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Sample records for membrane protein crystallization

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Strategies for crystallization of large membrane protein complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshikawa, Shinya; Shinzawa-Itoh, Kyoko; Ueda, Hidefumi; Tsukihara, Tomitake; Fukumoto, Yoshihisa; Kubota, Tomomi; Kawamoto, Masahide; Fukuyama, Keiichi; Matsubara, Hiroshi

    1992-08-01

    Crystalline cytochrome c oxidase and ubiquinol: cytochrome c oxidoreductase which diffracted X-rays at 7-8A˚resolution were obtained from bovine heart mitochondria. The methods for the purification and crystallization of these enzymes indicate that large membrane protein complexes are easier to purify and crystallize than smaller homologous membrane protein complexes, because the former have more hydrophilic surface than the latter. Bulky and polydispersed detergents such as Brij-35 and Tween 20 attached to the isolated complex are not always obstructive to crystallization if they are effective for stabilizing the complexes.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. The nanoscience behind the art of in-meso crystallization of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Zabara, Alexandru; Meikle, Thomas G; Newman, Janet; Peat, Thomas S; Conn, Charlotte E; Drummond, Calum J

    2017-01-05

    The structural changes occurring at the nanoscale level within the lipid bilayer and driving the in-meso formation of large well-diffracting membrane protein crystals have been uniquely characterized for a model membrane protein, intimin. Importantly, the order to order transitions taking place within the bilayer and the lipidic nanostructures required for crystal growth have been shown to be general, occurring for both the cubic and the sponge mesophase crystallization pathways. For the first time, a transient fluid lamellar phase has been observed and unambiguously assigned for both crystallization pathways, present at the earliest stages of protein crystallogenesis but no longer observed once the crystals surpass the size of the average lyotropic liquid crystalline domain. The reported time-resolved structural investigation provides a significantly improved and general understanding of the nanostructural changes taking place within the mesophase during in-meso crystallization which is a fundamental advance in the enabling area of membrane protein structural biology.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Crystallization of the Large Membrane Protein Complex Photosystem I in a Microfluidic Channel

    PubMed Central

    Abdallah, Bahige G.; Kupitz, Christopher; Fromme, Petra; Ros, Alexandra

    2014-01-01

    Traditional macroscale protein crystallization is accomplished non-trivially by exploring a range of protein concentrations and buffers in solution until a suitable combination is attained. This methodology is time consuming and resource intensive, hindering protein structure determination. Even more difficulties arise when crystallizing large membrane protein complexes such as photosystem I (PSI) due to their large unit cells dominated by solvent and complex characteristics that call for even stricter buffer requirements. Structure determination techniques tailored for these ‘difficult to crystallize’ proteins such as femtosecond nanocrystallography are being developed, yet still need specific crystal characteristics. Here, we demonstrate a simple and robust method to screen protein crystallization conditions at low ionic strength in a microfluidic device. This is realized in one microfluidic experiment using low sample amounts, unlike traditional methods where each solution condition is set up separately. Second harmonic generation microscopy via Second Order Nonlinear Imaging of Chiral Crystals (SONICC) was applied for the detection of nanometer and micrometer sized PSI crystals within microchannels. To develop a crystallization phase diagram, crystals imaged with SONICC at specific channel locations were correlated to protein and salt concentrations determined by numerical simulations of the time-dependent diffusion process along the channel. Our method demonstrated that a portion of the PSI crystallization phase diagram could be reconstructed in excellent agreement with crystallization conditions determined by traditional methods. We postulate that this approach could be utilized to efficiently study and optimize crystallization conditions for a wide range of proteins that are poorly understood to date. PMID:24191698

  14. Crystal structure of Escherichia coli YidC, a membrane protein chaperone and insertase.

    PubMed

    Kumazaki, Kaoru; Kishimoto, Toshiki; Furukawa, Arata; Mori, Hiroyuki; Tanaka, Yoshiki; Dohmae, Naoshi; Ishitani, Ryuichiro; Tsukazaki, Tomoya; Nureki, Osamu

