Zhongmin; McCombs, Deborah; DeLucas, Lawrence; Sha, Bingdong

    2006-02-01

    Tim44p is an essential mitochondrial peripheral membrane protein. To investigate the mechanism by which Tim44p functions in the TIM23 translocon to deliver the mitochondrial protein precursors, the yeast Tim44p has been crystallized. Protein translocations across mitochondrial membranes play critical roles in mitochondrion biogenesis. Protein transport from the cell cytosol to the mitochondrial matrix is carried out by the translocase of the outer membrane (TOM) complex and the translocase of the inner membrane (TIM) complexes. Tim44p is an essential mitochondrial peripheral membrane protein and a major component of the TIM23 translocon. To investigate the mechanism by which Tim44p functions in the TIM23 translocon to deliver the mitochondrial protein precursors, the yeast Tim44p was crystallized. The crystals diffract to 3.2 Å using a synchrotron X-ray source and belong to space group P6{sub 3}22, with unit-cell parameters a = 124.25, c = 77.83 Å. There is one Tim44p molecule in one asymmetric unit, which corresponds to a solvent content of approximately 43%. Structure determination by MAD methods is under way.

  17. FNAS/advanced protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz

    1992-01-01

    A scintillation method is presented for determination of the temperature dependence of the solubility, S(T), of proteins in 50-100 micro-l volumes of solution. S(T) data for lysozyme and horse serum albumin were obtained for various combinations of pH and precipitant concentrations. The resulting kinetics and equilibrium information was used for dynamic control, that is the separation of nucleation and growth stages in protein crystallization. Individual lysozyme and horse serum albumin crystals were grown in 15-20 micro-l solution volumes contained in x-ray capillaries.

  18. Advanced method for high-throughput expression of mutated eukaryotic membrane proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    SciTech Connect

    Ito, Keisuke; Sugawara, Taishi; Shiroishi, Mitsunori; Tokuda, Natsuko; Kurokawa, Azusa; Misaka, Takumi; Makyio, Hisayoshi; Yurugi-Kobayashi, Takami; Shimamura, Tatsuro; Nomura, Norimichi; Murata, Takeshi; Abe, Keiko; Iwata, So

    2008-07-11

    Crystallization of eukaryotic membrane proteins is a challenging, iterative process. The protein of interest is often modified in an attempt to improve crystallization and diffraction results. To accelerate this process, we took advantage of a GFP-fusion yeast expression system that uses PCR to direct homologous recombination and gene cloning. We explored the possibility of employing more than one PCR fragment to introduce various mutations in a single step, and found that when up to five PCR fragments were co-transformed into yeast, the recombination frequency was maintained as the number of fragments was increased. All transformants expressed the model membrane protein, while the resulting plasmid from each clone contained the designed mutations only. Thus, we have demonstrated a technique allowing the expression of mutant membrane proteins within 5 days, combining a GFP-fusion expression system and yeast homologous recombination.

  19. Membrane curvature and its generation by BAR proteins

    PubMed Central

    Mim, Carsten; Unger, Vinzenz M

    2012-01-01

    Membranes are flexible barriers that surround the cell and its compartments. To execute vital functions such as locomotion or receptor turnover, cells need to control the shapes of their membranes. In part, this control is achieved through membrane-bending proteins, such as the bin/amphiphysin/rvs domain (BAR) proteins. Many open questions remain about the mechanisms by which membrane-bending proteins function. Addressing this shortfall, recent structures of BAR protein:membrane complexes support existing mechanistic models, but also produced novel insights into how BAR-domain proteins sense, stabilize and generate curvature. Here we review these recent findings, focusing on how BAR proteins interact with the membrane, and how the resulting scaffold structures might aid the recruitment of other proteins to the sites where membranes are bent. PMID:23058040

  20. Hydrophobic mismatch sorts SNARE proteins into distinct membrane domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milovanovic, Dragomir; Honigmann, Alf; Koike, Seiichi; Göttfert, Fabian; Pähler, Gesa; Junius, Meike; Müllar, Stefan; Diederichsen, Ulf; Janshoff, Andreas; Grubmüller, Helmut; Risselada, Herre J.; Eggeling, Christian; Hell, Stefan W.; van den Bogaart, Geert; Jahn, Reinhard

    2015-01-01

    The clustering of proteins and lipids in distinct microdomains is emerging as an important principle for the spatial patterning of biological membranes. Such domain formation can be the result of hydrophobic and ionic interactions with membrane lipids as well as of specific protein-protein interactions. Here using plasma membrane-resident SNARE proteins as model, we show that hydrophobic mismatch between the length of transmembrane domains (TMDs) and the thickness of the lipid membrane suffices to induce clustering of proteins. Even when the TMDs differ in length by only a single residue, hydrophobic mismatch can segregate structurally closely homologous membrane proteins in distinct membrane domains. Domain formation is further fine-tuned by interactions with polyanionic phosphoinositides and homo and heterotypic protein interactions. Our findings demonstrate that hydrophobic mismatch contributes to the structural organization of membranes.

  1. Membrane protein assembly: genetic, evolutionary and medical perspectives.

    PubMed

    Manoil, C; Traxler, B

    1995-01-01

    Lipid bilayers are delicate structures that are easily disrupted by a variety of amphipathic molecules. Yet the viability of a cell requires the continued assembly of large amphipathic proteins within its membranes without damage. The need to minimize bilayer disruption may account for a number of fundamental features of membrane protein assembly. These include the use of redundant sequence information to establish the topologies and folded structures of membrane proteins, and the existence of efficient mechanisms to rid cells of misassembled proteins. Most missense mutations that inactivate a membrane protein probably do so by altering the folding of the membrane-inserted structure rather than by rearranging the topology or by changing key residues involved directly in function. Such misfolded membrane proteins may be toxic to cells if they escape cellular safeguards. This toxicity may underlie some human degenerative diseases due to mutant membrane proteins. PMID:8825471

  2. Preparation and characterization of superfine ammonium perchlorate (AP) crystals through ceramic membrane anti-solvent crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Zhenye; Li, Cheng; Wu, Rujun; Chen, Rizhi; Gu, Zhenggui

    2009-10-01

    In this paper, a novel ceramic membrane anti-solvent crystallization (CMASC) method was proposed for the safe and rapid preparation ammonium perchlorate (AP) crystals, in which the acetone and ethyl acetate were chosen as solvent and anti-solvent, respectively. Comparing with the conventional liquid anti-solvent crystallization (LASC), CMASC which successfully introduces ceramic membrane with regular pore structure to the LASC as feeding medium, is favorable to control the rate of feeding rate and, therefore, to obtain size and morphology controllable AP. Several kinds of micro-sized AP particles with different morphology were obtained including polyhedral-like, quadrate-like to rod-like. The effect of processing parameters on the crystal size and shape of AP crystals such as volume ratio of anti-solvent to solvent, feeding pressure and crystallization temperature were investigated. It is found that higher volume ratio of anti-solvent to solvent, higher feeding pressure and higher temperature result in smaller particle size. Scaning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were used to characterize the resulting AP crystals. The nucleation and growth kinetic of the resulting AP crystals were also discussed.

  3. Protein crystal growth - Growth kinetics for tetragonal lysozyme crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, M. L.; Snyder, R. S.; Naumann, R.

    1986-01-01

    Results are reported from theoretical and experimental studies of the growth rate of lysozyme as a function of diffusion in earth-gravity conditions. The investigations were carried out to form a comparison database for future studies of protein crystal growth in the microgravity environment of space. A diffusion-convection model is presented for predicting crystal growth rates in the presence of solutal concentration gradients. Techniques used to grow and monitor the growth of hen egg white lysozyme are detailed. The model calculations and experiment data are employed to discuss the effects of transport and interfacial kinetics in the growth of the crystals, which gradually diminished the free energy in the growth solution. Density gradient-driven convection, caused by presence of the gravity field, was a limiting factor in the growth rate.

  4. A capsule catalyst with a zeolite membrane prepared by direct liquid membrane crystallization.

    PubMed

    Li, Chunlin; Xu, Hengyong; Kido, Yuko; Yoneyama, Yoshiharu; Suehiro, Yoshifumi; Tsubaki, Noritatsu

    2012-05-01

    A sheltered existence: Direct liquid-membrane crystallization is used as a low-cost, low-waste, yet highly effective method to prepare a catalyst encapsulated by a H-β zeolite. Through vapor-liquid exchange, a continuous and sufficient, but not excessive supply of both water and template is the key part of this method. PMID:22287226

  5. Structural Basis for Host Membrane Remodeling Induced by Protein 2B of Hepatitis A Virus

    PubMed Central

    Vives-Adrián, Laia; Garriga, Damià; Buxaderas, Mònica; Fraga, Joana; Pereira, Pedro José Barbosa

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The complexity of viral RNA synthesis and the numerous participating factors require a mechanism to topologically coordinate and concentrate these multiple viral and cellular components, ensuring a concerted function. Similarly to all other positive-strand RNA viruses, picornaviruses induce rearrangements of host intracellular membranes to create structures that act as functional scaffolds for genome replication. The membrane-targeting proteins 2B and 2C, their precursor 2BC, and protein 3A appear to be primarily involved in membrane remodeling. Little is known about the structure of these proteins and the mechanisms by which they induce massive membrane remodeling. Here we report the crystal structure of the soluble region of hepatitis A virus (HAV) protein 2B, consisting of two domains: a C-terminal helical bundle preceded by an N-terminally curved five-stranded antiparallel β-sheet that displays striking structural similarity to the β-barrel domain of enteroviral 2A proteins. Moreover, the helicoidal arrangement of the protein molecules in the crystal provides a model for 2B-induced host membrane remodeling during HAV infection. IMPORTANCE No structural information is currently available for the 2B protein of any picornavirus despite it being involved in a critical process in viral factory formation: the rearrangement of host intracellular membranes. Here we present the structure of the soluble domain of the 2B protein of hepatitis A virus (HAV). Its arrangement, both in crystals and in solution under physiological conditions, can help to understand its function and sheds some light on the membrane rearrangement process, a putative target of future antiviral drugs. Moreover, this first structure of a picornaviral 2B protein also unveils a closer evolutionary relationship between the hepatovirus and enterovirus genera within the Picornaviridae family. PMID:25589659

  6. Gating of the Mechanosensitive Channel Protein MscL: The Interplay of Membrane and Protein

    PubMed Central

    Jeon, Jonggu; Voth, Gregory A.

    2008-01-01

    The mechanosensitive channel of large conductance (MscL) belongs to a family of transmembrane channel proteins in bacteria and functions as a safety valve that relieves the turgor pressure produced by osmotic downshock. MscL gating can be triggered solely by stretching of the membrane. This work reports an effort to understand this mechanotransduction by means of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation on the MscL of mycobacterium tuberculosis embedded in a palmitoyloleoylphosphatidylethanolamine membrane. Equilibrium MD under zero membrane tension produced a more compact protein structure, as measured by its radii of gyration, compared to the crystal structure, in agreement with previous experimental findings. Even under a large applied tension up to 1000 dyn/cm, the MscL lateral dimension largely remained unchanged after up to 20 ns of simulation. A nonequilibrium MD simulation of 3% membrane expansion showed a significant increase in membrane rigidity upon MscL inclusion, which can contribute to efficient mechanotransduction. Direct observation of channel opening was possible only when an explicit lateral bias force was applied to each of the five subunits of MscL in the radially outward direction. Using this force, open structures with a large pore of radius 10 Å could be obtained. The channel opening takes place in a stepwise manner and concurrently with the water chain formation across the channel, which occurs without direct involvement of protein hydrophilic residues. The N-terminal S1 helices stabilize the open structure, and the membrane asymmetry (different lipid density on the two leaflets of membrane) promotes channel opening. PMID:18212020

  7. A high-throughput differential filtration assay to screen and select detergents for membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Vergis, James M.; Purdy, Michael D.; Wiener, Michael C.

    2015-01-01

    Structural studies on integral membrane proteins are routinely performed on protein–detergent complexes (PDCs) consisting of purified protein solubilized in a particular detergent. Of all the membrane protein crystal structures solved to date, a subset of only four detergents has been used in more than half of these structures. Unfortunately, many membrane proteins are not well behaved in these four detergents and/or fail to yield well-diffracting crystals. Identification of detergents that maintain the solubility and stability of a membrane protein is a critical step and can be a lengthy and “protein-expensive” process. We have developed an assay that characterizes the stability and size of membrane proteins exchanged into a panel of 94 commercially available and chemically diverse detergents. This differential filtration assay (DFA), using a set of filtered microplates, requires sub-milligram quantities of purified protein and small quantities of detergents and other reagents and is performed in its entirety in several hours. PMID:20667442

  8. Searching for the Best Protein Crystals: Synchrotron Based Measurements of Protein Crystal Quality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borgstahl, Gloria; Snell, Edward H.; Bellamy, Henry; Pangborn, Walter; Nelson, Chris; Arvai, Andy; Ohren, Jeff; Pokross, Matt

    1999-01-01

    We are developing X-ray diffraction methods to quantitatively evaluate the quality of protein crystals. The ultimate use for these crystal quality will be to optimize crystal growth and freezing conditions to obtain the best diffraction data. We have combined super fine-phi slicing with highly monochromatic, low divergence synchrotron radiation and the ADSC Quantum 4 CCD detector at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation laboratory beamline 1.5 to accurately measure crystal mosaicity. Comparisons of microgravity versus earth-grown insulin crystals using these methods will be presented.

  9. Application of Membrane Crystallization for Minerals' Recovery from Produced Water.

    PubMed

    Ali, Aamer; Quist-Jensen, Cejna Anna; Macedonio, Francesca; Drioli, Enrico

    2015-01-01

    Produced water represents the largest wastewater stream from oil and gas production. Generally, its high salinity level restricts the treatment options. Membrane crystallization (MCr) is an emerging membrane process with the capability to extract simultaneously fresh water and valuable components from various streams. In the current study, the potential of MCr for produced water treatment and salt recovery was demonstrated. The experiments were carried out in lab scale and semi-pilot scale. The effect of thermal and hydrodynamic conditions on process performance and crystal characteristics were explored. Energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses confirmed that the recovered crystals are sodium chloride with very high purity (>99.9%), also indicated by the cubic structure observed by microscopy and SEM (scanning electron microscopy) analysis. It was demonstrated experimentally that at recovery factor of 37%, 16.4 kg NaCl per cubic meter of produced water can be recovered. Anti-scaling surface morphological features of membranes were also identified. In general, the study provides a new perspective of isolation of valuable constituents from produced water that, otherwise, is considered as a nuisance. PMID:26610581

  10. Application of Membrane Crystallization for Minerals’ Recovery from Produced Water

    PubMed Central

    Ali, Aamer; Quist-Jensen, Cejna Anna; Macedonio, Francesca; Drioli, Enrico

    2015-01-01

    Produced water represents the largest wastewater stream from oil and gas production. Generally, its high salinity level restricts the treatment options. Membrane crystallization (MCr) is an emerging membrane process with the capability to extract simultaneously fresh water and valuable components from various streams. In the current study, the potential of MCr for produced water treatment and salt recovery was demonstrated. The experiments were carried out in lab scale and semi-pilot scale. The effect of thermal and hydrodynamic conditions on process performance and crystal characteristics were explored. Energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses confirmed that the recovered crystals are sodium chloride with very high purity (>99.9%), also indicated by the cubic structure observed by microscopy and SEM (scanning electron microscopy) analysis. It was demonstrated experimentally that at recovery factor of 37%, 16.4 kg NaCl per cubic meter of produced water can be recovered. Anti-scaling surface morphological features of membranes were also identified. In general, the study provides a new perspective of isolation of valuable constituents from produced water that, otherwise, is considered as a nuisance. PMID:26610581

  11. A saposin-lipoprotein nanoparticle system for membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Frauenfeld, Jens; Löving, Robin; Armache, Jean-Paul; Sonnen, Andreas F-P; Guettou, Fatma; Moberg, Per; Zhu, Lin; Jegerschöld, Caroline; Flayhan, Ali; Briggs, John A G; Garoff, Henrik; Löw, Christian; Cheng, Yifan; Nordlund, Pär

    2016-04-01

    A limiting factor in membrane protein research is the ability to solubilize and stabilize such proteins. Detergents are used most often for solubilizing membrane proteins, but they are associated with protein instability and poor compatibility with structural and biophysical studies. Here we present a saposin-lipoprotein nanoparticle system, Salipro, which allows for the reconstitution of membrane proteins in a lipid environment that is stabilized by a scaffold of saposin proteins. We demonstrate the applicability of the method on two purified membrane protein complexes as well as by the direct solubilization and nanoparticle incorporation of a viral membrane protein complex from the virus membrane. Our approach facilitated high-resolution structural studies of the bacterial peptide transporter PeptTSo2 by single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and allowed us to stabilize the HIV envelope glycoprotein in a functional state. PMID:26950744

  12. Large-scale proteomic analysis of membrane proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Ahram, Mamoun; Springer, David L.

    2004-10-01

    Proteomic analysis of membrane proteins is promising in identification of novel candidates as drug targets and/or disease biomarkers. Despite notable technological developments, obstacles related to extraction and solubilization of membrane proteins are frequently encountered. A critical discussion of the different preparative methods of membrane proteins is offered in relation to downstream proteomic applications, mainly gel-based analyses and mass spectrometry. Unknown proteins are often identified by high-throughput profiling of membrane proteins. In search for novel membrane proteins, analysis of protein sequences using computational tools is performed to predict for the presence of transmembrane domains. Here, we also present these bioinformatic tools with the human proteome as a case study. Along with technological innovations, advancements in the areas of sample preparation and computational prediction of membrane proteins will lead to exciting discoveries.

  13. Membrane shape instabilities induced by BAR domain proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumgart, Tobias

    2014-03-01

    Membrane curvature has developed into a forefront of membrane biophysics. Numerous proteins involved in membrane curvature sensing and membrane curvature generation have recently been discovered, including proteins containing the crescent-shaped BAR domain as membrane binding and shaping module. Accordingly, the structure determination of these proteins and their multimeric complexes is increasingly well-understood. Substantially less understood, however, are thermodynamic and kinetic aspects and the detailed mechanisms of how these proteins interact with membranes in a curvature-dependent manner. New experimental approaches need to be combined with established techniques to be able to fill in these missing details. Here we use model membrane systems in combination with a variety of biophysical techniques to characterize mechanistic aspects of BAR domain protein function. This includes a characterization of membrane curvature sensing and membrane generation. We also establish kinetic and thermodynamic aspects of BAR protein dimerization in solution, and investigate kinetic aspects of membrane binding. We present two new approaches to investigate membrane shape instabilities and demonstrate that membrane shape instabilities can be controlled by protein binding and lateral membrane tension. This work is supported through NIH grant GM-097552 and NSF grant CBET-1053857.

  14. NMR structural studies of the bacterial outer membrane protein OmpX in oriented lipid bilayer membranes

    PubMed Central

    Mahalakshmi, Radhakrishnan; Franzin, Carla M.; Choi, Jungyuen; Marassi, Francesca M.

    2008-01-01

    SUMMARY The β-barrels found in the outer membranes of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms constitute an important functional class of proteins. Here we present solid-state NMR spectra of the bacterial outer membrane protein OmpX in oriented lipid bilayer membranes. We show that OmpX is folded in both glass-supported oriented lipid bilayers and in lipid bicelles that can be magnetically oriented with the membrane plane parallel or perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field. The presence of resolved peaks in these spectra demonstrates that OmpX undergoes rotational diffusion around an axis perpendicular to the membrane surface. A tightly hydrogen-bonded domain of OmpX resists exchange with D2O for days and is assigned to the transmembrane β-barrel, while peaks at isotropic resonance frequencies that disappear rapidly in D2O are assigned to the extracellular and periplasmic loops. The two-dimensional 1H/15N separated local field spectra of OmpX have several resolved peaks, and agree well with the spectra calculated from the crystal structure of OmpX rotated with the barrel axis nearly parallel (5° tilt) to the direction of the magnetic field. The data indicate that it will be possible to obtain site-specific resonance assignments and to determine the structure, tilt, and rotation of OmpX in membranes using the solid-state NMR methods that are currently being applied to α-helical membrane proteins. PMID:17916325

  15. IR laser-induced protein crystal transformation

    SciTech Connect

    Kiefersauer, Reiner Grandl, Brigitte; Krapp, Stephan; Huber, Robert

    2014-05-01

    A novel method and the associated instrumentation for improving crystalline order (higher resolution of X-ray diffraction and reduced mosaicity) of protein crystals by precisely controlled heating is demonstrated. Crystal transformation is optically controlled by a video system. A method and the design of instrumentation, and its preliminary practical realisation, including test experiments, with the object of inducing phase changes of biomolecular crystals by controlled dehydration through heating with infrared (IR) light are described. The aim is to generate and select crystalline phases through transformation in the solid state which have improved order (higher resolution in X-ray diffraction experiments) and reduced mosaic spread (more uniformly aligned mosaic blocks) for diffraction data collection and analysis. The crystal is heated by pulsed and/or constant IR laser irradiation. Loss of crystal water following heating and its reabsorption through equilibration with the environment is measured optically by a video system. Heating proved superior to traditional controlled dehydration by humidity change for the test cases CODH (carbon monoxide dehydrogenase) and CLK2 (a protein kinase). Heating with IR light is experimentally simple and offers an exploration of a much broader parameter space than the traditional method, as it allows the option of varying the rate of phase changes through modification of the IR pulse strength, width and repeat frequency. It impacts the crystal instantaneously, isotropically and homogeneously, and is therefore expected to cause less mechanical stress.

