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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

    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

  15. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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)

  8. 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

  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 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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

  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

    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 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

  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. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  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

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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 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

  12. 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

  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. 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

  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

    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

  11. 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

  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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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 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

  4. 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

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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, 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.

  10. 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