    2014-12-03

    Bacterial YidC, an evolutionally conserved membrane protein, functions as a membrane protein chaperone in cooperation with the Sec translocon and as an independent insertase for membrane proteins. In Gram-negative bacteria, the transmembrane and periplasmic regions of YidC interact with the Sec proteins, forming a multi-protein complex for Sec-dependent membrane protein integration. Here, we report the crystal structure of full-length Escherichia coli YidC. The structure reveals that a hydrophilic groove, formed by five transmembrane helices, is a conserved structural feature of YidC, as compared to the previous YidC structure from Bacillus halodurans, which lacks a periplasmic domain. Structural mapping of the substrate- or Sec protein-contact sites suggested the importance of the groove for the YidC functions as a chaperone and an insertase, and provided structural insight into the multi-protein complex.

  15. Crystallizing membrane proteins for structure-function studies using lipidic mesophases.

    PubMed

    Caffrey, Martin

    2011-06-01

    The lipidic cubic phase method for crystallizing membrane proteins has posted some high-profile successes recently. This is especially true in the area of G-protein-coupled receptors, with six new crystallographic structures emerging in the last 3½ years. Slowly, it is becoming an accepted method with a proven record and convincing generality. However, it is not a method that is used in every membrane structural biology laboratory and that is unfortunate. The reluctance in adopting it is attributable, in part, to the anticipated difficulties associated with handling the sticky viscous cubic mesophase in which crystals grow. Harvesting and collecting diffraction data with the mesophase-grown crystals is also viewed with some trepidation. It is acknowledged that there are challenges associated with the method. However, over the years, we have worked to make the method user-friendly. To this end, tools for handling the mesophase in the pico- to nano-litre volume range have been developed for efficient crystallization screening in manual and robotic modes. Glass crystallization plates have been built that provide unparalleled optical quality and sensitivity to nascent crystals. Lipid and precipitant screens have been implemented for a more rational approach to crystallogenesis, such that the method can now be applied to a wide variety of membrane protein types and sizes. In the present article, these assorted advances are outlined, along with a summary of the membrane proteins that have yielded to the method. The challenges that must be overcome to develop the method further are described.

  16. Detergent quantification in membrane protein samples and its application to crystallization experiments.

    PubMed

    Prince, Chelsy C; Jia, Zongchao

    2013-12-01

    The structural characterization of membrane proteins remains a challenging field, largely because the use of stabilizing detergents is required. Researchers must first select a suitable detergent for the solubility and stability of their protein during in vitro studies. In addition, an appropriate concentration of detergent in membrane protein samples can be essential for protein solubility, stability, and experimental success. For example, in membrane protein crystallography, detergent concentration in the crystallization drop can be a critical parameter influencing crystal growth. Over the past decade, multiple techniques have been developed for the measurement of detergent concentration using a wide variety of strategies. These methods include colorimetric reactions, which target specific detergent classes, and analytical techniques applicable to a wide variety of detergents. This review will summarize and discuss the available options. It will be a useful resource to those selecting a strategy that best fits their experimental requirements and available instruments.

  17. Membrane proteins, detergents and crystals: what is the state of the art?

    PubMed

    Loll, Patrick J

    2014-12-01

    At the time when the first membrane-protein crystal structure was determined, crystallization of these molecules was widely perceived as extremely arduous. Today, that perception has changed drastically, and the process is regarded as routine (or nearly so). On the occasion of the International Year of Crystallography 2014, this review presents a snapshot of the current state of the art, with an emphasis on the role of detergents in this process. A survey of membrane-protein crystal structures published since 2012 reveals that the direct crystallization of protein-detergent complexes remains the dominant methodology; in addition, lipidic mesophases have proven immensely useful, particularly in specific niches, and bicelles, while perhaps undervalued, have provided important contributions as well. Evolving trends include the addition of lipids to protein-detergent complexes and the gradual incorporation of new detergents into the standard repertoire. Stability has emerged as a critical parameter controlling how a membrane protein behaves in the presence of detergent, and efforts to enhance stability are discussed. Finally, although discovery-based screening approaches continue to dwarf mechanistic efforts to unravel crystallization, recent technical advances offer hope that future experiments might incorporate the rational manipulation of crystallization behaviors.