  16. Dynamic nuclear polarization methods in solids and solutions to explore membrane proteins and membrane systems.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Chi-Yuan; Han, Songi

    2013-01-01

    Membrane proteins regulate vital cellular processes, including signaling, ion transport, and vesicular trafficking. Obtaining experimental access to their structures, conformational fluctuations, orientations, locations, and hydration in membrane environments, as well as the lipid membrane properties, is critical to understanding their functions. Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) of frozen solids can dramatically boost the sensitivity of current solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance tools to enhance access to membrane protein structures in native membrane environments. Overhauser DNP in the solution state can map out the local and site-specific hydration dynamics landscape of membrane proteins and lipid membranes, critically complementing the structural and dynamics information obtained by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. Here, we provide an overview of how DNP methods in solids and solutions can significantly increase our understanding of membrane protein structures, dynamics, functions, and hydration in complex biological membrane environments. PMID:23331309

  17. Dynamic Nuclear Polarization Methods in Solids and Solutions to Explore Membrane Proteins and Membrane Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Chi-Yuan; Han, Songi

    2013-04-01

    Membrane proteins regulate vital cellular processes, including signaling, ion transport, and vesicular trafficking. Obtaining experimental access to their structures, conformational fluctuations, orientations, locations, and hydration in membrane environments, as well as the lipid membrane properties, is critical to understanding their functions. Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) of frozen solids can dramatically boost the sensitivity of current solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance tools to enhance access to membrane protein structures in native membrane environments. Overhauser DNP in the solution state can map out the local and site-specific hydration dynamics landscape of membrane proteins and lipid membranes, critically complementing the structural and dynamics information obtained by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. Here, we provide an overview of how DNP methods in solids and solutions can significantly increase our understanding of membrane protein structures, dynamics, functions, and hydration in complex biological membrane environments.

  18. Mass Spectrometry of Membrane Proteins: A Focus on Aquaporins

    PubMed Central

    Schey, Kevin L.; Grey, Angus C.; Nicklay, Joshua J.

    2015-01-01

    Membrane proteins are abundant, critically important biomolecules that conduct essential functions in all cells and are the targets of a significant number of therapeutic drugs. However, the analysis of their expression, modification, protein–protein interactions, and structure by mass spectrometry has lagged behind similar studies of soluble proteins. Here we review the limitations to analysis of integral membrane and membrane-associated proteins and highlight advances in sample preparation and mass spectrometry methods that have led to the successful analysis of this protein class. Advances in the analysis of membrane protein posttranslational modification, protein–protein interaction, protein structure, and tissue distributions by imaging mass spectrometry are discussed. Furthermore, we focus our discussion on the application of mass spectrometry for the analysis of aquaporins as a prototypical integral membrane protein and how advances in analytical methods have revealed new biological insights into the structure and function of this family of proteins. PMID:23394619

  19. Powder diffraction from a continuous microjet of submicrometer protein crystals.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, D A; Chapman, H N; Deponte, D; Doak, R B; Fromme, P; Hembree, G; Hunter, M; Marchesini, S; Schmidt, K; Spence, J; Starodub, D; Weierstall, U

    2008-11-01

    Atomic-resolution structures from small proteins have recently been determined from high-quality powder diffraction patterns using a combination of stereochemical restraints and Rietveld refinement [Von Dreele (2007), J. Appl. Cryst. 40, 133-143; Margiolaki et al. (2007), J. Am. Chem. Soc. 129, 11865-11871]. While powder diffraction data have been obtained from batch samples of small crystal-suspensions, which are exposed to X-rays for long periods of time and undergo significant radiation damage, the proof-of-concept that protein powder diffraction data from nanocrystals of a membrane protein can be obtained using a continuous microjet is shown. This flow-focusing aerojet has been developed to deliver a solution of hydrated protein nanocrystals to an X-ray beam for diffraction analysis. This method requires neither the crushing of larger polycrystalline samples nor any techniques to avoid radiation damage such as cryocooling. Apparatus to record protein powder diffraction in this manner has been commissioned, and in this paper the first powder diffraction patterns from a membrane protein, photosystem I, with crystallite sizes of less than 500 nm are presented. These preliminary patterns show the lowest-order reflections, which agree quantitatively with theoretical calculations of the powder profile. The results also serve to test our aerojet injector system, with future application to femtosecond diffraction in free-electron X-ray laser schemes, and for serial crystallography using a single-file beam of aligned hydrated molecules. PMID:18955765

  20. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Human Serum Albumin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Human Serum Albumin. Contributes to many transport and regulatory processes and has multifunctional binding properties which range from various metals, to fatty acids, hormones, and a wide spectrum of therapeutic drugs. The most abundant protein of the circulatory system. It binds and transports an incredible variety of biological and pharmaceutical ligands throughout the blood stream. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Larry DeLucas.

  1. Membrane protein structural validation by oriented sample solid-state NMR: diacylglycerol kinase.

    PubMed

    Murray, Dylan T; Li, Conggang; Gao, F Philip; Qin, Huajun; Cross, Timothy A

    2014-04-15

    The validation of protein structures through functional assays has been the norm for many years. Functional assays perform this validation for water-soluble proteins very well, but they need to be performed in the same environment as that used for the structural analysis. This is difficult for membrane proteins that are often structurally characterized in detergent environments, although functional assays for these proteins are most frequently performed in lipid bilayers. Because the structure of membrane proteins is known to be sensitive to the membrane mimetic environment, such functional assays are appropriate for validating the protein construct, but not the membrane protein structure. Here, we compare oriented sample solid-state NMR spectral data of diacylglycerol kinase previously published with predictions of such data from recent structures of this protein. A solution NMR structure of diacylglycerol kinase has been obtained in detergent micelles and three crystal structures have been obtained in a monoolein cubic phase. All of the structures are trimeric with each monomer having three transmembrane and one amphipathic helices. However, the solution NMR structure shows typical perturbations induced by a micelle environment that is reflected in the predicted solid-state NMR resonances from the structural coordinates. The crystal structures show few such perturbations, especially for the wild-type structure and especially for the monomers that do not have significant crystal contacts. For these monomers the predicted and observed data are nearly identical. The thermostabilized constructs do show more perturbations, especially the A41C mutation that introduces a hydrophilic residue into what would be the middle of the lipid bilayer inducing additional hydrogen bonding between trimers. These results demonstrate a general technique for validating membrane protein structures with minimal data obtained from membrane proteins in liquid crystalline lipid bilayers by

  2. Hydrophobic mismatch sorts SNARE proteins into distinct membrane domains

    PubMed Central

    Milovanovic, Dragomir; Honigmann, Alf; Koike, Seiichi; Göttfert, Fabian; Pähler, Gesa; Junius, Meike; Müllar, Stefan; Diederichsen, Ulf; Janshoff, Andreas; Grubmüller, Helmut; Risselada, Herre J.; Eggeling, Christian; Hell, Stefan W.; van den Bogaart, Geert; Jahn, Reinhard

    2015-01-01

    The clustering of proteins and lipids in distinct microdomains is emerging as an important principle for the spatial patterning of biological membranes. Such domain formation can be the result of hydrophobic and ionic interactions with membrane lipids as well as of specific protein–protein interactions. Here using plasma membrane-resident SNARE proteins as model, we show that hydrophobic mismatch between the length of transmembrane domains (TMDs) and the thickness of the lipid membrane suffices to induce clustering of proteins. Even when the TMDs differ in length by only a single residue, hydrophobic mismatch can segregate structurally closely homologous membrane proteins in distinct membrane domains. Domain formation is further fine-tuned by interactions with polyanionic phosphoinositides and homo and heterotypic protein interactions. Our findings demonstrate that hydrophobic mismatch contributes to the structural organization of membranes. PMID:25635869

  3. A Prediction Model for Membrane Proteins Using Moments Based Features.

    PubMed

    Butt, Ahmad Hassan; Khan, Sher Afzal; Jamil, Hamza; Rasool, Nouman; Khan, Yaser Daanial

    2016-01-01

    The most expedient unit of the human body is its cell. Encapsulated within the cell are many infinitesimal entities and molecules which are protected by a cell membrane. The proteins that are associated with this lipid based bilayer cell membrane are known as membrane proteins and are considered to play a significant role. These membrane proteins exhibit their effect in cellular activities inside and outside of the cell. According to the scientists in pharmaceutical organizations, these membrane proteins perform key task in drug interactions. In this study, a technique is presented that is based on various computationally intelligent methods used for the prediction of membrane protein without the experimental use of mass spectrometry. Statistical moments were used to extract features and furthermore a Multilayer Neural Network was trained using backpropagation for the prediction of membrane proteins. Results show that the proposed technique performs better than existing methodologies. PMID:26966690

  4. A Prediction Model for Membrane Proteins Using Moments Based Features

    PubMed Central

    Butt, Ahmad Hassan; Khan, Sher Afzal; Jamil, Hamza; Rasool, Nouman; Khan, Yaser Daanial

    2016-01-01

    The most expedient unit of the human body is its cell. Encapsulated within the cell are many infinitesimal entities and molecules which are protected by a cell membrane. The proteins that are associated with this lipid based bilayer cell membrane are known as membrane proteins and are considered to play a significant role. These membrane proteins exhibit their effect in cellular activities inside and outside of the cell. According to the scientists in pharmaceutical organizations, these membrane proteins perform key task in drug interactions. In this study, a technique is presented that is based on various computationally intelligent methods used for the prediction of membrane protein without the experimental use of mass spectrometry. Statistical moments were used to extract features and furthermore a Multilayer Neural Network was trained using backpropagation for the prediction of membrane proteins. Results show that the proposed technique performs better than existing methodologies. PMID:26966690

  5. Benchmarking membrane protein detergent stability for improving throughput of high-resolution X-ray structures.

    PubMed

    Sonoda, Yo; Newstead, Simon; Hu, Nien-Jen; Alguel, Yilmaz; Nji, Emmanuel; Beis, Konstantinos; Yashiro, Shoko; Lee, Chiara; Leung, James; Cameron, Alexander D; Byrne, Bernadette; Iwata, So; Drew, David

    2011-01-12

    Obtaining well-ordered crystals is a major hurdle to X-ray structure determination of membrane proteins. To facilitate crystal optimization, we investigated the detergent stability of 24 eukaryotic and prokaryotic membrane proteins, predominantly transporters, using a fluorescent-based unfolding assay. We have benchmarked the stability required for crystallization in small micelle detergents, as they are statistically more likely to lead to high-resolution structures. Using this information, we have been able to obtain well-diffracting crystals for a number of sodium and proton-dependent transporters. By including in the analysis seven membrane proteins for which structures are already known, AmtB, GlpG, Mhp1, GlpT, EmrD, NhaA, and LacY, it was further possible to demonstrate an overall trend between protein stability and structural resolution. We suggest that by monitoring membrane protein stability with reference to the benchmarks described here, greater efforts can be placed on constructs and conditions more likely to yield high-resolution structures. PMID:21220112

  6. Overexpression, Isolation, and Crystallization of Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skelly, Jane V.; Madden, C. Bernadette

    Rapid developments in recombinant technology have made it possible to overproduce selected proteins of specific interest to the levels required for structural analysis by X-ray crystallography. High-level gene expression has facilitated the purification of many proteins that are normally only expressed at low concentrations, as well as those that have proven difficult to purify to homogeneity from natural sources. Furthermore, advances in oligonucleotide site-directed mutagenesis have enabled proteins to be engineered so as to possess certain features that may confer stability or assist in then isolation. There are several examples of proteins that, despite rigorous purification from their natural source, have defied crystallization attempts, e.g., human growth hormone, but have been successfully crystallized from recombinant sources (1). The lack of posttranslational processing in bacterial expressed proteins can often be an advantage to the crystallographer where microheterogeneity presents a problem. Indeed, certain features or residues of a protein that are believed to impede crystal formation by preventing a close-packing arrangement may be successfully deleted by genetic manipulation without destroying its essential functionality (2).

  7. Crystal structure of the plasma membrane proton pump.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Bjørn P; Buch-Pedersen, Morten J; Morth, J Preben; Palmgren, Michael G; Nissen, Poul

    2007-12-13

    A prerequisite for life is the ability to maintain electrochemical imbalances across biomembranes. In all eukaryotes the plasma membrane potential and secondary transport systems are energized by the activity of P-type ATPase membrane proteins: H+-ATPase (the proton pump) in plants and fungi, and Na+,K+-ATPase (the sodium-potassium pump) in animals. The name P-type derives from the fact that these proteins exploit a phosphorylated reaction cycle intermediate of ATP hydrolysis. The plasma membrane proton pumps belong to the type III P-type ATPase subfamily, whereas Na+,K+-ATPase and Ca2+-ATPase are type II. Electron microscopy has revealed the overall shape of proton pumps, however, an atomic structure has been lacking. Here we present the first structure of a P-type proton pump determined by X-ray crystallography. Ten transmembrane helices and three cytoplasmic domains define the functional unit of ATP-coupled proton transport across the plasma membrane, and the structure is locked in a functional state not previously observed in P-type ATPases. The transmembrane domain reveals a large cavity, which is likely to be filled with water, located near the middle of the membrane plane where it is lined by conserved hydrophilic and charged residues. Proton transport against a high membrane potential is readily explained by this structural arrangement. PMID:18075595

  8. Sigmoid kinetics of protein crystal nucleation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nanev, Christo N.; Tonchev, Vesselin D.

    2015-10-01

    A non-linear differential equation expressing the new phase nucleation rate in the different steps of the process (non-stationary and stationary nucleation and in the plateau region) is derived from basic principles of the nucleation theory. It is shown that one and the same sigmoid (logistic) function describes both nucleation scenarios: the one according to the classical theory, and the other according to the modern two-stage mechanism of protein crystal formation. Comparison to experimental data on both insulin crystal nucleation kinetics and on bovine β-lactoglobulin crystallization indicates a good agreement with the sigmoidal prediction. Experimental data for electrochemical nucleation and glass crystallization obey the same sigmoid time dependence, and suggest universality of this nucleation kinetics law.

  9. Role of membrane contact sites in protein import into mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Horvath, Susanne E; Rampelt, Heike; Oeljeklaus, Silke; Warscheid, Bettina; van der Laan, Martin; Pfanner, Nikolaus

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondria import more than 1,000 different proteins from the cytosol. The proteins are synthesized as precursors on cytosolic ribosomes and are translocated by protein transport machineries of the mitochondrial membranes. Five main pathways for protein import into mitochondria have been identified. Most pathways use the translocase of the outer mitochondrial membrane (TOM) as the entry gate into mitochondria. Depending on specific signals contained in the precursors, the proteins are subsequently transferred to different intramitochondrial translocases. In this article, we discuss the connection between protein import and mitochondrial membrane architecture. Mitochondria possess two membranes. It is a long-standing question how contact sites between outer and inner membranes are formed and which role the contact sites play in the translocation of precursor proteins. A major translocation contact site is formed between the TOM complex and the presequence translocase of the inner membrane (TIM23 complex), promoting transfer of presequence-carrying preproteins to the mitochondrial inner membrane and matrix. Recent findings led to the identification of contact sites that involve the mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS) of the inner membrane. MICOS plays a dual role. It is crucial for maintaining the inner membrane cristae architecture and forms contacts sites to the outer membrane that promote translocation of precursor proteins into the intermembrane space and outer membrane of mitochondria. The view is emerging that the mitochondrial protein translocases do not function as independent units, but are embedded in a network of interactions with machineries that control mitochondrial activity and architecture. PMID:25514890

  10. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1994-01-01

    The long-term stability of the interferometric setup for the monitoring of protein morphologies has been improved. Growth or dissolution of a crystal on a 100 A scale can now be clearly distinguished from dimensional changes occurring within the optical path of the interferometer. This capability of simultaneously monitoring the local interfacial displacement at several widely-spaced positions on the crystal surface with high local depth resolution, has already yielded novel results. We found with lysozyme that (1) the normal growth rate is oscillatory, and (2) the mean growth step density is greater at the periphery of a facet than in its center. The repartitioning of Na(+) and Cl(-) ions between lysozyme solutions and crystals was studied for a wide range of crystallization conditions. A nucleation-growth-repartitioning model was developed to interpret the large body of data in a unified way. The results strongly suggests that (1) the ion to lysozyme ratio in the crystal depends mostly on kinetic rather than crystallographic parameters, and (2) lysozyme crystals possess a salt-rich core with a diameter on the order of 10 microns. The computational model for diffusive-convective transport in protein crystallization (see the First Report) has been applied to a realistic growth cell geometry, taking into account the findings of the above repartitioning studies. These results show that some elements of a moving boundary problem must be incorporated into the model in order to obtain a more realistic description. Our experimental setup for light scattering investigations of aggregation and nucleation in protein solutions has been extensively tested. Scattering intensity measurements with a true Rayleigh scatterer produced systematically increased forward scattering, indicating problems with glare. These have been resolved. Preliminary measurements with supersaturated lysozyme solutions revealed that the scatterers grow with time. Work has begun on a computer program

  11. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Isocitrate Lyase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Isocitrate Lyase. Target enzyme for fungicides. A better understanding of this enzyme should lead to the discovery of more potent fungicides to treat serious crop diseases such as rice blast. It regulates the flow of metabolic intermediates required for cell growth. Principal Investigator for STS-26 was Charles Bugg.

  12. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Isocitrate Lysase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Isocitrate Lysase. Target enzyme for fungicides. A better understanding of this enzyme should lead to the discovery of more potent fungicides to treat serious crop diseases such as rice blast. It regulates the flow of metabolic intermediates required for cell growth. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Charles Bugg.

  13. Convective instability in protein crystal growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lima, D.; de Wit, A.

    2004-08-01

    The conditions for the onset of convection during protein crystalization from a solution are studied theoretically on the basis of diffusion-convection evolution equations for the concentrations coupled to the Navier-Stokes equation describing the flow velocity. We consider that the density of the solution depends on the concentration of two species, namely, a protein and a precipitating agent, a salt. While the protein is crystallized at the crystal/solution interface, the salt is rejected, and these mechanisms are described by means of boundary conditions for the interface. We find the base profiles for both protein and salt concentrations and perform a linear stability analysis of this basic state with regard to buoyancy induced perturbations. This gives information on the critical diameter of capillaries above which convection may be observed, as well as on the influence of the speed of growth V of the crystal interface on the stability of the system. Numerical integration of the model shows good agreement with the predictions of the linear stability analysis.