  18. 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.

  19. Membrane proteins, detergents and crystals: what is the state of the art?

    PubMed Central

    Loll, Patrick J.

    2014-01-01

    At the time when the first membrane-protein crystal structure was determined, crystallization of these molecules was widely perceived as extremely arduous. Today, that perception has changed drastically, and the process is regarded as routine (or nearly so). On the occasion of the International Year of Crystallography 2014, this review presents a snapshot of the current state of the art, with an emphasis on the role of detergents in this process. A survey of membrane-protein crystal structures published since 2012 reveals that the direct crystallization of protein–detergent complexes remains the dominant method­ology; in addition, lipidic mesophases have proven immensely useful, particularly in specific niches, and bicelles, while perhaps undervalued, have provided important contributions as well. Evolving trends include the addition of lipids to protein–detergent complexes and the gradual incorporation of new detergents into the standard repertoire. Stability has emerged as a critical parameter controlling how a membrane protein behaves in the presence of detergent, and efforts to enhance stability are discussed. Finally, although discovery-based screening approaches continue to dwarf mechanistic efforts to unravel crystallization, recent technical advances offer hope that future experiments might incorporate the rational manipulation of crystallization behaviors. PMID:25484203

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Atomic force microscopy of three-dimensional membrane protein crystals. Ca-ATPase of sarcoplasmic reticulum.

    PubMed Central

    Lacapère, J J; Stokes, D L; Chatenay, D

    1992-01-01

    We have observed three-dimensional crystals of the calcium pump from sarcoplasmic reticulum by atomic force microscopy (AFM). From AFM images of dried crystals, both on graphite and mica, we measured steps in the crystal thickness, corresponding to the unit cell spacing normal to the substrate. It is known from transmission electron microscopy that crystal periodicity in the plane of the substrate is destroyed by drying, and it was therefore not surprising that we were unable to observe this periodicity by AFM. Thus, we were motivated to use the AFM on hydrated crystals. In this case, crystal adsorption appeared to be a limiting factor, and our studies indicate that adsorption is controlled by the composition of the medium and by the physical-chemical properties of the substrate. We used scanning electron microscopy to determine the conditions yielding the highest adsorption of crystals, and, under these conditions, we have obtained AFM images of hydrated crystals with a resolution similar to that observed with dried samples (i.e., relatively poor). In the same preparations, we have observed lipid bilayers with a significantly better resolution, indicating that the poor quality of crystal images was not due to instrumental limitations. Rather, we attribute poor images to the intrinsic flexibility of these multilamellar crystals, which apparently allow movement of one layer relative to another in response to shear forces from the AFM tip. We therefore suggest some general guidelines for future studies of membrane proteins with AFM. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3 FIGURE 4 PMID:1420878

  4. The 2DX robot: a membrane protein 2D crystallization Swiss Army knife.

    PubMed

    Iacovache, Ioan; Biasini, Marco; Kowal, Julia; Kukulski, Wanda; Chami, Mohamed; van der Goot, F Gisou; Engel, Andreas; Rémigy, Hervé-W

    2010-03-01

    Among the state-of-the-art techniques that provide experimental information at atomic scale for membrane proteins, electron crystallography, atomic force microscopy and solid state NMR make use of two-dimensional crystals. We present a cyclodextrin-driven method for detergent removal implemented in a fully automated robot. The kinetics of the reconstitution processes is precisely controlled, because the detergent complexation by cyclodextrin is of stoichiometric nature. The method requires smaller volumes and lower protein concentrations than established 2D crystallization methods, making it possible to explore more conditions with the same amount of protein. The method yielded highly ordered 2D crystals diffracting to high resolution from the pore-forming toxin Aeromonas hydrophila aerolysin (2.9A), the plant aquaporin SoPIP2;1 (3.1A) and the human aquaporin-8 (hAQP8; 3.3A). This new method outperforms traditional 2D crystallization approaches in terms of accuracy, flexibility, throughput, and allows the usage of detergents having low critical micelle concentration (CMC), which stabilize the structure of membrane proteins in solution.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    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.