  14. The Growth of Protein Crystals Using McDUCK

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ewing, Felicia; Wilson, Lori; Nadarajah, Arunan; Pusey, Marc

    1998-01-01

    Most of the current microgravity crystal growth hardware is optimized to produce crystals within the limited time available on orbit. This often results in the actual nucleation and growth process being rushed or the system not coming to equilibrium within the limited time available. Longer duration hardware exists, but one cannot readily pick out crystals grown early versus those which nucleated and grew more slowly. We have devised a long duration apparatus, the Multi-chamber Dialysis Unit for Crystallization Kinetics, or McDUCK. This apparatus-is a series of protein chambers, stacked upon a precipitant reservoir chamber. All chambers are separated by a dialysis membrane, which serves to pass small molecules while retaining the protein. The volume of the Precipitant chamber is equal to the sum of the volumes of the protein chamber. In operation, the appropriate chambers are filled with precipitant solution or protein solution, and the McDUCK is placed standing upright, with the precipitant chamber on the bottom. The precipitant diffuses upwards over time, with the time to reach equilibration a function of the diffusivity of the precipitant and the overall length of the diffusion pathway. Typical equilibration times are approximately 2-4 months, and one can readily separate rapid from slow nucleation and growth crystals. An advantage on Earth is that the vertical precipitant concentration gradient dominates that of the solute, thus dampening out solute density gradient driven convective flows. However, large Earth-grown crystals have so far tended to be more two dimensional. Preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of lysozyme crystals grown in McDUCK have indicated that the best, and largest, come from the middle chambers, suggesting that there is an optimal growth rate. Further, the improvements in diffraction resolution have been better signal to noise ratios in the low resolution data, not an increase in resolution overall. Due to the persistently large crystals

  15. Dynamic membrane protein topological switching upon changes in phospholipid environment

    PubMed Central

    Vitrac, Heidi; MacLean, David M.; Jayaraman, Vasanthi; Bogdanov, Mikhail; Dowhan, William

    2015-01-01

    A fundamental objective in membrane biology is to understand and predict how a protein sequence folds and orients in a lipid bilayer. Establishing the principles governing membrane protein folding is central to understanding the molecular basis for membrane proteins that display multiple topologies, the intrinsic dynamic organization of membrane proteins, and membrane protein conformational disorders resulting in disease. We previously established that lactose permease of Escherichia coli displays a mixture of topological conformations and undergoes postassembly bidirectional changes in orientation within the lipid bilayer triggered by a change in membrane phosphatidylethanolamine content, both in vivo and in vitro. However, the physiological implications and mechanism of dynamic structural reorganization of membrane proteins due to changes in lipid environment are limited by the lack of approaches addressing the kinetic parameters of transmembrane protein flipping. In this study, real-time fluorescence spectroscopy was used to determine the rates of protein flipping in the lipid bilayer in both directions and transbilayer flipping of lipids triggered by a change in proteoliposome lipid composition. Our results provide, for the first time to our knowledge, a dynamic picture of these events and demonstrate that membrane protein topological rearrangements in response to lipid modulations occur rapidly following a threshold change in proteoliposome lipid composition. Protein flipping was not accompanied by extensive lipid-dependent unfolding of transmembrane domains. Establishment of lipid bilayer asymmetry was not required but may accelerate the rate of protein flipping. Membrane protein flipping was found to accelerate the rate of transbilayer flipping of lipids. PMID:26512118

  16. A Class of Rigid Linker-bearing Glucosides for Membrane Protein Structural Study

    PubMed Central

    Sadaf, Aiman; Mortensen, Jonas S.; Capaldi, Stefano; Tikhonova, Elena; Hariharan, Parameswaran; de Castro Ribeiro, Orquidea; Loland, Claus J; Guan, Lan; Byrne, Bernadette

    2015-01-01

    Membrane proteins are amphipathic bio-macromolecules incompatible with the polar environments of aqueous media. Conventional detergents encapsulate the hydrophobic surfaces of membrane proteins allowing them to exist in aqueous solution. Membrane proteins stabilized by detergent micelles are used for structural and functional analysis. Despite the availability of a large number of detergents, only a few agents are sufficiently effective at maintaining the integrity of membrane proteins to allow successful crystallization. In the present study, we describe a novel class of synthetic amphiphiles with a branched tail group and a triglucoside head group. These head and tail groups were connected via an amide or ether linkage by using a tris(hydroxylmethyl)aminomethane (TRIS) or neopentyl glycol (NPG) linker to produce TRIS-derived triglucosides (TDTs) and NPG-derived triglucosides (NDTs), respectively. Members of this class conferred enhanced stability on target membrane proteins compared to conventional detergents. Because of straightforward synthesis of the novel agents and their favourable effects on a range of membrane proteins, these agents should be of wide applicability to membrane protein science. PMID:27110345

  17. Membrane Protein Structure and Dynamics from NMR Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Mei; Zhang, Yuan; Hu, Fanghao

    2012-05-01

    We review the current state of membrane protein structure determination using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Multidimensional magic-angle-spinning correlation NMR combined with oriented-sample experiments has made it possible to measure a full panel of structural constraints of membrane proteins directly in lipid bilayers. These constraints include torsion angles, interatomic distances, oligomeric structure, protein dynamics, ligand structure and dynamics, and protein orientation and depth of insertion in the lipid bilayer. Using solid-state NMR, researchers have studied potassium channels, proton channels, Ca2+ pumps, G protein-coupled receptors, bacterial outer membrane proteins, and viral fusion proteins to elucidate their mechanisms of action. Many of these membrane proteins have also been investigated in detergent micelles using solution NMR. Comparison of the solid-state and solution NMR structures provides important insights into the effects of the solubilizing environment on membrane protein structure and dynamics.

  18. Structure Determination of Membrane Proteins by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Opella, Stanley J.

    2013-06-01

    Many biological membranes consist of 50% or more (by weight) membrane proteins, which constitute approximately one-third of all proteins expressed in biological organisms. Helical membrane proteins function as receptors, enzymes, and transporters, among other unique cellular roles. Additionally, most drugs have membrane proteins as their receptors, notably the superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors with seven transmembrane helices. Determining the structures of membrane proteins is a daunting task because of the effects of the membrane environment; specifically, it has been difficult to combine biologically compatible environments with the requirements for the established methods of structure determination. There is strong motivation to determine the structures in their native phospholipid bilayer environment so that perturbations from nonnatural lipids and phases do not have to be taken into account. At present, the only method that can work with proteins in liquid crystalline phospholipid bilayers is solid-state NMR spectroscopy.

  19. Marginally hydrophobic transmembrane α-helices shaping membrane protein folding

    PubMed Central

    De Marothy, Minttu T; Elofsson, Arne

    2015-01-01

    Cells have developed an incredible machinery to facilitate the insertion of membrane proteins into the membrane. While we have a fairly good understanding of the mechanism and determinants of membrane integration, more data is needed to understand the insertion of membrane proteins with more complex insertion and folding pathways. This review will focus on marginally hydrophobic transmembrane helices and their influence on membrane protein folding. These weakly hydrophobic transmembrane segments are by themselves not recognized by the translocon and therefore rely on local sequence context for membrane integration. How can such segments reside within the membrane? We will discuss this in the light of features found in the protein itself as well as the environment it resides in. Several characteristics in proteins have been described to influence the insertion of marginally hydrophobic helices. Additionally, the influence of biological membranes is significant. To begin with, the actual cost for having polar groups within the membrane may not be as high as expected; the presence of proteins in the membrane as well as characteristics of some amino acids may enable a transmembrane helix to harbor a charged residue. The lipid environment has also been shown to directly influence the topology as well as membrane boundaries of transmembrane helices—implying a dynamic relationship between membrane proteins and their environment. PMID:25970811

  20. Direct observation of protein microcrystals in crystallization buffer by atmospheric scanning electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Maruyama, Yuusuke; Ebihara, Tatsuhiko; Nishiyama, Hidetoshi; Konyuba, Yuji; Senda, Miki; Numaga-Tomita, Takuro; Senda, Toshiya; Suga, Mitsuo; Sato, Chikara

    2012-01-01

    X-ray crystallography requires high quality crystals above a given size. This requirement not only limits the proteins to be analyzed, but also reduces the speed of the structure determination. Indeed, the tertiary structures of many physiologically important proteins remain elusive because of the so-called "crystallization bottleneck". Once microcrystals have been obtained, crystallization conditions can be optimized to produce bigger and better crystals. However, the identification of microcrystals can be difficult due to the resolution limit of optical microscopy. Electron microscopy has sometimes been utilized instead, with the disadvantage that the microcrystals usually must be observed in vacuum, which precludes the usage for crystal screening. The atmospheric scanning electron microscope (ASEM) allows samples to be observed in solution. Here, we report the use of this instrument in combination with a special thin-membrane dish with a crystallization well. It was possible to observe protein crystals of lysozyme, lipase B and a histone chaperone TAF-Iβ in crystallization buffers, without the use of staining procedures. The smallest crystals observed with ASEM were a few μm in width, and ASEM can be used with non-transparent solutions. Furthermore, the growth of salt crystals could be monitored in the ASEM, and the difference in contrast between salt and protein crystals made it easy to distinguish between these two types of microcrystals. These results indicate that the ASEM could be an important new tool for the screening of protein microcrystals. PMID:22949879

  1. Direct Observation of Protein Microcrystals in Crystallization Buffer by Atmospheric Scanning Electron Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Maruyama, Yuusuke; Ebihara, Tatsuhiko; Nishiyama, Hidetoshi; Konyuba, Yuji; Senda, Miki; Numaga-Tomita, Takuro; Senda, Toshiya; Suga, Mitsuo; Sato, Chikara

    2012-01-01

    X-ray crystallography requires high quality crystals above a given size. This requirement not only limits the proteins to be analyzed, but also reduces the speed of the structure determination. Indeed, the tertiary structures of many physiologically important proteins remain elusive because of the so-called “crystallization bottleneck”. Once microcrystals have been obtained, crystallization conditions can be optimized to produce bigger and better crystals. However, the identification of microcrystals can be difficult due to the resolution limit of optical microscopy. Electron microscopy has sometimes been utilized instead, with the disadvantage that the microcrystals usually must be observed in vacuum, which precludes the usage for crystal screening. The atmospheric scanning electron microscope (ASEM) allows samples to be observed in solution. Here, we report the use of this instrument in combination with a special thin-membrane dish with a crystallization well. It was possible to observe protein crystals of lysozyme, lipase B and a histone chaperone TAF-Iβ in crystallization buffers, without the use of staining procedures. The smallest crystals observed with ASEM were a few μm in width, and ASEM can be used with non-transparent solutions. Furthermore, the growth of salt crystals could be monitored in the ASEM, and the difference in contrast between salt and protein crystals made it easy to distinguish between these two types of microcrystals. These results indicate that the ASEM could be an important new tool for the screening of protein microcrystals. PMID:22949879

  2. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1994-01-01

    A high-resolution microscopic interferometric setup for the monitoring of protein morphologies has been developed. Growth or dissolution of a crystal can be resolved with a long-term depth resolution of 200 A and a lateral resolution of 2 microns. This capability of simultaneously monitoring the interfacial displacement with high local depth resolution has yielded several novel results. We have found with lysozyme that (1) the normal growth rate is oscillatory, and (2) depending on the impurity content of the solution, the growth step density is either greater or lower at the periphery of a facet than in its center. The repartitioning of Na plus and Cl minus ions between lysozyme solutions and crystals was studied for a wide range of crystallization conditions. A nucleation-growth-repartitioning model was developed, to interpret the large body of data in unified way. The results strongly suggest that (1) the ion to lysozyne ratio in the crystal depends mostly on kinetic rather than crystallographic parameters, and (2) lysozyme crystals possess a salt-rich core with a diameter electron microscopy results appear to confirm this finding, which could have far-reaching consequences for x-ray diffraction studies. A computational model for diffusive-convective transport in protein crystallization has been applied to a realistic growth cell geometry, taking into account the findings of the above repartitioning studies and our kinetics data for the growth of lysozyme. The results show that even in the small cell employed, protein concentration nonuniformities and gravity-driven solutal convection can be significant. The calculated convection velocities are of the same order to magnitude as those found in earlier experiments. As expected, convective transport, i.e., at Og, lysozyme crystal growth remains kinetically limited. The salt distribution in the crystal is predicted to be non-uniform at both 1g and 0g, as a consequence of protein depletion in the solution. Static and

  3. Designing Mimics of Membrane Active Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Sgolastra, Federica; deRonde, Brittany M.; Sarapas, Joel M.; Som, Abhigyan; Tew, Gregory N.

    2014-01-01

    CONSPECTUS As a semi-permeable barrier that controls the flux of biomolecules in and out the cell, the plasma membrane is critical in cell function and survival. Many proteins interact with the plasma membrane and modulate its physiology. Within this large landscape of membrane-active molecules, researchers have focused significant attention on two specific classes of peptides, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) because of their unique properties. In this account, we describe our efforts over the last decade to build and understand synthetic mimics of antimicrobial peptides (SMAMPs). These endeavors represent one specific example of a much larger effort to understand how synthetic molecules interact with and manipulate the plasma membrane. Using both defined molecular weight oligomers and easier to produce, but heterogeneous, polymers, it has been possible to generate scaffolds with biological potency superior to the natural analogs. In one case, a compound has progressed through a phase II clinical trial for pan)staph infections. Modern biophysical assays highlighted the interplay between the synthetic scaffold and lipid composition leading to negative Gaussian curvature, a requirement for both pore formation and endosomal escape. The complexity of this interplay between lipids, bilayer components, and the scaffolds remains to be better resolved, but significant new insight has been provided. It is worthwhile to consider the various aspects of permeation and how these are related to ‘pore formation.’ More recently, our efforts have expanded toward protein transduction domains, or cell penetrating peptide, mimics. The combination of unique molecular scaffolds and guanidinium) rich side chains has produced an array of polymers with robust transduction (and delivery) activity. Being a new area, the fundamental interactions between these new scaffolds and the plasma membrane are just beginning to be understood. Negative Gaussian

  4. Diffusing proteins on a fluctuating membrane: Analytical theory and simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reister-Gottfried, Ellen; Leitenberger, Stefan M.; Seifert, Udo

    2010-03-01

    Using analytical calculations and computer simulations, we consider both the lateral diffusion of a membrane protein and the fluctuation spectrum of the membrane in which the protein is embedded. The membrane protein interacts with the membrane shape through its spontaneous curvature and bending rigidity. The lateral motion of the protein may be viewed as diffusion in an effective potential, hence, the effective mobility is always reduced compared to the case of free diffusion. Using a rigorous path-integral approach, we derive an analytical expression for the effective diffusion coefficient for small ratios of temperature and bending rigidity, which is the biologically relevant limit. Simulations show very good quantitative agreement with our analytical result. The analysis of the correlation functions contributing to the diffusion coefficient shows that the correlations between the stochastic force of the protein and the response in the membrane shape are responsible for the reduction. Our quantitative analysis of the membrane height correlation spectrum shows an influence of the protein-membrane interaction causing a distinctly altered wave-vector dependence compared to a free membrane. Furthermore, the time correlations exhibit the two relevant time scales of the system: that of membrane fluctuations and that of lateral protein diffusion with the latter typically much longer than the former. We argue that the analysis of the long-time decay of membrane height correlations can thus provide a new means to determine the effective diffusion coefficient of proteins in the membrane.

  5. Integrated system for extraction, purification, and digestion of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yiying; Yan, Guoquan; Gao, Mingxia; Deng, Chunhui; Zhang, Xiangmin

    2016-05-01

    An integrated system was developed for directly processing living cells into peptides of membrane proteins. Living cells were directly injected into the system and cracked in a capillary column by ultrasonic treatment. Owing to hydrophilicity for broken pieces of the cell membrane, the obtained membranes were retained in a well-designed bi-filter. While cytoplasm proteins were eluted from the bi-filter, the membranes were dissolved and protein released by flushing 4 % SDS buffer through the bi-filter. The membrane proteins were subsequently transferred into a micro-reactor and covalently bound in the reactor for purification and digestion. As the system greatly simplified the whole pretreatment processes and minimized both sample loss and contamination, it could be used to analyze the membrane proteome samples of thousand-cell-scales with acceptable reliability and stability. We totally identified 1348 proteins from 5000 HepG2 cells, 615 of which were annotated as membrane proteins. In contrast, with conventional method, only 233 membrane proteins were identified. It is adequately demonstrated that the integrated system shows promising practicability for the membrane proteome analysis of small amount of cells. Graphical Abstract The legend of online abstract figure is (a) schematic illustration of membrane proteins extraction, purification and digestion from living cells; (b) diagrammatic sketch of the automatic integrated membrane proteome analysis system. PMID:26922343

  6. Adaptable Lipid Matrix Promotes Protein-Protein Association in Membranes.

    PubMed

    Kuznetsov, Andrey S; Polyansky, Anton A; Fleck, Markus; Volynsky, Pavel E; Efremov, Roman G

    2015-09-01

    The cell membrane is "stuffed" with proteins, whose transmembrane (TM) helical domains spontaneously associate to form functionally active complexes. For a number of membrane receptors, a modulation of TM domains' oligomerization has been shown to contribute to the development of severe pathological states, thus calling for detailed studies of the atomistic aspects of the process. Despite considerable progress achieved so far, several crucial questions still remain: How do the helices recognize each other in the membrane? What is the driving force of their association? Here, we assess the dimerization free energy of TM helices along with a careful consideration of the interplay between the structure and dynamics of protein and lipids using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations in the hydrated lipid bilayer for three different model systems - TM fragments of glycophorin A, polyalanine and polyleucine peptides. We observe that the membrane driven association of TM helices exhibits a prominent entropic character, which depends on the peptide sequence. Thus, a single TM peptide of a given composition induces strong and characteristic perturbations in the hydrophobic core of the bilayer, which may facilitate the initial "communication" between TM helices even at the distances of 20-30 Å. Upon tight helix-helix association, the immobilized lipids accommodate near the peripheral surfaces of the dimer, thus disturbing the packing of the surrounding. The dimerization free energy of the modeled peptides corresponds to the strength of their interactions with lipids inside the membrane being the lowest for glycophorin A and similarly higher for both homopolymers. We propose that the ability to accommodate lipid tails determines the dimerization strength of TM peptides and that the lipid matrix directly governs their association. PMID:26575933

  7. Mixing it up for Protein Crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Carl; Sommer, Morten; Berger, James; Quake, Stephen

    2005-03-01

    In the post-genomic era, X-ray crystallography has emerged as the workhorse of large-scale structural biology initiatives that seek to understand protein function and interaction at the atomic scale. Despite impressive technological advances in X-ray sources, phasing techniques, and computing power, the determination of protein structure continues to be severely hampered by the difficulties in obtaining high-quality protein crystals. Emergent technologies utilizing microfluidics now have the potential to solve these problems on several levels. We will present two microfluidic devices that have been shown to dramatically improve protein crystallization. The first is a formulation device which allows for the rapid combinatorial mixing of reagents to systematically explore protein solubility behavior. A priori solubility mapping allows for the rational design of optimal crystallization screens that are tailored to a specific target. A second screening device allows for massively parallel sample processing while exploiting the properties of mass transport manifest at the micron scale to ensure slow and efficient mixing kinetics that are difficult to achieve in macroscopic reactors.

  8. Extracellular Protease Digestion to Evaluate Membrane Protein Cell Surface Localization

    PubMed Central

    Besingi, Richard N.; Clark, Patricia L.

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins play crucial roles in signaling and as anchors for cell surface display. Proper secretion of a membrane protein can be evaluated by its susceptibility to digestion by an extracellular protease, but this requires a crucial control to confirm membrane integrity during digestion. This protocol describes how to use this approach to determine how efficiently a protein is secreted to the outer surface of Gram-negative bacteria. Its success relies upon careful selection of an appropriate intracellular reporter protein that will remain undigested if the membrane barrier remains intact, but is rapidly digested when cells are lysed prior to evaluation. Reporter proteins that are resistant to proteases (e.g. maltose-binding protein) do not return accurate results; in contrast, proteins that are more readily digested (e.g. SurA) serve as more sensitive reporters of membrane integrity, yielding more accurate measurements of membrane protein localization. Similar considerations apply when evaluating membrane protein localization in other contexts, including eukaryotic cells and organelle membranes. Evaluating membrane protein localization using this approach requires only standard biochemistry laboratory equipment for cell lysis, gel electrophoresis and western blotting. After expression of the protein of interest, this procedure can be completed in 4 h. PMID:26584447

  9. Convective diffusion in protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baird, J. K.; Meehan, E. J., Jr.; Xidis, A. L.; Howard, S. B.

    1986-01-01

    A protein crystal modeled as a flat plate suspended in the parent solution, with the normal to the largest face perpendicular to gravity and the protein concentration in the solution adjacent to the plate taken to be the equilibrium solubility, is studied. The Navier-Stokes equation and the equation for convective diffusion in the boundary layer next to the plate are solved to calculate the flow velocity and the protein mass flux. The local rate of growth of the plate is shown to vary significantly with depth due to the convection. For an aqueous solution of lysozyme at a concentration of 40 mg/ml, the boundary layer at the top of a 1-mm-high crystal has a thickness of 80 microns at 1 g, and 2570 microns at 10 to the -6th g.

  10. Fluctuating hydrodynamics of multicomponent membranes with embedded proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Camley, Brian A.; Brown, Frank L. H.

    2014-08-21

    A simulation method for the dynamics of inhomogeneous lipid bilayer membranes is presented. The membrane is treated using stochastic Saffman-Delbrück hydrodynamics, coupled to a phase-field description of lipid composition and discrete membrane proteins. Multiple applications are considered to validate and parameterize the model. The dynamics of membrane composition fluctuations above the critical point and phase separation dynamics below the critical point are studied in some detail, including the effects of adding proteins to the mixture.

  11. Expression, purification and crystallization of human 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein with leukotriene-biosynthesis inhibitors

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, Shihua; McKeever, Brian M.; Wisniewski, Douglas; Miller, Douglas K.; Spencer, Robert H.; Chu, Lin; Ujjainwalla, Feroze; Yamin, Ting-Ting; Evans, Jilly F.; Becker, Joseph W.; Ferguson, Andrew D.

    2007-12-01

    The expression, purification and crystallization of human 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein in complex with two leukotriene-biosynthesis inhibitors is decribed. The processes that were used to generate diffraction quality crystals are presented in detail. The nuclear membrane protein 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein (FLAP) plays an essential role in leukotriene synthesis. Recombinant full-length human FLAP with a C-terminal hexahistidine tag has been expressed and purified from the cytoplasmic membrane of Escherichia coli. Diffraction-quality crystals of FLAP in complex with leukotriene-synthesis inhibitor MK-591 and with an iodinated analogue of MK-591 have been grown using the sitting-drop vapor-diffusion method. The crystals exhibit tetragonal symmetry (P42{sub 1}2) and diffracted to a resolution limit of 4 Å.

  12. Dynamic nuclear polarization of membrane proteins: covalently bound spin-labels at protein-protein interfaces.

    PubMed

    Wylie, Benjamin J; Dzikovski, Boris G; Pawsey, Shane; Caporini, Marc; Rosay, Melanie; Freed, Jack H; McDermott, Ann E

    2015-04-01

    We demonstrate that dynamic nuclear polarization of membrane proteins in lipid bilayers may be achieved using a novel polarizing agent: pairs of spin labels covalently bound to a protein of interest interacting at an intermolecular interaction surface. For gramicidin A, nitroxide tags attached to the N-terminal intermolecular interface region become proximal only when bimolecular channels forms in the membrane. We obtained signal enhancements of sixfold for the dimeric protein. The enhancement effect was comparable to that of a doubly tagged sample of gramicidin C, with intramolecular spin pairs. This approach could be a powerful and selective means for signal enhancement in membrane proteins, and for recognizing intermolecular interfaces. PMID:25828256

  13. Protein crystallization image classification with elastic net

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Jeffrey; Collins, John; Weldetsion, Mehari; Newland, Oliver; Chiang, Eric; Guerrero, Steve; Okada, Kazunori

    2014-03-01

    Protein crystallization plays a crucial role in pharmaceutical research by supporting the investigation of a protein's molecular structure through X-ray diffraction of its crystal. Due to the rare occurrence of crystals, images must be manually inspected, a laborious process. We develop a solution incorporating a regularized, logistic regression model for automatically evaluating these images. Standard image features, such as shape context, Gabor filters and Fourier transforms, are first extracted to represent the heterogeneous appearance of our images. Then the proposed solution utilizes Elastic Net to select relevant features. Its L1-regularization mitigates the effects of our large dataset, and its L2- regularization ensures proper operation when the feature number exceeds the sample number. A two-tier cascade classifier based on naïve Bayes and random forest algorithms categorized the images. In order to validate the proposed method, we experimentally compare it with naïve Bayes, linear discriminant analysis, random forest, and their two-tier cascade classifiers, by 10-fold cross validation. Our experimental results demonstrate a 3-category accuracy of 74%, outperforming other models. In addition, Elastic Net better reduces the false negatives responsible for a high, domain specific risk. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to apply Elastic Net to classifying protein crystallization images. Performance measured on a large pharmaceutical dataset also fared well in comparison with those presented in the previous studies, while the reduction of the high-risk false negatives is promising.

  14. Advances in membrane protein crystallography: in situ and in meso data collection

    SciTech Connect

    Weyand, Simone; Tate, Christopher G.

    2015-05-23

    Membrane protein structural biology has made tremendous advances over the last decade but there are still many challenges associated with crystallization, data collection and structure determination. Two independent groups, Axford et al. [(2015), Acta Cryst. D71, 1228–1237] and Huang et al. [(2015), Acta Cryst. D71, 1238–1256], have published methods that make a major contribution to addressing these challenges.

  15. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1988-01-01

    The solubility and growth of the protein canavalin, and the application of the schlieren technique to study fluid flow in protein crystal growth systems were investigated. These studies have resulted in the proposal of a model to describe protein crystal growth and the preliminary plans for a long-term space flight experiment. Canavalin, which may be crystallized from a basic solution by the addition of hydrogen (H+) ions, was shown to have normal solubility characteristics over the range of temperatures (5 to 25 C) and pH (5 to 7.5) studies. The solubility data combined with growth rate data gathered from the seeded growth of canavalin crystals indicated that the growth rate limiting step is a screw dislocation mechanism. A schlieren apparatus was constructed and flow patterns were observed in Rochelle salt (sodium potassium tartrate), lysozyme, and canavalin. The critical parameters were identified as the change in density with concentration (dp/dc) and the change in index of refraction with concentration (dn/dc). Some of these values were measured for the materials listed. The data for lyrozyme showed non-linearities in plots of optical properties and density vs. concentration. In conjunction with with W. A. Tiller, a model based on colloid stability theory was proposed to describe protein crystallization. The model was used to explain observations made by ourselves and others. The results of this research has lead to the development for a preliminary design for a long-term, low-g experiment. The proposed apparatus is univeral and capable of operation under microprocessor control.

  16. Femtosecond X-ray Diffraction From Two-Dimensional Protein Crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Frank, Matthias; Carlson, David B.; Hunter, Mark; Williams, Garth J.; Messerschmidt, Marc; Zatsepin, Nadia A.; Barty, Anton; Benner, Henry; Chu, Kaiqin; Graf, Alexander; Hau-Riege, Stefan; Kirian, Rick; Padeste, Celestino; Pardini, Tommaso; Pedrini, Bill; Segelke, Brent; Seibert, M. M.; Spence, John C.; Tsai, Ching-Ju; Lane, Steve M.; Li, Xiao-Dan; Schertler, Gebhard; Boutet, Sebastien; Coleman, Matthew A.; Evans, James E.

    2014-02-28

    Here we present femtosecond x-ray diffraction patterns from two-dimensional (2-D) protein crystals using an x-ray free electron laser (XFEL). To date it has not been possible to acquire x-ray diffraction from individual 2-D protein crystals due to radiation damage. However, the intense and ultrafast pulses generated by an XFEL permits a new method of collecting diffraction data before the sample is destroyed. Utilizing a diffract-before-destroy methodology at the Linac Coherent Light Source, we observed Bragg diffraction to better than 8.5 Å resolution for two different 2-D protein crystal samples that were maintained at room temperature. These proof-of-principle results show promise for structural analysis of both soluble and membrane proteins arranged as 2-D crystals without requiring cryogenic conditions or the formation of three-dimensional crystals.

  17. Study of polytopic membrane protein topological organization as a function of membrane lipid composition.

    PubMed

    Bogdanov, Mikhail; Heacock, Philip N; Dowhan, William

    2010-01-01

    A protocol is described using lipid mutants and thiol-specific chemical reagents to study lipid-dependent and host-specific membrane protein topogenesis by the substituted-cysteine accessibility method as applied to transmembrane domains (SCAM). SCAM is adapted to follow changes in membrane protein topology as a function of changes in membrane lipid composition. The strategy described can be adapted to any membrane system. PMID:20419405

  18. Purification, characterization, and crystallization of membrane bound Escherichia coli tyrosine kinase.

    PubMed

    Chesterman, Chelsy; Jia, Zongchao

    2016-09-01

    Escherichia coli tyrosine kinase (Etk) is a membrane bound kinase in gram-negative bacteria that regulates the export of capsular polysaccharides (CPS). The molecular mechanism behind CPS regulation remains unclear, despite access to a crystal structure of the cytoplasmic kinase domain of Etk. In this study, an efficient protocol to produce full length Etk solubilized in n-dodecyl-β-d-maltoside has been established with high yield. We have determined that detergent solubilized Etk retains kinase activity, but the protein is prone to aggregation, degradation, and has been unsuccessful in protein crystallization trials. In response, we designed and characterized truncations of Etk that do not aggregate and have led to successful crystallization experiments. In this article, we discuss our optimized expression and purification protocol for Etk, the design of Etk protein truncations, and the behavior of Etk during purification in a range of stabilizing detergents. These efforts have successfully produced protein suitable for crystallization. Our results will be a useful guide for future structural and functional studies of the bacterial tyrosine kinase family. PMID:26363120

  19. Structure Determination of Membrane Proteins by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Opella, Stanley J.

    2014-01-01

    Many biological membranes consist of 50% or more (by weight) membrane proteins, which constitute approximately one-third of all proteins expressed in biological organisms. Helical membrane proteins function as receptors, enzymes, and transporters, among other unique cellular roles. Additionally, most drugs have membrane proteins as their receptors, notably the superfamily of G protein–coupled receptors with seven transmembrane helices. Determining the structures of membrane proteins is a daunting task because of the effects of the membrane environment; specifically, it has been difficult to combine biologically compatible environments with the requirements for the established methods of structure determination. There is strong motivation to determine the structures in their native phospholipid bilayer environment so that perturbations from nonnatural lipids and phases do not have to be taken into account. At present, the only method that can work with proteins in liquid crystalline phospholipid bilayers is solid-state NMR spectroscopy. PMID:23577669

  20. Membrane-Mediated Interaction between Strongly Anisotropic Protein Scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    Schweitzer, Yonatan; Kozlov, Michael M.

    2015-01-01

    Specialized proteins serve as scaffolds sculpting strongly curved membranes of intracellular organelles. Effective membrane shaping requires segregation of these proteins into domains and is, therefore, critically dependent on the protein-protein interaction. Interactions mediated by membrane elastic deformations have been extensively analyzed within approximations of large inter-protein distances, small extents of the protein-mediated membrane bending and small deviations of the protein shapes from isotropic spherical segments. At the same time, important classes of the realistic membrane-shaping proteins have strongly elongated shapes with large and highly anisotropic curvature. Here we investigated, computationally, the membrane mediated interaction between proteins or protein oligomers representing membrane scaffolds with strongly anisotropic curvature, and addressed, quantitatively, a specific case of the scaffold geometrical parameters characterizing BAR domains, which are crucial for membrane shaping in endocytosis. In addition to the previously analyzed contributions to the interaction, we considered a repulsive force stemming from the entropy of the scaffold orientation. We computed this interaction to be of the same order of magnitude as the well-known attractive force related to the entropy of membrane undulations. We demonstrated the scaffold shape anisotropy to cause a mutual aligning of the scaffolds and to generate a strong attractive interaction bringing the scaffolds close to each other to equilibrium distances much smaller than the scaffold size. We computed the energy of interaction between scaffolds of a realistic geometry to constitute tens of kBT, which guarantees a robust segregation of the scaffolds into domains. PMID:25710602

  1. A novel lipoprotein nanoparticle system for membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Frauenfeld, Jens; Löving, Robin; Armache, Jean-Paul; Sonnen, Andreas; Guettou, Fatma; Moberg, Per; Zhu, Lin; Jegerschöld, Caroline; Flayhan, Ali; Briggs, John A.G.; Garoff, Henrik; Löw, Christian; Cheng, Yifan; Nordlund, Pär

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins are of outstanding importance in biology, drug discovery and vaccination. A common limiting factor in research and applications involving membrane proteins is the ability to solubilize and stabilize membrane proteins. Although detergents represent the major means for solubilizing membrane proteins, they are often associated with protein instability and poor applicability in structural and biophysical studies. Here, we present a novel lipoprotein nanoparticle system that allows for the reconstitution of membrane proteins into a lipid environment that is stabilized by a scaffold of Saposin proteins. We showcase the applicability of the method on two purified membrane protein complexes as well as the direct solubilization and nanoparticle-incorporation of a viral membrane protein complex from the virus membrane. We also demonstrate that this lipid nanoparticle methodology facilitates high-resolution structural studies of membrane proteins in a lipid environment by single-particle electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) and allows for the stabilization of the HIV-envelope glycoprotein in a functional state. PMID:26950744

  2. Crystal structure of the open state of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae MtrE outer membrane channel.

    PubMed

    Lei, Hsiang-Ting; Chou, Tsung-Han; Su, Chih-Chia; Bolla, Jani Reddy; Kumar, Nitin; Radhakrishnan, Abhijith; Long, Feng; Delmar, Jared A; Do, Sylvia V; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R; Shafer, William M; Yu, Edward W

    2014-01-01

    Active efflux of antimicrobial agents is one of the most important strategies used by bacteria to defend against antimicrobial factors present in their environment. Mediating many cases of antibiotic resistance are transmembrane efflux pumps, composed of one or more proteins. The Neisseria gonorrhoeae MtrCDE tripartite multidrug efflux pump, belonging to the hydrophobic and amphiphilic efflux resistance-nodulation-cell division (HAE-RND) family, spans both the inner and outer membranes of N. gonorrhoeae and confers resistance to a variety of antibiotics and toxic compounds. We here describe the crystal structure of N. gonorrhoeae MtrE, the outer membrane component of the MtrCDE tripartite multidrug efflux system. This trimeric MtrE channel forms a vertical tunnel extending down contiguously from the outer membrane surface to the periplasmic end, indicating that our structure of MtrE depicts an open conformational state of this channel. PMID:24901251

  3. Membrane Protein Structure Determination Using Crystallography and Lipidic Mesophases - Recent Advances and Successes

    PubMed Central

    Caffrey, Martin; Li, Dianfan; Dukkipati, Abhiram

    2012-01-01

    The crystal structure of the β2-adrenergic receptor in complex with an agonist and its cognate G protein has just recently been solved. It is now possible to explore in molecular detail the means by which this paradigmatic transmembrane receptor binds agonist, communicates the impulse or signalling event across the membrane and sets in motion a series of G protein-directed intracellular responses. The structure was determined using crystals of the ternary complex grown in a rationally designed lipidic mesophase by the so-called in meso method. The method is proving to be particularly useful in the G protein-coupled receptor field where the structures of thirteen distinct receptor types have been solved in the past five years. In addition to receptors, the method has proven useful with a wide variety of integral membrane protein classes that include bacterial and eukaryotic rhodopsins, a light harvesting complex II (LHII), photosynthetic reaction centers, cytochrome oxidases, β-barrels, an exchanger, and an integral membrane peptide. This attests to the versatility and range of the method and supports the view that the in meso method should be included in the arsenal of the serious membrane structural biologist. For this to happen however, the reluctance in adopting it attributable, in part, to the anticipated difficulties associated with handling the sticky, viscous cubic mesophase in which crystals grow must be overcome. Harvesting and collecting diffraction data with the mesophase-grown crystals is also viewed with some trepidation. It is acknowledged that there are challenges associated with the method. Over the years, we have endeavored to establish how the method works at a molecular level and to make it user-friendly. To these ends, tools for handling the mesophase in the pico- to nano-liter volume range have been developed for highly efficient crystallization screening in manual and robotic modes. Methods have been implemented for evaluating the functional

  4. Protein purification in multicompartment electrolyzers for crystal growth of r-DNA products in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Righetti, Pier Giorgio; Casale, Elena; Carter, Daniel; Snyder, Robert S.; Wenisch, Elisabeth; Faupel, Michel

    1990-01-01

    Recombinant-DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) (r-DNA) proteins, produced in large quantities for human consumption, are now available in sufficient amounts for crystal growth. Crystallographic analysis is the only method now available for defining the atomic arrangements within complex biological molecules and decoding, e.g., the structure of the active site. Growing protein crystals in microgravity has become an important aspect of biology in space, since crystals that are large enough and of sufficient quality to permit complete structure determinations are usually obtained. However even small amounts of impurities in a protein preparation are anathema for the growth of a regular crystal lattice. A multicompartment electrolyzer with isoelectric, immobiline membranes, able to purify large quantities of r-DNA proteins is described. The electrolyzer consists of a stack of flow cells, delimited by membranes of very precise isoelectric point (pI, consisting of polyacrylamide supported by glass fiber filters containing Immobiline buffers and titrants to uniquely define a pI value) and very high buffering power, able to titrate all proteins tangent or crossing such membranes. By properly selecting the pI values of two membranes delimiting a flow chamber, a single protein can be kept isoelectric in a single flow chamber and thus, be purified to homogeneity (by the most stringent criterion, charge homogeneity).

  5. Protein-Induced Modulation of Chloroplast Membrane Morphology

    PubMed Central

    Machettira, Anu B.; Groß, Lucia E.; Tillmann, Bodo; Weis, Benjamin L.; Englich, Gisela; Sommer, Maik S.; Königer, Martina; Schleiff, Enrico

    2012-01-01

    Organelles are surrounded by membranes with a distinct lipid and protein composition. While it is well established that lipids affect protein functioning and vice versa, it has been only recently suggested that elevated membrane protein concentrations may affect the shape and organization of membranes. We therefore analyzed the effects of high chloroplast envelope protein concentrations on membrane structures using an in vivo approach with protoplasts. Transient expression of outer envelope proteins or protein domains such as CHUP1-TM–GFP, outer envelope protein of 7 kDa–GFP, or outer envelope protein of 24 kDa–GFP at high levels led to the formation of punctate, circular, and tubular membrane protrusions. Expression of inner membrane proteins such as translocase of inner chloroplast membrane 20, isoform II (Tic20-II)–GFP led to membrane protrusions including invaginations. Using increasing amounts of DNA for transfection, we could show that the frequency, size, and intensity of these protrusions increased with protein concentration. The membrane deformations were absent after cycloheximide treatment. Co-expression of CHUP1-TM–Cherry and Tic20-II–GFP led to membrane protrusions of various shapes and sizes including some stromule-like structures, for which several functions have been proposed. Interestingly, some structures seemed to contain both proteins, while others seem to contain one protein exclusively, indicating that outer and inner envelope dynamics might be regulated independently. While it was more difficult to investigate the effects of high expression levels of membrane proteins on mitochondrial membrane shapes using confocal imaging, it was striking that the expression of the outer membrane protein Tom20 led to more elongate mitochondria. We discuss that the effect of protein concentrations on membrane structure is possibly caused by an imbalance in the lipid to protein ratio and may be involved in a signaling pathway regulating membrane

  6. X-ray Microscopic Characterization of Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hu, Z. W.; Holmes, A.; Thomas, B.R.; Chernov, a. A.; Chu, Y. S.; Lai, B.

    2004-01-01

    The microscopic mapping of the variation in degree of perfection and in type of defects in entire protein crystals by x-rays may well be a prerequisite for better understanding causes of lattice imperfections, the growth history, and properties of protein crystals. However, x-ray microscopic characterization of bulk protein crystals, in the as-grown state, is frequently more challenging than that of small molecular crystals due to the experimental difficulties arising largely from the unique features possessed by protein crystals. In this presentation, we will illustrate ssme recent activities in employing coherence-based phase contrast x-ray imaging and high-angular-resolution diffraction techniques for mapping microdefects and the degree of perfection of protein crystals, and demonstrate a correlation between crystal perfection, diffraction phenomena., and crystallization conditions. The observed features and phenomena will be discussed in context to gain insight into the nature of defects, nucleation and growth, and the properties of protein crystals.

  7. An automated protein crystal growth facility on the space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herrmann, Melody

    1988-01-01

    The need is addressed for an automated Protein Crystal Growth experiment on the Space Station and how robotics will be integrated into the system design. This automated laboratory system will enable several hundred protein crystals to grow simultaneously in microgravity and will allow the major variables in protein crystal growth to be monitored and controlled during the experiment. Growing good quality crystals is important in determining the complete structure of the protein by X-ray diffraction. This information is useful in the research and development of medicines and other important medical and biotechnological products. Previous Protein Crystal Growth experiments indicate that the microgravity environment of space allows larger crystals of higher quality to be grown as compared to the same crystals grown on the ground. It is therefore important to have a laboratory in space where protein crystals can be grown under carefully controlled conditions so that a crystal type can be reproduced as needed.

  8. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1987-01-01

    The solubility and growth mechanism of canavalin were studied, and the applicability of the Schlieren technique to protein crystal growth was investigated. Canavalin which may be crystallized from a basic solution by the addition of hydrogen (H+) ions was shown to have normal solubility characteristics over the range of temperatures (5 to 25 C) and pH (5 to 7.5) studied. The solubility data combined with growth rate data gathered from the seeded growth of canavalin crystals indicated that the growth mechanism at high supersaturation ratios (>1.28) is screw dislocation like. A Schlieren apparatus was constructed and flow patterns were observed in Rochelle salt (sodium potassium tartrate), lysozyme, and canavalin. The critical parameters were identified as the change in density with concentration (dp/dc) and the change in index of refraction with concentration (dn/dc). Some of these values were measured for the materials listed.

  9. An Integrated Framework Advancing Membrane Protein Modeling and Design

    PubMed Central

    Weitzner, Brian D.; Duran, Amanda M.; Tilley, Drew C.; Elazar, Assaf; Gray, Jeffrey J.

    2015-01-01

    Membrane proteins are critical functional molecules in the human body, constituting more than 30% of open reading frames in the human genome. Unfortunately, a myriad of difficulties in overexpression and reconstitution into membrane mimetics severely limit our ability to determine their structures. Computational tools are therefore instrumental to membrane protein structure prediction, consequently increasing our understanding of membrane protein function and their role in disease. Here, we describe a general framework facilitating membrane protein modeling and design that combines the scientific principles for membrane protein modeling with the flexible software architecture of Rosetta3. This new framework, called RosettaMP, provides a general membrane representation that interfaces with scoring, conformational sampling, and mutation routines that can be easily combined to create new protocols. To demonstrate the capabilities of this implementation, we developed four proof-of-concept applications for (1) prediction of free energy changes upon mutation; (2) high-resolution structural refinement; (3) protein-protein docking; and (4) assembly of symmetric protein complexes, all in the membrane environment. Preliminary data show that these algorithms can produce meaningful scores and structures. The data also suggest needed improvements to both sampling routines and score functions. Importantly, the applications collectively demonstrate the potential of combining the flexible nature of RosettaMP with the power of Rosetta algorithms to facilitate membrane protein modeling and design. PMID:26325167

  10. An Integrated Framework Advancing Membrane Protein Modeling and Design.

    PubMed

    Alford, Rebecca F; Koehler Leman, Julia; Weitzner, Brian D; Duran, Amanda M; Tilley, Drew C; Elazar, Assaf; Gray, Jeffrey J

    2015-09-01

    Membrane proteins are critical functional molecules in the human body, constituting more than 30% of open reading frames in the human genome. Unfortunately, a myriad of difficulties in overexpression and reconstitution into membrane mimetics severely limit our ability to determine their structures. Computational tools are therefore instrumental to membrane protein structure prediction, consequently increasing our understanding of membrane protein function and their role in disease. Here, we describe a general framework facilitating membrane protein modeling and design that combines the scientific principles for membrane protein modeling with the flexible software architecture of Rosetta3. This new framework, called RosettaMP, provides a general membrane representation that interfaces with scoring, conformational sampling, and mutation routines that can be easily combined to create new protocols. To demonstrate the capabilities of this implementation, we developed four proof-of-concept applications for (1) prediction of free energy changes upon mutation; (2) high-resolution structural refinement; (3) protein-protein docking; and (4) assembly of symmetric protein complexes, all in the membrane environment. Preliminary data show that these algorithms can produce meaningful scores and structures. The data also suggest needed improvements to both sampling routines and score functions. Importantly, the applications collectively demonstrate the potential of combining the flexible nature of RosettaMP with the power of Rosetta algorithms to facilitate membrane protein modeling and design. PMID:26325167

  11. Sampling the membrane: function of rhomboid-family proteins.

    PubMed

    Lemberg, Marius K

    2013-05-01

    Rhomboids constitute a conserved protein superfamily that specifically binds membrane proteins and directs them into various different cellular pathways ranging from regulated secretion to endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD). Rhomboid proteases are known to release protein domains from membranes by a cut in their membrane anchor, whereas an emerging new class of rhomboid-family proteins lacks key catalytic residues and is not proteolytically active. Recent work has shown that these rhomboid pseudoproteases, including iRhoms and derlins, bind membrane proteins to regulate their fate, but the underlying molecular mechanism is not known. This review summarizes recent advances in the molecular understanding of rhomboid-family proteins and discusses common principles in how they recognize and bind proteins in the plane of the membrane. PMID:23369641

  12. A topological and conformational stability alphabet for multipass membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Feng, Xiang; Barth, Patrick

    2016-03-01

    Multipass membrane proteins perform critical signal transduction and transport across membranes. How transmembrane helix (TMH) sequences encode the topology and conformational flexibility regulating these functions remains poorly understood. Here we describe a comprehensive analysis of the sequence-structure relationships at multiple interacting TMHs from all membrane proteins with structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). We found that membrane proteins can be deconstructed in interacting TMH trimer units, which mostly fold into six distinct structural classes of topologies and conformations. Each class is enriched in recurrent sequence motifs from functionally unrelated proteins, revealing unforeseen consensus and evolutionary conserved networks of stabilizing interhelical contacts. Interacting TMHs' topology and local protein conformational flexibility were remarkably well predicted in a blinded fashion from the identified binding-hotspot motifs. Our results reveal universal sequence-structure principles governing the complex anatomy and plasticity of multipass membrane proteins that may guide de novo structure prediction, design, and studies of folding and dynamics. PMID:26780406

  13. Pressure sensor based on flexible photonic crystal membrane.

    PubMed

    Karrock, Torben; Gerken, Martina

    2015-12-01

    We demonstrate a pressure sensor based on deformation of a periodically nanostructured Bragg grating waveguide on a flexible 50 µm polydimethylsiloxane membrane and remote optical read out. A pressure change causes deformation of this 2 mm diameter photonic crystal membrane sealing a reference volume. The resulting shift of the guided mode resonances is observed by a remote camera as localized color change. Crossed polarization filters are employed for enhancing the visibility of the guided mode resonances. Pressure values are calculated from the intensity change in the green color channel using a calibration curve in the range of 2000 Pa to 4000 Pa. A limit of detection (LOD) of 160 Pa is estimated. This LOD combined with the small size of the sensor and its biocompatibility render it promising for application as an implantable intraocular pressure sensor. PMID:26713204

  14. Pressure sensor based on flexible photonic crystal membrane

    PubMed Central

    Karrock, Torben; Gerken, Martina

    2015-01-01

    We demonstrate a pressure sensor based on deformation of a periodically nanostructured Bragg grating waveguide on a flexible 50 µm polydimethylsiloxane membrane and remote optical read out. A pressure change causes deformation of this 2 mm diameter photonic crystal membrane sealing a reference volume. The resulting shift of the guided mode resonances is observed by a remote camera as localized color change. Crossed polarization filters are employed for enhancing the visibility of the guided mode resonances. Pressure values are calculated from the intensity change in the green color channel using a calibration curve in the range of 2000 Pa to 4000 Pa. A limit of detection (LOD) of 160 Pa is estimated. This LOD combined with the small size of the sensor and its biocompatibility render it promising for application as an implantable intraocular pressure sensor. PMID:26713204

  15. Intrinsic membrane association of Drosophila cysteine string proteins.

    PubMed

    Mastrogiacomo, A; Kohan, S A; Whitelegge, J P; Gundersen, C B

    1998-09-25

    Cysteine string proteins (csps) are highly conserved constituents of vertebrate and invertebrate secretory organelles. Biochemical and immunoprecipitation experiments implied that vertebrate csps were integral membrane proteins that were tethered to the outer leaflet of secretory vesicles via the fatty acyl residues of their extensively acylated cysteine string. Independently, work of others suggested that Drosophila csps were peripheral membrane proteins that were anchored to membranes by a mechanism that was independent of the cysteine string and its fatty acyl residues. We extended these investigation and found first that sodium carbonate treatment partially stripped both csps and the integral membrane protein, synaptotagmin, from Drosophila membranes. Concomitantly, carbonate released fatty acids into the medium, arguing that it has a mild, solubilizing effect on these membranes. Second, we observed that Drosophila csps behaved like integral membrane proteins in Triton X-114 partitioning experiments. Third, we found that when membrane-bound csps were deacylated, they remained membrane bound. Moreover, it appeared that hydrophobic interactions were necessary for this persistent membrane association of csps. Thus, neither reducing conditions, urea, nor chaotropic agents displaced deacylated csps from membranes. Only detergents were effective in solubilizing deacylated csps. Finally, by virtue of the inaccessibility of deacylated csps to thiol alkylation by the membrane-impermeant alkylating reagent, iodoacetic acid, we inferred that it was the cysteine string domain that mediated the membrane association of deacylated csps. Thus, we conclude that under physiological conditions csps are integral membrane proteins of secretory organelles, and that the cysteine string domain plays a vital role in the membrane association of these proteins. PMID:9771899

  16. Flextensional Single Crystal Piezoelectric Actuators for Membrane Deformable Mirrors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jiang, Xiaoning; Sahul, Raffi; Hackenberger, Wesley S.

    2006-01-01

    Large aperture and light weight space telescopes requires adaptive optics with deformable mirrors capable of large amplitude aberration corrections at a broad temperature range for space applications including NASA missions such as SAFIR, TPF, Con-X, etc. The single crystal piezoelectric actuators produced at TRS offer large stroke, low hysteresis, and an excellent cryogenic strain response. Specifically, the recently developed low profile, low voltage flextensional single crystal piezoelectric actuators with dimensions of 18 x 5 x 1 mm showed stroke larger than 95 microns under 300 V. Furthermore, flextensional actuator retained approx. 40-50% of its room temperature strain at liquid Nitrogen environment. In this paper, ATILA FEM design of flextensional actuators, actuator fabrication, and characterization results will be presented for the future work on membrane deformable mirror.

  17. Bacillus thuringiensis and Its Pesticidal Crystal Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Schnepf, E.; Crickmore, N.; Van Rie, J.; Lereclus, D.; Baum, J.; Feitelson, J.; Zeigler, D. R.; Dean, D. H.

    1998-01-01

    During the past decade the pesticidal bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis has been the subject of intensive research. These efforts have yielded considerable data about the complex relationships between the structure, mechanism of action, and genetics of the organism’s pesticidal crystal proteins, and a coherent picture of these relationships is beginning to emerge. Other studies have focused on the ecological role of the B. thuringiensis crystal proteins, their performance in agricultural and other natural settings, and the evolution of resistance mechanisms in target pests. Armed with this knowledge base and with the tools of modern biotechnology, researchers are now reporting promising results in engineering more-useful toxins and formulations, in creating transgenic plants that express pesticidal activity, and in constructing integrated management strategies to insure that these products are utilized with maximum efficiency and benefit. PMID:9729609

  18. The Use of Detergents to Purify Membrane Proteins.

    PubMed

    Orwick-Rydmark, Marcella; Arnold, Thomas; Linke, Dirk

    2016-01-01

    Extraction of membrane proteins from biological membranes is usually accomplished with the help of detergents. This unit describes the use of detergents to solubilize and purify membrane proteins. The chemical and physical properties of the different classes of detergents typically used with biological samples are discussed. A separate section addresses the compatibility of detergents with applications downstream of the membrane protein purification process, such as optical spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, protein crystallography, biomolecular NMR, or electron microscopy. A brief summary of alternative membrane protein solubilizing and stabilizing systems is also included. Protocols in this unit include the isolation and solubilization of biological membranes and phase separation; support protocols for detergent removal, detergent exchange, and the determination of critical micelle concentration using different methods are also included. PMID:27038269

  19. Bilayer-thickness-mediated interactions between integral membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Kahraman, Osman; Koch, Peter D; Klug, William S; Haselwandter, Christoph A

    2016-04-01

    Hydrophobic thickness mismatch between integral membrane proteins and the surrounding lipid bilayer can produce lipid bilayer thickness deformations. Experiment and theory have shown that protein-induced lipid bilayer thickness deformations can yield energetically favorable bilayer-mediated interactions between integral membrane proteins, and large-scale organization of integral membrane proteins into protein clusters in cell membranes. Within the continuum elasticity theory of membranes, the energy cost of protein-induced bilayer thickness deformations can be captured by considering compression and expansion of the bilayer hydrophobic core, membrane tension, and bilayer bending, resulting in biharmonic equilibrium equations describing the shape of lipid bilayers for a given set of bilayer-protein boundary conditions. Here we develop a combined analytic and numerical methodology for the solution of the equilibrium elastic equations associated with protein-induced lipid bilayer deformations. Our methodology allows accurate prediction of thickness-mediated protein interactions for arbitrary protein symmetries at arbitrary protein separations and relative orientations. We provide exact analytic solutions for cylindrical integral membrane proteins with constant and varying hydrophobic thickness, and develop perturbative analytic solutions for noncylindrical protein shapes. We complement these analytic solutions, and assess their accuracy, by developing both finite element and finite difference numerical solution schemes. We provide error estimates of our numerical solution schemes and systematically assess their convergence properties. Taken together, the work presented here puts into place an analytic and numerical framework which allows calculation of bilayer-mediated elastic interactions between integral membrane proteins for the complicated protein shapes suggested by structural biology and at the small protein separations most relevant for the crowded membrane

  20. Bilayer-thickness-mediated interactions between integral membrane proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahraman, Osman; Koch, Peter D.; Klug, William S.; Haselwandter, Christoph A.

    2016-04-01

    Hydrophobic thickness mismatch between integral membrane proteins and the surrounding lipid bilayer can produce lipid bilayer thickness deformations. Experiment and theory have shown that protein-induced lipid bilayer thickness deformations can yield energetically favorable bilayer-mediated interactions between integral membrane proteins, and large-scale organization of integral membrane proteins into protein clusters in cell membranes. Within the continuum elasticity theory of membranes, the energy cost of protein-induced bilayer thickness deformations can be captured by considering compression and expansion of the bilayer hydrophobic core, membrane tension, and bilayer bending, resulting in biharmonic equilibrium equations describing the shape of lipid bilayers for a given set of bilayer-protein boundary conditions. Here we develop a combined analytic and numerical methodology for the solution of the equilibrium elastic equations associated with protein-induced lipid bilayer deformations. Our methodology allows accurate prediction of thickness-mediated protein interactions for arbitrary protein symmetries at arbitrary protein separations and relative orientations. We provide exact analytic solutions for cylindrical integral membrane proteins with constant and varying hydrophobic thickness, and develop perturbative analytic solutions for noncylindrical protein shapes. We complement these analytic solutions, and assess their accuracy, by developing both finite element and finite difference numerical solution schemes. We provide error estimates of our numerical solution schemes and systematically assess their convergence properties. Taken together, the work presented here puts into place an analytic and numerical framework which allows calculation of bilayer-mediated elastic interactions between integral membrane proteins for the complicated protein shapes suggested by structural biology and at the small protein separations most relevant for the crowded membrane

  1. Crystallization of G Protein-Coupled Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Salom, David; Padayatti, Pius S.; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2015-01-01

    Oligomerization is one of several mechanisms that can regulate the activity of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), but little is known about the structure of GPCR oligomers. Crystallography and NMR are the only methods able to reveal the details of receptor–receptor interactions at an atomic level, and several GPCR homodimers already have been described from crystal structures. Two clusters of symmetric interfaces have been identified from these structures that concur with biochemical data, one involving helices I, II, and VIII and the other formed mainly by helices V and VI. In this chapter, we describe the protocols used in our laboratory for the crystallization of rhodopsin and the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2-AR). For bovine rhodopsin, we developed a new purification strategy including a (NH4)2SO4-induced phase separation that proved essential to obtain crystals of photoactivated rhodopsin containing parallel dimers. Crystallization of native bovine rhodopsin was achieved by the classic vapor-diffusion technique. For β2-AR, we developed a purification strategy based on previously published protocols employing a lipidic cubic phase to obtain diffracting crystals of a β2-AR/T4-lysozyme chimera bound to the antagonist carazolol. PMID:24143992

  2. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Gamma-Interferon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Gamma-Interferon. Stimulates the body's immune system and is used clinically in the treatment of cancer. Potential as an anti-tumor agent against solid tumors as well as leukemia's and lymphomas. It has additional utility as an anti-ineffective agent, including antiviral, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic activities. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Charles Bugg.

  3. Optical monitoring of protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choudry, A.

    1988-01-01

    The possibility of using various optical techniques for detecting the onset of nucleation in protein crystal growth was investigated. Direct microscopy, general metrologic techniques, light scattering, ultraviolet absorption, and interferometry are addressed along with techniques for determining pH value. The necessity for collecting basic data on the optical properties of the growth solution as a prerequisite to the evaluation of monitoring techniques is pointed out.

  4. When proteins are completely hydrated in crystals.

    PubMed

    Carugo, Oliviero

    2016-08-01

    In the crystalline state, protein surface patches that do not form crystal packing contacts are exposed to the solvent and one or more layers of hydration water molecules can be observed. It is well known that these water molecules cannot be observed at very low resolution, when the scarcity of experimental information precludes the observation of several parts of the protein molecule, like for example side-chains at the protein surface. On the contrary, more details are observable at high resolution. Here it is shown that it is necessary to reach a resolution of about 1.5-1.6Å to observe a continuous hydration layer at the protein surface. This contrasts previous estimations, which were more tolerant and according to which a resolution of 2.5Å was sufficient to describe at the atomic level the structure of the hydration layer. These results should prove useful in guiding a more rigorous selection of structural data to study protein hydration and in interpreting new crystal structures. PMID:27112977

  5. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1995-01-01

    During the fourth semi-annual period under this grant we have pursued the following activities: (1) crystal growth morphology and kinetics studies with tetragonal lysozyme. These clearly revealed the influence of higher molecular weight protein impurities on interface shape; (2) characterization of the purity and further purification of lysozyme solutions. These efforts have, for the first time, resulted in lysozyme free of higher molecular weight components; (3) continuation of the salt repartitioning studies with Seikagaku lysozyme, which has a lower protein impurity content that Sigma stock. These efforts confirmed our earlier findings of higher salt contents in smaller crystals. However, less salt is in corporated into the crystals grown from Seikagaku stock. This strongly suggests a dependence of salt repartitioning on the concentration of protein impurities in lysozyme. To test this hypothesis, repartitioning studies with the high purity lysozyme prepared in-house will be begun shortly; (4) numerical modelling of the interaction between bulk transport and interface kinetics. These simulations have produced interface shapes which are in good agreement with out experimental observations; and (5) light scattering studies on under- and supersaturated lysozyme solutions. A consistent interpretation of the static and dynamic data leaves little doubt that pre-nucleation clusters, claimed to exist even in undersaturated solutions, are not present. The article: 'Growth morphology response to nutrient and impurity nonuniformities' is attached.

  6. The plug-based nanovolume Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS)

    SciTech Connect

    Gerdts, Cory J.; Elliott, Mark; Lovell, Scott; Mixon, Mark B.; Napuli, Alberto J.; Staker, Bart L.; Nollert, Peter; Stewart, Lance

    2008-11-01

    The Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS) is a new protein-crystallization technology used to generate nanolitre-sized crystallization experiments for crystal screening and optimization. Using the MPCS, diffraction-ready crystals were grown in the plastic MPCS CrystalCard and were used to solve the structure of methionine-R-sulfoxide reductase. The Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS) embodies a new semi-automated plug-based crystallization technology which enables nanolitre-volume screening of crystallization conditions in a plasticware format that allows crystals to be easily removed for traditional cryoprotection and X-ray diffraction data collection. Protein crystals grown in these plastic devices can be directly subjected to in situ X-ray diffraction studies. The MPCS integrates the formulation of crystallization cocktails with the preparation of the crystallization experiments. Within microfluidic Teflon tubing or the microfluidic circuitry of a plastic CrystalCard, ∼10–20 nl volume droplets are generated, each representing a microbatch-style crystallization experiment with a different chemical composition. The entire protein sample is utilized in crystallization experiments. Sparse-matrix screening and chemical gradient screening can be combined in one comprehensive ‘hybrid’ crystallization trial. The technology lends itself well to optimization by high-granularity gradient screening using optimization reagents such as precipitation agents, ligands or cryoprotectants.

  7. Towards Co-Evolution of Membrane Proteins and Metabolism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Michael A.; Wei, Chenyu; Pohorille, Andrew

    2014-12-01

    Primordial metabolism co-evolved with the earliest membrane peptides to produce more environmentally fit progeny. Here, we map a continuous, evolutionary path that connects nascent biochemistry with simple, membrane-bound oligopeptides, ion channels and, further, membrane proteins capable of energy transduction and utilization of energy for active transport.

  8. Guided reconstitution of membrane protein fragments.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Leah S; Arshava, Boris; Kauffman, Sarah; Mathew, Elizabeth; Fracchiolla, Katrina E; Ding, Fa-Xiang; Dumont, Mark E; Becker, Jeffrey M; Naider, Fred

    2014-01-01

    Structural analysis by NMR of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) has proven to be extremely challenging. To reduce the number of peaks in the NMR spectra by segmentally labeling a GPCR, we have developed a Guided Reconstitution method that includes the use of charged residues and Cys activation to drive heterodimeric disulfide bond formation. Three different cysteine-activating reagents: 5-5'-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoic acid) [DTNB], 2,2'-dithiobis(5-nitropyridine) [DTNP], and 4,4'-dipyridyl disulfide [4-PDS] were analyzed to determine their efficiency in heterodimer formation at different pHs. Short peptides representing the N-terminal (NT) and C-terminal (CT) regions of the first extracellular loop (EL1) of Ste2p, the Saccharomyces cerevisiae alpha-factor mating receptor, were activated using these reagents and the efficiencies of activation and rates of heterodimerization were analyzed. Activation of NT peptides with DTNP and 4-PDS resulted in about 60% yield, but heterodimerization was rapid and nearly quantitative. Double transmembrane domain protein fragments were biosynthesized and used in Guided Reconstitution reactions. A 102-residue fragment, 2TM-tail [Ste2p(G31-I120C)], was heterodimerized with CT-EL1-tail(DTNP) at pH 4.6 with a yield of ∼75%. A 132-residue fragment, 2TMlong-tail [Ste2p(M1-I120C)], was expressed in both unlabeled and (15)N-labeled forms and used with a peptide comprising the third transmembrane domain, to generate a 180-residue segmentally labeled 3TM protein that was found to be segmentally labeled using [(15)N,(1)H]-HSQC analysis. Our data indicate that the Guided Reconstitution method would be applicable to the segmental labeling of a membrane protein with 3 transmembrane domains and may prove useful in the preparation of an intact reconstituted GPCR for use in biophysical analysis and structure determination. PMID:23897574

  9. Expression strategies for structural studies of eukaryotic membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Lyons, Joseph A; Shahsavar, Azadeh; Paulsen, Peter Aasted; Pedersen, Bjørn Panyella; Nissen, Poul

    2016-06-01

    Integral membrane proteins in eukaryotes are central to various cellular processes and key targets in structural biology, biotechnology and drug development. However, the number of available structures for eukaryotic membrane protein belies their physiological importance. Recently, the number of available eukaryotic membrane protein structures has been steadily increasing due to the development of novel strategies in construct design, expression and structure determination. Here, we examine the major expression systems exploited for eukaryotic membrane proteins. Additionally we strive to tabulate and describe the recent expression strategies in eukaryotic membrane protein structural biology. We find that a majority of targets have been expressed in advanced host systems and modified from their wild-type form with distinct focus on conformation and thermostabilisation. However, strategies for native protein purification should also be considered where possible, particularly in light of the recent advances in single particle cryo electron microscopy. PMID:27362979

  10. Anomalous diffusion of proteins in sheared lipid membranes.

    PubMed

    Khoshnood, Atefeh; Jalali, Mir Abbas

    2013-09-01

    We use coarse grained molecular dynamics simulations to investigate diffusion properties of sheared lipid membranes with embedded transmembrane proteins. In membranes without proteins, we find normal in-plane diffusion of lipids in all flow conditions. Protein embedded membranes behave quite differently: by imposing a simple shear flow and sliding the monolayers of the membrane over each other, the motion of protein clusters becomes strongly superdiffusive in the shear direction. In such a circumstance, the subdiffusion regime is predominant perpendicular to the flow. We show that superdiffusion is a result of accelerated chaotic motions of protein-lipid complexes within the membrane voids, which are generated by hydrophobic mismatch or the transport of lipids by proteins. PMID:24125292

  11. Crystal Structure of the Herpesvirus Nuclear Egress Complex Provides Insights into Inner Nuclear Membrane Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Zeev-Ben-Mordehai, Tzviya; Weberruß, Marion; Lorenz, Michael; Cheleski, Juliana; Hellberg, Teresa; Whittle, Cathy; El Omari, Kamel; Vasishtan, Daven; Dent, Kyle C.; Harlos, Karl; Franzke, Kati; Hagen, Christoph; Klupp, Barbara G.; Antonin, Wolfram; Mettenleiter, Thomas C.; Grünewald, Kay

    2015-01-01

    Summary Although nucleo-cytoplasmic transport is typically mediated through nuclear pore complexes, herpesvirus capsids exit the nucleus via a unique vesicular pathway. Together, the conserved herpesvirus proteins pUL31 and pUL34 form the heterodimeric nuclear egress complex (NEC), which, in turn, mediates the formation of tight-fitting membrane vesicles around capsids at the inner nuclear membrane. Here, we present the crystal structure of the pseudorabies virus NEC. The structure revealed that a zinc finger motif in pUL31 and an extensive interaction network between the two proteins stabilize the complex. Comprehensive mutational analyses, characterized both in situ and in vitro, indicated that the interaction network is not redundant but rather complementary. Fitting of the NEC crystal structure into the recently determined cryoEM-derived hexagonal lattice, formed in situ by pUL31 and pUL34, provided details on the molecular basis of NEC coat formation and inner nuclear membrane remodeling. PMID:26711332

  12. Size-dependent protein segregation at membrane interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmid, Eva M.; Bakalar, Matthew H.; Choudhuri, Kaushik; Weichsel, Julian; Ann, Hyoung Sook; Geissler, Phillip L.; Dustin, Michael L.; Fletcher, Daniel A.

    2016-07-01

    Membrane interfaces formed at cell-cell junctions are associated with characteristic patterns of membrane proteins whose organization is critical for intracellular signalling. To isolate the role of membrane protein size in pattern formation, we reconstituted model membrane interfaces in vitro using giant unilamellar vesicles decorated with synthetic binding and non-binding proteins. We show that size differences between membrane proteins can drastically alter their organization at membrane interfaces, with as little as a ~5 nm increase in non-binding protein size driving its exclusion from the interface. Combining in vitro measurements with Monte Carlo simulations, we find that non-binding protein exclusion is also influenced by lateral crowding, binding protein affinity, and thermally driven membrane height fluctuations that transiently limit access to the interface. This sensitive and highly effective means of physically segregating proteins has implications for cell-cell contacts such as T-cell immunological synapses (for example, CD45 exclusion) and epithelial cell junctions (for example, E-cadherin enrichment), as well as for protein sorting at intracellular contact points between membrane-bound organelles.

  13. Electron crystallography of PhoE porin, an outer membrane, channel- forming protein from E. coli

    SciTech Connect

    Walian, P.J.

    1989-11-01

    One approach to studying the structure of membrane proteins is the use of electron crystallography. Dr. Bing Jap has crystallized PhoE pore-forming protein (porin) from the outer membrane of escherichia coli (E. coli) into monolayer crystals. The findings of this research and those of Jap (1988, 1989) have determined these crystals to be highly ordered, yielding structural information to a resolution of better than 2.8 angstroms. The task of this thesis has been to collect and process the electron diffraction patterns necessary to generate a complete three-dimensional set of high resolution structure factor amplitudes of PhoE porin. Fourier processing of these amplitudes when combined with the corresponding phase data is expected to yield the three-dimensional structure of PhoE porin at better than 3.5 angstroms resolution. 92 refs., 33 figs., 3 tabs. (CBS)

  14. Membrane Protein Mobility and Orientation Preserved in Supported Bilayers Created Directly from Cell Plasma Membrane Blebs.

    PubMed

    Richards, Mark J; Hsia, Chih-Yun; Singh, Rohit R; Haider, Huma; Kumpf, Julia; Kawate, Toshimitsu; Daniel, Susan

    2016-03-29

    Membrane protein interactions with lipids are crucial for their native biological behavior, yet traditional characterization methods are often carried out on purified protein in the absence of lipids. We present a simple method to transfer membrane proteins expressed in mammalian cells to an assay-friendly, cushioned, supported lipid bilayer platform using cell blebs as an intermediate. Cell blebs, expressing either GPI-linked yellow fluorescent proteins or neon-green fused transmembrane P2X2 receptors, were induced to rupture on glass surfaces using PEGylated lipid vesicles, which resulted in planar supported membranes with over 50% mobility for multipass transmembrane proteins and over 90% for GPI-linked proteins. Fluorescent proteins were tracked, and their diffusion in supported bilayers characterized, using single molecule tracking and moment scaling spectrum (MSS) analysis. Diffusion was characterized for individual proteins as either free or confined, revealing details of the local lipid membrane heterogeneity surrounding the protein. A particularly useful result of our bilayer formation process is the protein orientation in the supported planar bilayer. For both the GPI-linked and transmembrane proteins used here, an enzymatic assay revealed that protein orientation in the planar bilayer results in the extracellular domains facing toward the bulk, and that the dominant mode of bleb rupture is via the "parachute" mechanism. Mobility, orientation, and preservation of the native lipid environment of the proteins using cell blebs offers advantages over proteoliposome reconstitution or disrupted cell membrane preparations, which necessarily result in significant scrambling of protein orientation and typically immobilized membrane proteins in SLBs. The bleb-based bilayer platform presented here is an important step toward integrating membrane proteomic studies on chip, especially for future studies aimed at understanding fundamental effects of lipid interactions

  15. Membrane interaction of retroviral Gag proteins

    PubMed Central

    Dick, Robert A.; Vogt, Volker M.

    2014-01-01

    Assembly of an infectious retroviral particle relies on multimerization of the Gag polyprotein at the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane. The three domains of Gag common to all retroviruses – MA, CA, and NC – provide the signals for membrane binding, assembly, and viral RNA packaging, respectively. These signals do not function independently of one another. For example, Gag multimerization enhances membrane binding and is more efficient when NC is interacting with RNA. MA binding to the plasma membrane is governed by several principles, including electrostatics, recognition of specific lipid head groups, hydrophobic interactions, and membrane order. HIV-1 uses many of these principles while Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) appears to use fewer. This review describes the principles that govern Gag interactions with membranes, focusing on RSV and HIV-1 Gag. The review also defines lipid and membrane behavior, and discusses the complexities in determining how lipid and membrane behavior impact Gag membrane binding. PMID:24808894

  16. Do protein crystals nucleate within dense liquid clusters?

    PubMed Central

    Maes, Dominique; Vorontsova, Maria A.; Potenza, Marco A. C.; Sanvito, Tiziano; Sleutel, Mike; Giglio, Marzio; Vekilov, Peter G.

    2015-01-01

    Protein-dense liquid clusters are regions of high protein concentration that have been observed in solutions of several proteins. The typical cluster size varies from several tens to several hundreds of nanometres and their volume fraction remains below 10−3 of the solution. According to the two-step mechanism of nucleation, the protein-rich clusters serve as locations for and precursors to the nucleation of protein crystals. While the two-step mechanism explained several unusual features of protein crystal nucleation kinetics, a direct observation of its validity for protein crystals has been lacking. Here, two independent observations of crystal nucleation with the proteins lysozyme and glucose isomerase are discussed. Firstly, the evolutions of the protein-rich clusters and nucleating crystals were characterized simultaneously by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and confocal depolarized dynamic light scattering (cDDLS), respectively. It is demonstrated that protein crystals appear following a significant delay after cluster formation. The cDDLS correlation functions follow a Gaussian decay, indicative of nondiffusive motion. A possible explanation is that the crystals are contained inside large clusters and are driven by the elasticity of the cluster surface. Secondly, depolarized oblique illumination dark-field microscopy reveals the evolution from liquid clusters without crystals to newly nucleated crystals contained in the clusters to grown crystals freely diffusing in the solution. Collectively, the observations indicate that the protein-rich clusters in lysozyme and glucose isomerase solutions are locations for crystal nucleation. PMID:26144225

  17. Single molecule techniques for the study of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    García-Sáez, Ana J; Schwille, Petra

    2007-08-01

    Single molecule techniques promise novel information about the properties and behavior of individual particles, thus enabling access to molecular heterogeneities in biological systems. Their recent developments to accommodate membrane studies have significantly deepened the understanding of membrane proteins. In this short review, we will describe the basics of the three most common single-molecule techniques used on membrane proteins: fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, single particle tracking, and atomic force microscopy. We will discuss the most relevant findings made during the recent years and their contribution to the membrane protein field. PMID:17497147

  18. Adaptation of low-resolution methods for the study of yeast microsomal polytopic membrane proteins: a methodological review.

    PubMed

    Bochud, Arlette; Ramachandra, Nagaraju; Conzelmann, Andreas

    2013-02-01

    Most integral membrane proteins of yeast with two or more membrane-spanning sequences have not yet been crystallized and for many of them the side on which the active sites or ligand-binding domains reside is unknown. Also, bioinformatic topology predictions are not yet fully reliable. However, so-called low-resolution biochemical methods can be used to locate hydrophilic loops or individual residues of polytopic membrane proteins at one or the other side of the membrane. The advantages and limitations of several such methods for topological studies with yeast ER integral membrane proteins are discussed. We also describe new tools that allow us to better control and validate results obtained with SCAM (substituted cysteine accessibility method), an approach that determines the position of individual residues with respect to the membrane plane, whereby only minimal changes in the primary sequence have to be introduced into the protein of interest. PMID:23356255

  19. High-Throughput Baculovirus Expression System for Membrane Protein Production.

    PubMed

    Kalathur, Ravi C; Panganiban, Marinela; Bruni, Renato

    2016-01-01

    The ease of use, robustness, cost-effectiveness, and posttranslational machinery make baculovirus expression system a popular choice for production of eukaryotic membrane proteins. This system can be readily adapted for high-throughput operations. This chapter outlines the techniques and procedures for cloning, transfection, small-scale production, and purification of membrane protein samples in a high-throughput manner. PMID:27485337

  20. Recent Progress in the Structure Determination of GPCRs, a Membrane Protein Family with High Potential as Pharmaceutical Targets

    SciTech Connect

    Cherezov, Vadim; Abola, Enrique; Stevens, Raymond C.

    2015-11-30

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute a highly diverse and ubiquitous family of integral membrane proteins, transmitting signals inside the cells in response to an assortment of disparate extra-cellular stimuli. Their strategic location on the cell surface and their involvement in crucial cellular and physiological processes turn these receptors into highly important pharmaceutical targets. Recent technological developments aimed at stabilization and crystallization of these receptors have led to significant breakthroughs in GPCR structure determination efforts. One of the successful approaches involved receptor stabilization with the help of a fusion partner combined with crystallization in lipidic cubic phase (LCP). The success of using an LCP matrix for crystallization is generally attributed to the creation of a more native, membrane-like stabilizing environment for GPCRs just prior to nucleation and to the formation of type I crystal lattices, thus generating highly ordered and strongly diffracting crystals. Here they describe protocols for reconstituting purified GPCRs in LCP, performing pre-crystallization assays, setting up crystallization trials in manual mode, detecting crystallization hits, optimizing crystallization conditions, harvesting, and collecting crystallographic data. The protocols provide a sensible framework for approaching crystallization of stabilized GPCRs in LCP, however, as in any crystallization experiment, extensive screening and optimization of crystallization conditions as well as optimization of protein construct and purification steps are required. The process remains risky and these protocols do not necessarily guarantee success.

  1. Network pattern of residue packing in helical membrane proteins and its application in membrane protein structure prediction.

    PubMed

    Pabuwal, Vagmita; Li, Zhijun

    2008-01-01

    De novo protein structure prediction plays an important role in studies of helical membrane proteins as well as structure-based drug design efforts. Developing an accurate scoring function for protein structure discrimination and validation remains a current challenge. Network approaches based on overall network patterns of residue packing have proven useful in soluble protein structure discrimination. It is thus of interest to apply similar approaches to the studies of residue packing in membrane proteins. In this work, we first carried out such analysis on a set of diverse, non-redundant and high-resolution membrane protein structures. Next, we applied the same approach to three test sets. The first set includes nine structures of membrane proteins with the resolution worse than 2.5 A; the other two sets include a total of 101 G-protein coupled receptor models, constructed using either de novo or homology modeling techniques. Results of analyses indicate the two criteria derived from studying high-resolution membrane protein structures are good indicators of a high-quality native fold and the approach is very effective for discriminating native membrane protein folds from less-native ones. These findings should be of help for the investigation of the fundamental problem of membrane protein structure prediction. PMID:18178566

  2. IR laser-induced protein crystal transformation

    PubMed Central

    Kiefersauer, Reiner; Grandl, Brigitte; Krapp, Stephan; Huber, Robert

    2014-01-01

    A method and the design of instrumentation, and its preliminary practical realisation, including test experiments, with the object of inducing phase changes of biomolecular crystals by controlled dehydration through heating with infrared (IR) light are described. The aim is to generate and select crystalline phases through transformation in the solid state which have improved order (higher resolution in X-ray diffraction experiments) and reduced mosaic spread (more uniformly aligned mosaic blocks) for diffraction data collection and analysis. The crystal is heated by pulsed and/or constant IR laser irradiation. Loss of crystal water following heating and its reabsorption through equilibration with the environment is measured optically by a video system. Heating proved superior to traditional controlled dehydration by humidity change for the test cases CODH (carbon monoxide dehydrogenase) and CLK2 (a protein kinase). Heating with IR light is experimentally simple and offers an exploration of a much broader parameter space than the traditional method, as it allows the option of varying the rate of phase changes through modification of the IR pulse strength, width and repeat frequency. It impacts the crystal instantaneously, isotropically and homogeneously, and is therefore expected to cause less mechanical stress. PMID:24816092

  3. A protein coated piezoelectric crystal detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suleiman, Ahmad; Pender, Marie; Ngeh-Ngwainbi, Jerome; Lubrano, Glenn; Guilbault, George

    1990-05-01

    The purpose of this project was to develop a protein coated, portable piezoelectric crystal detector for organophosphorus compounds. The performance of acetylcholinesterase, GD-1 anti-soman, anti-DMMP antibody, and bovine serum albumin (BSA) coatings was evaluated. Different immobilization methods were also tested. The responses obtained with the protein coatings immobilized via cross-linking with glutaraldehyde were acceptable, provided that the reference crystal was coated with dextran. The proposed coatings showed good stability and reasonable lifetimes that ranged from approximately three weeks in the case of the antibody coatings to several months in the case of BSA. Although moisture, gasoline, and sulfur are potential interferents, their effects on the sensor were eliminated by using a sodium sulfate scrubber which did not affect the performance of the detector towards organophosphates. A small, battery operated portable instrument capable of real time measurements with alarm function was produced. The instrument can be used in a wide range of applications, depending on the coatings applied to the crystals.

  4. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1993-01-01

    The experimental setup for the in-situ high resolution optical monitoring of protein crystal growth/dissolution morphologies was substantially improved. By augmenting the observation system with a temperature-controlled enclosure, laser illumination for the interferometric microscope, and software for pixel by pixel light intensity recording, a height resolution of about two unit cells for lysozyme can now be obtained. The repartitioning of Na(+) and Cl(-) ions between lysozyme solutions and crystals was studied. Quite unexpectedly, it was found that the longer crystals were in contact with their solution, the lower was their ion content. The development of a model for diffusive-convective transport and resulting distribution of the growth rate on facets was completed. Results obtained for a realistic growth cell geometry show interesting differences between 'growth runs' at 1g and 0g. The kinematic viscosity of lysozyme solutions of various supersaturations and salt concentrations was monitored over time. In contrast to the preliminary finding of other authors, no changes in viscosity were found over four days. The experimental setup for light scattering investigations of aggregation and nucleation in protein solutions was completed, and a computer program for the evaluation of multi-angle light scattering data was acquired.

  5. Do protein crystals nucleate within dense liquid clusters?

    SciTech Connect

    Maes, Dominique; Vorontsova, Maria A.; Potenza, Marco A. C.; Sanvito, Tiziano; Sleutel, Mike; Giglio, Marzio; Vekilov, Peter G.

    2015-06-27

    The evolution of protein-rich clusters and nucleating crystals were characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS), confocal depolarized dynamic light scattering (cDDLS) and depolarized oblique illumination dark-field microscopy. Newly nucleated crystals within protein-rich clusters were detected directly. These observations indicate that the protein-rich clusters are locations for crystal nucleation. Protein-dense liquid clusters are regions of high protein concentration that have been observed in solutions of several proteins. The typical cluster size varies from several tens to several hundreds of nanometres and their volume fraction remains below 10{sup −3} of the solution. According to the two-step mechanism of nucleation, the protein-rich clusters serve as locations for and precursors to the nucleation of protein crystals. While the two-step mechanism explained several unusual features of protein crystal nucleation kinetics, a direct observation of its validity for protein crystals has been lacking. Here, two independent observations of crystal nucleation with the proteins lysozyme and glucose isomerase are discussed. Firstly, the evolutions of the protein-rich clusters and nucleating crystals were characterized simultaneously by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and confocal depolarized dynamic light scattering (cDDLS), respectively. It is demonstrated that protein crystals appear following a significant delay after cluster formation. The cDDLS correlation functions follow a Gaussian decay, indicative of nondiffusive motion. A possible explanation is that the crystals are contained inside large clusters and are driven by the elasticity of the cluster surface. Secondly, depolarized oblique illumination dark-field microscopy reveals the evolution from liquid clusters without crystals to newly nucleated crystals contained in the clusters to grown crystals freely diffusing in the solution. Collectively, the observations indicate that the protein-rich clusters in

  6. The Hydrophobic Insertion Mechanism of Membrane Curvature Generation by Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Campelo, Felix; McMahon, Harvey T.; Kozlov, Michael M.

    2008-01-01

    A wide spectrum of intracellular processes is dependent on the ability of cells to dynamically regulate membrane shape. Membrane bending by proteins is necessary for the generation of intracellular transport carriers and for the maintenance of otherwise intrinsically unstable regions of high membrane curvature in cell organelles. Understanding the mechanisms by which proteins curve membranes is therefore of primary importance. Here we suggest, for the first time to our knowledge, a quantitative mechanism of lipid membrane bending by hydrophobic or amphipathic rodlike inclusions which simulate amphipathic α-helices—structures shown to sculpt membranes. Considering the lipid monolayer matrix as an anisotropic elastic material, we compute the intramembrane stresses and strains generated by the embedded inclusions, determine the resulting membrane shapes, and the accumulated elastic energy. We characterize the ability of an inclusion to bend membranes by an effective spontaneous curvature, and show that shallow rodlike inclusions are more effective in membrane shaping than are lipids having a high propensity for curvature. Our computations provide experimentally testable predictions on the protein amounts needed to generate intracellular membrane shapes for various insertion depths and membrane thicknesses. We also predict that the ability of N-BAR domains to produce membrane tubules in vivo can be ascribed solely to insertion of their amphipathic helices. PMID:18515373

  7. A comprehensive strategy to identify stoichiometric membrane protein interactomes

    PubMed Central

    Gokhale, Avanti; Perez-Cornejo, Patricia; Duran, Charity; Hartzell, H. Criss; Faundez, Victor

    2012-01-01

    There are numerous experimental approaches to identify the interaction networks of soluble proteins, but strategies for the identification of membrane protein interactomes remain limited. We discuss in detail the logic of an experimental design that led us to identify the interactome of a membrane protein of complex membrane topology, the calcium activated chloride channel Anoctamin 1/Tmem16a (Ano1). We used covalent chemical stabilizers of protein-protein interactions combined with magnetic bead immuno-affinity chromatography, quantitative SILAC mass-spectrometry and in silico network construction. This strategy led us to define a putative Ano1 interactome from which we selected key components for functional testing. We propose a combination of procedures to narrow down candidate proteins interacting with a membrane protein of interest for further functional studies. PMID:23676845

  8. Negative Ions Enhance Survival of Membrane Protein Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liko, Idlir; Hopper, Jonathan T. S.; Allison, Timothy M.; Benesch, Justin L. P.; Robinson, Carol V.

    2016-06-01

    Membrane protein complexes are commonly introduced to the mass spectrometer solubilized in detergent micelles. The collisional activation used to remove the detergent, however, often causes protein unfolding and dissociation. As in the case for soluble proteins, electrospray in the positive ion mode is most commonly used for the study of membrane proteins. Here we show several distinct advantages of employing the negative ion mode. Negative polarity can yield lower average charge states for membrane proteins solubilized in saccharide detergents, with enhanced peak resolution and reduced adduct formation. Most importantly, we demonstrate that negative ion mode electrospray ionization (ESI) minimizes subunit dissociation in the gas phase, allowing access to biologically relevant oligomeric states. Together, these properties mean that intact membrane protein ions can be generated in a greater range of solubilizing detergents. The formation of negative ions, therefore, greatly expands the possibilities of using mass spectrometry on this intractable class of protein.

  9. Negative Ions Enhance Survival of Membrane Protein Complexes.

    PubMed

    Liko, Idlir; Hopper, Jonathan T S; Allison, Timothy M; Benesch, Justin L P; Robinson, Carol V

    2016-06-01

    Membrane protein complexes are commonly introduced to the mass spectrometer solubilized in detergent micelles. The collisional activation used to remove the detergent, however, often causes protein unfolding and dissociation. As in the case for soluble proteins, electrospray in the positive ion mode is most commonly used for the study of membrane proteins. Here we show several distinct advantages of employing the negative ion mode. Negative polarity can yield lower average charge states for membrane proteins solubilized in saccharide detergents, with enhanced peak resolution and reduced adduct formation. Most importantly, we demonstrate that negative ion mode electrospray ionization (ESI) minimizes subunit dissociation in the gas phase, allowing access to biologically relevant oligomeric states. Together, these properties mean that intact membrane protein ions can be generated in a greater range of solubilizing detergents. The formation of negative ions, therefore, greatly expands the possibilities of using mass spectrometry on this intractable class of protein. Graphical Abstract ᅟ. PMID:27106602

  10. Negative Ions Enhance Survival of Membrane Protein Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liko, Idlir; Hopper, Jonathan T. S.; Allison, Timothy M.; Benesch, Justin L. P.; Robinson, Carol V.

    2016-04-01

    Membrane protein complexes are commonly introduced to the mass spectrometer solubilized in detergent micelles. The collisional activation used to remove the detergent, however, often causes protein unfolding and dissociation. As in the case for soluble proteins, electrospray in the positive ion mode is most commonly used for the study of membrane proteins. Here we show several distinct advantages of employing the negative ion mode. Negative polarity can yield lower average charge states for membrane proteins solubilized in saccharide detergents, with enhanced peak resolution and reduced adduct formation. Most importantly, we demonstrate that negative ion mode electrospray ionization (ESI) minimizes subunit dissociation in the gas phase, allowing access to biologically relevant oligomeric states. Together, these properties mean that intact membrane protein ions can be generated in a greater range of solubilizing detergents. The formation of negative ions, therefore, greatly expands the possibilities of using mass spectrometry on this intractable class of protein.

  11. Composition fluctuations, correlated response, and protein solvation in membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McConnell, Harden

    2010-05-01

    Membrane composition fluctuations are deduced from the deuterium NMR relaxation data of S. L. Veatch et al. [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 104, 17650 (2007)]. A theoretical model for these fluctuations is used to determine the parameters of a correlation function. A fluctuation-response relation is then derived to infer the response of a lipid bilayer membrane to perturbations, such as the presence of a protein. The energy of the correlated response is shown to decrease as a bilayer miscibility critical point is approached from higher temperatures. Near the critical temperature the low energy of the composition response facilitates the lipid solvation of membrane proteins and minimizes lipid-mediated nonspecific protein-protein interactions. This facilitated lipid solvation of membrane proteins may be the basis of reports that at the growth temperature, the lipids of animal cell membranes have compositions such that they are within ˜10° of a miscibility critical point.

  12. Growth of high-strength protein crystals with nanofibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuoka, Miki; Kakinouchi, Keisuke; Adachi, Hiroaki; Maruyama, Mihoko; Sugiyama, Shigeru; Nakabayashi, Iori; Tsuchikura, Hiroshi; Kuwahara, Atsushi; Sano, Satoshi; Yoshikawa, Hiroshi Y.; Takahashi, Yoshinori; Yoshimura, Masashi; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Murakami, Satoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Takano, Kazufumi

    2016-03-01

    Here, we present a novel method of growing protein crystals with nanofibers. Protein crystals were grown by incorporating nanofibers. No obvious differences were observed in diffraction data between fiber-containing and as-grown crystals. The fiber-containing crystals displayed an increased tolerance to osmotic shock caused by soaking in 25% ethanol or 40% dimethyl sulfoxide. This means that the method allowed us to easily increase the crystal mechanical stability. Because the method is very simple, it will provide a variety of possibilities for protein crystallization.

  13. Methods for Studying Interactions of Detergents and Lipids withα-Helical and β-Barrel Integral Membrane Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Hasan, S. Saif; Baniulis, Danas; Yamashita, Eiki; Zhalnina, Mariya V.; Zakharov, Stanislav D.; Stofleth, Jason T.; Cramer, William A.

    2014-01-01

    Methods for studying interactions of protein with lipids and detergents are described for representatives of two major classes of membrane proteins: (1) the α-helical heterooligomeric integral cytochrome b6f complex of oxygenic photosynthesis from cyanobacteria, and (2) the outer membrane β-barrel proteins BtuB and OmpF from Gram-negative Escherichia coli bacteria. Details are presented on the use of detergents for purification and crystallization of the b6f complex as well as a method for lipid exchange. The positions of detergent and lipid molecules, which define eight potential lipid-binding sites in the b6f complex, are described. Differences in detergent strategies for isolation and crystallization of β-barrel proteins relative to those for oligomeric helical membrane proteins are discussed, and purification and assessment of protein quality by circular dichroism (CD) is presented. PMID:24510648

  14. Protein quality control at the inner nuclear membrane

    PubMed Central

    Khmelinskii, Anton; Blaszczak, Ewa; Pantazopoulou, Marina; Fischer, Bernd; Omnus, Deike J.; Le Dez, Gaëlle; Brossard, Audrey; Gunnarsson, Alexander; Barry, Joseph D.; Meurer, Matthias; Kirrmaier, Daniel; Boone, Charles; Huber, Wolfgang; Rabut, Gwenaël; Ljungdahl, Per O.; Knop, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The nuclear envelope is a double membrane that separates the nucleus from the cytoplasm. The inner nuclear membrane (INM) functions in essential nuclear processes including chromatin organization and regulation of gene expression1. The outer nuclear membrane is continuous with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and is the site of membrane protein synthesis. Protein homeostasis in this compartment is ensured by ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD) pathways that in yeast involve the integral membrane E3 ubiquitin ligases Hrd1 and Doa10 operating with the E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes Ubc6 and Ubc72,3. However, little is known regarding protein quality control at the INM. Here we describe a protein degradation pathway at the INM mediated by the Asi complex consisting of the RING domain proteins Asi1 and Asi34. We report that the As complex functions together with the ubiquitin conjugating enzymes Ubc6andUbc7to degrade soluble and integral membrane proteins. Genetic evidence suggest that the Asi ubiquitin ligase defines a pathway distinct from but complementary to ERAD. Using unbiased screening with a novel genome-wide yeast library based on a tandem fluorescent protein timer (tFT)5, we identify more than 50 substrates of the Asi, Hrd1 and Doa10 E3 ubiquity ligases. We show that the Asi ubiquitin ligase is involved in degradation of mislocalised integral membrane proteins, thus acting to maintain and safeguard the identity of the INM. PMID:25519137

  15. Translation Levels Control Multi-Spanning Membrane Protein Expression

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Cecilia; Bostrom, Jenny; Fuh, Germaine; Lee, Chingwei V.; Huang, Arthur; Vandlen, Richard L.; Yansura, Daniel G.

    2012-01-01

    Attempts to express eukaryotic multi-spanning membrane proteins at high-levels have been generally unsuccessful. In order to investigate the cause of this limitation and gain insight into the rate limiting processes involved, we have analyzed the effect of translation levels on the expression of several human membrane proteins in Escherichia coli (E. coli). These results demonstrate that excessive translation initiation rates of membrane proteins cause a block in protein synthesis and ultimately prevent the high-level accumulation of these proteins. Moderate translation rates allow coupling of peptide synthesis and membrane targeting, resulting in a significant increase in protein expression and accumulation over time. The current study evaluates four membrane proteins, CD20 (4-transmembrane (TM) helixes), the G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs, 7-TMs) RA1c and EG-VEGFR1, and Patched 1 (12-TMs), and demonstrates the critical role of translation initiation rates in the targeting, insertion and folding of integral membrane proteins in the E. coli membrane. PMID:22563408

  16. Small Device for Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Dr. Daniel Carter (center), president of New Century Pharmaceuticals, and Dr. Joseph Ho (right), vice president, examine a diffusion Controlled Apparatus for Microgravity (DCAM). At left, Dr. John Ruble, a senior scientist, examines some specimens. The plastic DCAM has two chambers joined by a porous plug through which fluids can diffuse at a controlled rate. This allows researchers to mix protein solutions on Earth and load them aboard the Space Shuttle shortly before launch. The diffusion and crystallization processes are already under way, but at such a slow pace that crystals do not start growing before the DCAM is in orbit aboard the Shuttle or a space station. Dozens of DCAM units can be flown in a small volume and require virtually no crew attention. Specimens are returned to Earth for analysis. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center

  17. Role of mitochondrial inner membrane organizing system in protein biogenesis of the mitochondrial outer membrane

    PubMed Central

    Bohnert, Maria; Wenz, Lena-Sophie; Zerbes, Ralf M.; Horvath, Susanne E.; Stroud, David A.; von der Malsburg, Karina; Müller, Judith M.; Oeljeklaus, Silke; Perschil, Inge; Warscheid, Bettina; Chacinska, Agnieszka; Veenhuis, Marten; van der Klei, Ida J.; Daum, Günther; Wiedemann, Nils; Becker, Thomas; Pfanner, Nikolaus; van der Laan, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Mitochondria contain two membranes, the outer membrane and the inner membrane with folded cristae. The mitochondrial inner membrane organizing system (MINOS) is a large protein complex required for maintaining inner membrane architecture. MINOS interacts with both preprotein transport machineries of the outer membrane, the translocase of the outer membrane (TOM) and the sorting and assembly machinery (SAM). It is unknown, however, whether MINOS plays a role in the biogenesis of outer membrane proteins. We have dissected the interaction of MINOS with TOM and SAM and report that MINOS binds to both translocases independently. MINOS binds to the SAM complex via the conserved polypeptide transport–associated domain of Sam50. Mitochondria lacking mitofilin, the large core subunit of MINOS, are impaired in the biogenesis of β-barrel proteins of the outer membrane, whereas mutant mitochondria lacking any of the other five MINOS subunits import β-barrel proteins in a manner similar to wild-type mitochondria. We show that mitofilin is required at an early stage of β-barrel biogenesis that includes the initial translocation through the TOM complex. We conclude that MINOS interacts with TOM and SAM independently and that the core subunit mitofilin is involved in biogenesis of outer membrane β-barrel proteins. PMID:22918945

  18. Curvature Forces in Membrane Lipid-Protein Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Michael F.

    2012-02-01

    Membrane protein conformational changes, folding, and stability may all involve elastic deformation of the bilayer. Non-specific properties of the bilayer play a significant role in modulating protein conformational energetics. A flexible-surface model (FSM) describes the balance of curvature and hydrophobic forces in lipid-protein interactions. The FSM describes elastic coupling of membrane lipids to integral membrane proteins. Curvature and hydrophobic matching to the lipid bilayer entails a stress field that explains membrane protein stability. Rhodopsin provides an important example, where solid-state NMR and FTIR spectroscopy characterize the energy landscape of the dynamically activated receptor. Time-resolved UV-visible and FTIR spectroscopic studies show how membrane lipids affect the metarhodopsin equilibrium due to non-specific material properties. Influences of bilayer thickness, nonlamellar-forming lipids, detergents, and osmotic stress on rhodopsin function are all explained by the new biomembrane model. By contrast, the older fluid-mosaic model fails to account for such effects on membrane protein activity. According to the FSM proteins are regulated by membrane lipids whose spontaneous curvature most closely matches the activated state within the lipid membrane.

  19. Prediction of lipid-binding regions in cytoplasmic and extracellular loops of membrane proteins as exemplified by protein translocation membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Keller, Rob C A

    2013-01-01

    The presence of possible lipid-binding regions in the cytoplasmic or extracellular loops of membrane proteins with an emphasis on protein translocation membrane proteins was investigated in this study using bioinformatics. Recent developments in approaches recognizing lipid-binding regions in proteins were found to be promising. In this study a total bioinformatics approach specialized in identifying lipid-binding helical regions in proteins was explored. Two features of the protein translocation membrane proteins, the position of the transmembrane regions and the identification of additional lipid-binding regions, were analyzed. A number of well-studied protein translocation membrane protein structures were checked in order to demonstrate the predictive value of the bioinformatics approach. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that lipid-binding regions in the cytoplasmic and extracellular loops in protein translocation membrane proteins can be predicted, and it is proposed that the interaction of these regions with phospholipids is important for proper functioning during protein translocation. PMID:22961045

  20. Ultratight crystal packing of a 10 kDa protein

    SciTech Connect

    Trillo-Muyo, Sergio; Chruszcz, Maksymilian; Minor, Wladek; Kuisiene, Nomeda

    2013-03-01

    The crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of a putative U32 peptidase from G. thermoleovorans is reported; it is one of the most tightly packed protein structures reported to date. While small organic molecules generally crystallize forming tightly packed lattices with little solvent content, proteins form air-sensitive high-solvent-content crystals. Here, the crystallization and full structure analysis of a novel recombinant 10 kDa protein corresponding to the C-terminal domain of a putative U32 peptidase are reported. The orthorhombic crystal contained only 24.5% solvent and is therefore among the most tightly packed protein lattices ever reported.

  1. Membrane-Protein Crystallography and Potentiality for Drug Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Atsuko

    Structure-based drug design for membrane proteins is far behind that for soluble proteins due to difficulty in crystallographic structure determination, despite the fact that about 60% of FDA-approved drugs target membrane proteins located at the cell surface. Stable homologs for a membrane protein of interest, such as prokaryotic neurotransmitter transporter homolog LeuT, might enable cooperative analyses by crystallography and functional assays, provide useful information for functional mechanisms, and thus serve as important probes for drug design based on mechanisms as well as structures.

  2. BPROMPT: A consensus server for membrane protein prediction.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Paul D; Attwood, Teresa K; Flower, Darren R

    2003-07-01

    Protein structure prediction is a cornerstone of bioinformatics research. Membrane proteins require their own prediction methods due to their intrinsically different composition. A variety of tools exist for topology prediction of membrane proteins, many of them available on the Internet. The server described in this paper, BPROMPT (Bayesian PRediction Of Membrane Protein Topology), uses a Bayesian Belief Network to combine the results of other prediction methods, providing a more accurate consensus prediction. Topology predictions with accuracies of 70% for prokaryotes and 53% for eukaryotes were achieved. BPROMPT can be accessed at http://www.jenner.ac.uk/BPROMPT. PMID:12824397

  3. The Protein 4.1 family: hub proteins in animals for organizing membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Baines, Anthony J; Lu, Hui-Chun; Bennett, Pauline M

    2014-02-01

    Proteins of the 4.1 family are characteristic of eumetazoan organisms. Invertebrates contain single 4.1 genes and the Drosophila model suggests that 4.1 is essential for animal life. Vertebrates have four paralogues, known as 4.1R, 4.1N, 4.1G and 4.1B, which are additionally duplicated in the ray-finned fish. Protein 4.1R was the first to be discovered: it is a major mammalian erythrocyte cytoskeletal protein, essential to the mechanochemical properties of red cell membranes because it promotes the interaction between spectrin and actin in the membrane cytoskeleton. 4.1R also binds certain phospholipids and is required for the stable cell surface accumulation of a number of erythrocyte transmembrane proteins that span multiple functional classes; these include cell adhesion molecules, transporters and a chemokine receptor. The vertebrate 4.1 proteins are expressed in most tissues, and they are required for the correct cell surface accumulation of a very wide variety of membrane proteins including G-Protein coupled receptors, voltage-gated and ligand-gated channels, as well as the classes identified in erythrocytes. Indeed, such large numbers of protein interactions have been mapped for mammalian 4.1 proteins, most especially 4.1R, that it appears that they can act as hubs for membrane protein organization. The range of critical interactions of 4.1 proteins is reflected in disease relationships that include hereditary anaemias, tumour suppression, control of heartbeat and nervous system function. The 4.1 proteins are defined by their domain structure: apart from the spectrin/actin-binding domain they have FERM and FERM-adjacent domains and a unique C-terminal domain. Both the FERM and C-terminal domains can bind transmembrane proteins, thus they have the potential to be cross-linkers for membrane proteins. The activity of the FERM domain is subject to multiple modes of regulation via binding of regulatory ligands, phosphorylation of the FERM associated domain and

  4. Nucleation and Convection Effects in Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vekilow, Peter G.

    1998-01-01

    Our work under this grant has significantly contributed to the goals of the NASA supported protein crystallization program. We have achieved the main objectives of the proposed work, as outlined in the original proposal: (1) We have provided important insight into protein nucleation and crystal growth mechanisms to facilitate a rational approach to protein crystallization; (2) We have delineated the factors that currently limit the x-ray diffraction resolution of protein crystals, and their correlation to crystallization conditions; (3) We have developed novel technologies to study and monitor protein crystal nucleation and growth processes, in order to increase the reproducibility and yield of protein crystallization. We have published 17 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and books and made more than 15 invited and 9 contributed presentations of our results at international and national scientific meetings.

  5. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystal Nucleation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Sumida, John

    2000-01-01

    One of the most powerful and versatile methods for studying molecules in solution is fluorescence. Crystallization typically takes place in a concentrated solution environment, whereas fluorescence typically has an upper concentration limit of approximately 1 x 10(exp -5)M, thus intrinsic fluorescence cannot be employed, but a fluorescent probe must be added to a sub population of the molecules. However the fluorescent species cannot interfere with the self-assembly process. This can be achieved with macromolecules, where fluorescent probes can be covalently attached to a sub population of molecules that are subsequently used to track the system as a whole. We are using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to study the initial solution phase self-assembly process of tetragonal lysozyme crystal nucleation, using covalent fluorescent derivatives which crystallize in the characteristic P432121 space group. FRET studies are being carried out between cascade blue (CB-lys, donor, Ex 376 nm, Em 420 nm) and lucifer yellow (LY-lys, acceptor, Ex 425 nm, Em 520 nm) asp101 derivatives. The estimated R0 for this probe pair, the distance where 50% of the donor energy is transferred to the acceptor, is approximately 1.2 nm, compared to 2.2 nm between the side chain carboxyls of adjacent asp101's in the crystalline 43 helix. The short CB-lys lifetime (approximately 5 ns), coupled with the large average distances between the molecules ((sup 3) 50 nm) in solution, ensure that any energy transfer observed is not due to random diffusive interactions. Addition of LY-lys to CB-lys results in the appearance of a second, shorter lifetime (approximately 0.2 ns). Results from these and other ongoing studies will be discussed in conjunction with a model for how tetragonal lysozyme crystals nucleate and grow, and the relevance of that model to microgravity protein crystal growth

  6. A Superhydrophobic Surface Templated by Protein Self-Assembly and Emerging Application toward Protein Crystallization.

    PubMed

    Gao, Aiting; Wu, Qian; Wang, Dehui; Ha, Yuan; Chen, Zhijun; Yang, Peng

    2016-01-20

    A proteinaceous superhydrophobic material for facile protein crystallization is reported. The lysozyme phase transition is rationally manipulated to form a reliable superhydrophobic coating on virtually arbitrary material surfaces with good thermostability and mechanical robustness. Such a surface exhibits a fascinating capability to drive protein crystallization, and the protein crystal array can be facilitated in a large area at an ultralow protein concentration. PMID:26607764

  7. A Usual G-Protein-Coupled Receptor in Unusual Membranes.

    PubMed

    Chawla, Udeep; Jiang, Yunjiang; Zheng, Wan; Kuang, Liangju; Perera, Suchithranga M D C; Pitman, Michael C; Brown, Michael F; Liang, Hongjun

    2016-01-11

    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest family of membrane-bound receptors and constitute about 50% of all known drug targets. They offer great potential for membrane protein nanotechnologies. We report here a charge-interaction-directed reconstitution mechanism that induces spontaneous insertion of bovine rhodopsin, the eukaryotic GPCR, into both lipid- and polymer-based artificial membranes. We reveal a new allosteric mode of rhodopsin activation incurred by the non-biological membranes: the cationic membrane drives a transition from the inactive MI to the activated MII state in the absence of high [H(+)] or negative spontaneous curvature. We attribute this activation to the attractive charge interaction between the membrane surface and the deprotonated Glu134 residue of the rhodopsin-conserved ERY sequence motif that helps break the cytoplasmic "ionic lock". This study unveils a novel design concept of non-biological membranes to reconstitute and harness GPCR functions in synthetic systems. PMID:26633591

  8. Overcoming bottlenecks in the membrane protein structural biology pipeline.

    PubMed

    Hardy, David; Bill, Roslyn M; Jawhari, Anass; Rothnie, Alice J

    2016-06-15

    Membrane proteins account for a third of the eukaryotic proteome, but are greatly under-represented in the Protein Data Bank. Unfortunately, recent technological advances in X-ray crystallography and EM cannot account for the poor solubility and stability of membrane protein samples. A limitation of conventional detergent-based methods is that detergent molecules destabilize membrane proteins, leading to their aggregation. The use of orthologues, mutants and fusion tags has helped improve protein stability, but at the expense of not working with the sequence of interest. Novel detergents such as glucose neopentyl glycol (GNG), maltose neopentyl glycol (MNG) and calixarene-based detergents can improve protein stability without compromising their solubilizing properties. Styrene maleic acid lipid particles (SMALPs) focus on retaining the native lipid bilayer of a membrane protein during purification and biophysical analysis. Overcoming bottlenecks in the membrane protein structural biology pipeline, primarily by maintaining protein stability, will facilitate the elucidation of many more membrane protein structures in the near future. PMID:27284049

  9. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystallization Interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Smith, Lori; Forsythe, Elizabeth

    1999-01-01

    We are investigating protein-protein interactions in under- and over-saturated crystallization solution conditions using fluorescence methods. The use of fluorescence requires fluorescent derivatives where the probe does not markedly affect the crystal packing. A number of chicken egg white lysozyme (CEWL) derivatives have been prepared, with the probes covalently attached to one of two different sites on the protein molecule; the side chain carboxyl of ASP 101, within the active site cleft, and the N-terminal amine. The ASP 101 derivatives crystallize while the N-terminal amine derivatives do not. However, the N-terminal amine is part of the contact region between adjacent 43 helix chains, and blocking this site does would not interfere with formation of these structures in solution. Preliminary FRET data have been obtained at pH 4.6, 0.1M NaAc buffer, at 5 and 7% NaCl, 4 C, using the N-terminal bound pyrene acetic acid (PAA, Ex 340 nm, Em 376 nm) and ASP 101 bound Lucifer Yellow (LY, Ex 425 nm, Em 525 nm) probe combination. The corresponding Csat values are 0.471 and 0.362 mg/ml (approximately 3.3 and approximately 2.5 x 10 (exp 5) M respectively), and all experiments were carried out at approximately Csat or lower total protein concentration. The data at both salt concentrations show a consistent trend of decreasing fluorescence yield of the donor species (PAA) with increasing total protein concentration. This decrease is apparently more pronounced at 7% NaCl, consistent with the expected increased intermolecular interactions at higher salt concentrations (reflected in the lower solubility). The estimated average distance between protein molecules at 5 x 10 (exp 6) M is approximately 70 nm, well beyond the range where any FRET can be expected. The calculated RO, where 50% of the donor energy is transferred to the acceptor, for the PAA-CEWL * LY-CEWL system is 3.28 nm, based upon a PAA-CEWL quantum efficiency of 0.41.

  10. Phenotypic effects of membrane protein overexpression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melén, Karin; Blomberg, Anders; von Heijne, Gunnar

    2006-07-01

    Large-scale protein overexpression phenotype screens provide an important complement to the more common gene knockout screens. Here, we have targeted the so far poorly understood Saccharomyces cerevisiae membrane proteome and report growth phenotypes for a strain collection overexpressing 600 C-terminally tagged integral membrane proteins grown both under normal and three different stress conditions. Although overexpression of most membrane proteins reduce the growth rate in synthetic defined medium, we identify a large number of proteins that, when overexpressed, confer specific resistance to various stress conditions. Our data suggest that regulation of glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor biosynthesis and the Na+/K+ homeostasis system constitute major downstream targets of the yeast PKA/RAS pathway and point to a possible connection between the early secretory pathway and the cells' response to oxidative stress. We also have quantified the expression levels for >550 membrane proteins, facilitating the choice of well expressing proteins for future functional and structural studies. caffeine | paraquat | salt tolerance | yeast

  11. Membrane proteins of Mycoplasma bovis and their role in pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Adamu, James Y; Wawegama, Nadeeka K; Browning, Glenn F; Markham, Philip F

    2013-10-01

    Mycoplasma membrane proteins influence cell shape, cell division, motility and adhesion to host cells, and are thought to be integrally involved in the pathogenesis of mycoplasmoses. Many of the membrane proteins predicted from mycoplasma genome sequences remain hypothetical, as their presence in cellular protein preparations is yet to be established experimentally. Recent genome sequences of several strains of Mycoplasma bovis have provided further insight into the potential role of the membrane proteins of this pathogen in colonisation and infection. This review highlights recent advances in knowledge about the influence of M. bovis membrane proteins on the pathogenesis of infection with this species and identifies future research directions for enhancing our understanding of the role of these proteins. PMID:23810376

  12. Glycosomal membrane proteins and lipids from Leishmania mexicana.

    PubMed

    Quiñones, Wilfredo; Cáceres, Ana J; Ruiz, Maria Tibisay; Concepción, Juan Luis

    2015-04-01

    Constituents of the glycosomal membrane from Leishmania mexicana should play a critical role in the coordination of metabolic processes occurring in the cytosol and those compartmentalized within glycosomes. We have made an inventory of glycosomal membrane-associated proteins using approaches specific for enriching both integral and peripheral membrane proteins. Surprisingly, 70% of the proteins were recovered in the hydrophobic fraction of membranes solubilized with Triton X-114, while 20% were present in the soluble fraction obtained upon treatment with Na2CO3. 14 major polypeptides, ranging in molecular weight from 65 to 16 kDa, were found to be associated with the membrane, nine of them behaving as integral membrane proteins. Assessment of their topology in the membrane indicated that the polypeptides of 56, 50, 46 and 32 kDa have no domains exposed to the cytosol. The 50 kDa protein is the most abundant one of the glycosomal membrane, where it is peripherically located at the matrix face. The major phospholipids of glycosomal membranes are phosphatidyl-ethanolamine, phosphatidyl-choline and phosphatidyl-serine, with smaller proportions of sphingomyelin and phosphatidyl-inositol. The sterols found were of 5-dehydroepisterol, ergosta-5,7,24(24(1))-trien-3β-ol, and also their precursors, consistent with the notion that these organelles are involved in de novo biosynthesis of sterols in trypanosomatids. PMID:25499533

  13. Concentrating membrane proteins using asymmetric traps and AC electric fields.

    PubMed

    Cheetham, Matthew R; Bramble, Jonathan P; McMillan, Duncan G G; Krzeminski, Lukasz; Han, Xiaojun; Johnson, Benjamin R G; Bushby, Richard J; Olmsted, Peter D; Jeuken, Lars J C; Marritt, Sophie J; Butt, Julea N; Evans, Stephen D

    2011-05-01

    Membrane proteins are key components of the plasma membrane and are responsible for control of chemical ionic gradients, metabolite and nutrient transfer, and signal transduction between the interior of cells and the external environment. Of the genes in the human genome, 30% code for membrane proteins (Krogh et al. J. Mol. Biol.2001, 305, 567). Furthermore, many FDA-approved drugs target such proteins (Overington et al. Nat. Rev. Drug Discovery 2006, 5, 993). However, the structure-function relationships of these are notably sparse because of difficulties in their purification and handling outside of their membranous environment. Methods that permit the manipulation of membrane components while they are still in the membrane would find widespread application in separation, purification, and eventual structure-function determination of these species (Poo et al. Nature 1977, 265, 602). Here we show that asymmetrically patterned supported lipid bilayers in combination with AC electric fields can lead to efficient manipulation of charged components. We demonstrate the concentration and trapping of such components through the use of a "nested trap" and show that this method is capable of yielding an approximately 30-fold increase in the average protein concentration. Upon removal of the field, the material remains trapped for several hours as a result of topographically restricted diffusion. Our results indicate that this method can be used for concentrating and trapping charged membrane components while they are still within their membranous environment. We anticipate that our approach could find widespread application in the manipulation and study of membrane proteins. PMID:21476549

  14. A new subgroup of lectin-bound biliary proteins binds to cholesterol crystals, modifies crystal morphology, and inhibits cholesterol crystallization.

    PubMed Central

    Busch, N; Lammert, F; Marschall, H U; Matern, S

    1995-01-01

    Biliary proteins inhibiting or promoting cholesterol crystallization are assumed to play a major role in cholesterol gallstone pathogenesis. We now report a new group of biliary proteins that bind to cholesterol crystals, modify crystal morphology, and inhibit cholesterol crystallization. Various glycoprotein mixtures were extracted from abnormal human gallbladder bile using lectin affinity chromatography on concanavalin A, lentil, and Helix pomatia columns and were added to supersaturated model bile. Independent of the protein mixtures added, from the cholesterol crystals harvested, the same four GPs were isolated having molecular masses of 16, 28, 63, and 74 kD, respectively. Each protein was purified using preparative SDS-PAGE, and influence on cholesterol crystallization in model bile was tested at 10 microg/ml. Crystal growth was reduced by 76% (GP63), 65% (GP16), 55% (GP74), and 40% (GP28), respectively. Thus, these glycoproteins are the most potent biliary inhibitors of cholesterol crystallization known so far. Evidence that the inhibiting effect on cholesterol crystallization is mediated via protein-crystal interaction was further provided from scanning electron microscopy studies. Crystals grown in presence of inhibiting proteins showed significantly more ordered structures. Incidence of triclinic crystals and regular aggregates was shifted from 30 to 70% compared with controls. These observations may have important implications for understanding the role of biliary proteins in cholesterol crystallization and gallstone pathogenesis. Images PMID:8675674

  15. JAXA protein crystallization in space: ongoing improvements for growing high-quality crystals.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Sachiko; Ohta, Kazunori; Furubayashi, Naoki; Yan, Bin; Koga, Misako; Wada, Yoshio; Yamada, Mitsugu; Inaka, Koji; Tanaka, Hiroaki; Miyoshi, Hiroshi; Kobayashi, Tomoyuki; Kamigaichi, Shigeki

    2013-11-01

    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) started a high-quality protein crystal growth project, now called JAXA PCG, on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2002. Using the counter-diffusion technique, 14 sessions of experiments have been performed as of 2012 with 580 proteins crystallized in total. Over the course of these experiments, a user-friendly interface framework for high accessibility has been constructed and crystallization techniques improved; devices to maximize the use of the microgravity environment have been designed, resulting in some high-resolution crystal growth. If crystallization conditions were carefully fixed in ground-based experiments, high-quality protein crystals grew in microgravity in many experiments on the ISS, especially when a highly homogeneous protein sample and a viscous crystallization solution were employed. In this article, the current status of JAXA PCG is discussed, and a rational approach to high-quality protein crystal growth in microgravity based on numerical analyses is explained. PMID:24121350

  16. Methods for Mapping of Interaction Networks Involving Membrane Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Hooker, Brian S.; Bigelow, Diana J.; Lin, Chiann Tso

    2007-11-23

    Numerous approaches have been taken to study protein interactions, such as tagged protein complex isolation followed by mass spectrometry, yeast two-hybrid methods, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, surface plasmon resonance, site-directed mutagenesis, and crystallography. Membrane protein interactions pose significant challenges due to the need to solubilize membranes without disrupting protein-protein interactions. Traditionally, analysis of isolated protein complexes by high-resolution 2D gel electrophoresis has been the main method used to obtain an overall picture of proteome constituents and interactions. However, this method is time consuming, labor intensive, detects only abundant proteins and is not suitable for the coverage required to elucidate large interaction networks. In this review, we discuss the application of various methods to elucidate interactions involving membrane proteins. These techniques include methods for the direct isolation of single complexes or interactors as well as methods for characterization of entire subcellular and cellular interactomes.

  17. Virulent strain associated outer membrane proteins of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed Central

    Skare, J T; Shang, E S; Foley, D M; Blanco, D R; Champion, C I; Mirzabekov, T; Sokolov, Y; Kagan, B L; Miller, J N; Lovett, M A

    1995-01-01

    We have isolated and purified outer membrane vesicles (OMV) from Borrelia burgdorferi strain B31 based on methods developed for isolation of Treponema pallidum OMV. Purified OMV exhibited distinct porin activities with conductances of 0.6 and 12.6 nano-Siemen and had no detectable beta-NADH oxidase activity indicating their outer membrane origin and their lack of inner membrane contamination, respectively. Hydrophobic proteins were identified by phase partitioning with Triton X-114. Most of these hydrophobic membrane proteins were not acylated, suggesting that they are outer membrane-spanning proteins. Identification of palmitate-labeled lipoproteins revealed that several were enriched in the OMV, several were enriched in the protoplasmic cylinder inner membrane fraction, and others were found exclusively associated with the inner membrane. The protein composition of OMV changed significantly with successive in vitro cultivation of strain B31. Using antiserum with specificity for virulent strain B31, we identified OMV antigens on the surface of the spirochete and identified proteins whose presence in OMV could be correlated with virulence and protective immunity in the rabbit Lyme disease model. These virulent strain associated outer membrane-spanning proteins may provide new insight into the pathogenesis of Lyme disease. Images PMID:7593626

  18. The Origin and Early Evolution of Membrane Proteins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Schweighofer, Karl; Wilson, Michael A.

    2005-01-01

    Membrane proteins mediate functions that are essential to all cells. These functions include transport of ions, nutrients and waste products across cell walls, capture of energy and its transduction into the form usable in chemical reactions, transmission of environmental signals to the interior of the cell, cellular growth and cell volume regulation. In the absence of membrane proteins, ancestors of cell (protocells), would have had only very limited capabilities to communicate with their environment. Thus, it is not surprising that membrane proteins are quite common even in simplest prokaryotic cells. Considering that contemporary membrane channels are large and complex, both structurally and functionally, a question arises how their presumably much simpler ancestors could have emerged, perform functions and diversify in early protobiological evolution. Remarkably, despite their overall complexity, structural motifs in membrane proteins are quite simple, with a-helices being most common. This suggests that these proteins might have evolved from simple building blocks. To explain how these blocks could have organized into functional structures, we performed large-scale, accurate computer simulations of folding peptides at a water-membrane interface, their insertion into the membrane, self-assembly into higher-order structures and function. The results of these simulations, combined with analysis of structural and functional experimental data led to the first integrated view of the origin and early evolution of membrane proteins.

  19. Polyclonal Antibody Production for Membrane Proteins via Genetic Immunization

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Debra T.; Robida, Mark D.; Craciunescu, Felicia M.; Loskutov, Andrey V.; Dörner, Katerina; Rodenberry, John-Charles; Wang, Xiao; Olson, Tien L.; Patel, Hetal; Fromme, Petra; Sykes, Kathryn F.

    2016-01-01

    Antibodies are essential for structural determinations and functional studies of membrane proteins, but antibody generation is limited by the availability of properly-folded and purified antigen. We describe the first application of genetic immunization to a structurally diverse set of membrane proteins to show that immunization of mice with DNA alone produced antibodies against 71% (n = 17) of the bacterial and viral targets. Antibody production correlated with prior reports of target immunogenicity in host organisms, underscoring the efficiency of this DNA-gold micronanoplex approach. To generate each antigen for antibody characterization, we also developed a simple in vitro membrane protein expression and capture method. Antibody specificity was demonstrated upon identifying, for the first time, membrane-directed heterologous expression of the native sequences of the FopA and FTT1525 virulence determinants from the select agent Francisella tularensis SCHU S4. These approaches will accelerate future structural and functional investigations of therapeutically-relevant membrane proteins. PMID:26908053

  20. Analysis of crystallization data in the Protein Data Bank

    PubMed Central

    Kirkwood, Jobie; Hargreaves, David; O’Keefe, Simon; Wilson, Julie

    2015-01-01

    The Protein Data Bank (PDB) is the largest available repository of solved protein structures and contains a wealth of information on successful crystallization. Many centres have used their own experimental data to draw conclusions about proteins and the conditions in which they crystallize. Here, data from the PDB were used to reanalyse some of these results. The most successful crystallization reagents were identified, the link between solution pH and the isoelectric point of the protein was investigated and the possibility of predicting whether a protein will crystallize was explored. PMID:26457511