  6. Crystal structure of a major outer membrane protein from Thermus thermophilus HB27.

    PubMed

    Brosig, Alexander; Nesper, Jutta; Boos, Winfried; Welte, Wolfram; Diederichs, Kay

    2009-02-06

    The thermophilic eubacterium Thermus thermophilus belongs to one of the oldest branches of evolution and has a multilayered cell envelope that differs from that of modern Gram-negative bacteria. Its outer membrane contains integral outer membrane proteins (OMPs), of which only a few are characterized. TtoA, a new beta-barrel OMP, was identified by searching the genome sequence of strain HB27 for the presence of a C-terminal signature sequence. The structure of TtoA was determined to a resolution of 2.8 A, representing the first crystal structure of an OMP from a thermophilic bacterium. TtoA consists of an eight-stranded beta-barrel with a large extracellular part to which a divalent cation is bound. A five-stranded extracellular beta-sheet protrudes out of the membrane-embedded transmembrane barrel and is stabilized by a disulfide bridge. The edge of this beta-sheet forms crystal contacts that could mimic interactions with other proteins. In modern Gram-negative bacteria, the C-terminal signature sequence of OMPs is required for binding to an Omp85 family protein as a prerequisite for its assembly. We present hints that a similar assembly pathway exists in T. thermophilus by an in vitro binding assay, where unfolded TtoA binds to the Thermus Omp85 family protein TtOmp85, while a mutant without the signature sequence does not.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. High-throughput identification of purification conditions leads to preliminary crystallization conditions for three inner membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Gabrielsen, Mads; Kroner, Frank; Black, Isobel; Isaacs, Neil W; Roe, Andrew J; McLuskey, Karen

    2011-01-01

    An important factor in the crystallization, and subsequent structural determination, of integral membrane proteins is the ability to produce a stable and monodisperse solution of the protein. Obtaining the correct purification detergent to achieve this can be laborious and is often serendipitous. In this study, high-throughput methods are used to analyze the suitability of eight different detergents on the stability of 12 inner transmembrane proteins from Escherichia coli. The best results obtained from the small-scale experiments were scaled up, the aggregation state of the proteins assessed, and all monodisperse protein solutions entered into crystallization trials. This resulted in preliminary crystallization hits for three inner membrane proteins: XylH, PgpB and YjdL and this study reports the methods, purification procedures and crystallization conditions used to achieve this.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Position of helical kinks in membrane protein crystal structures and the accuracy of computational prediction.

    PubMed

    Hall, Spencer E; Roberts, Kyle; Vaidehi, Nagarajan

    2009-01-01

    The structural features of helical transmembrane (TM) proteins, such as helical kinks, tilts, and rotational orientations are important in modulation of their function and these structural features give rise to functional diversity in membrane proteins with similar topology. In particular, the helical kinks caused by breaking of the backbone hydrogen bonds lead to hinge bending flexibility in these helices. Therefore it is important to understand the nature of the helical kinks and to be able to reproduce these kinks in structural models of membrane proteins. We have analyzed the position and extent of helical kinks in the transmembrane helices of all the crystal structures of membrane proteins taken from the MPtopo database, which are about 405 individual helices of length between 19 and 35 residues. 44% of the crystal structures of TM helices showed a significant helical kink, and 35% of these kinks are caused by prolines. Many of the non-proline helical kinks are caused by other residues like Ser and Gly that are located at the center of helical kinks. The side chain of Ser makes a hydrogen bond with the main chain carbonyl of the i - 4th or i + 4th residue thus making a kink. We have also studied how well molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on isolated helices can reproduce the position of the helical kinks in TM helices. Such a method is useful for structure prediction of membrane proteins. We performed MD simulations, starting from a canonical helix for the 405 TM helices. 1 ns of MD simulation results show that we can reproduce about 79% of the proline kinks, only 59% of the vestigial proline kinks and 18% of the non-proline helical kinks. We found that similar results can be obtained from choosing the lowest potential energy structure from the MD simulation. 4-14% more of the vestigial prolines were reproduced by replacing them with prolines before performing MD simulations, and changing the amino acid back to proline after the MD simulations. From these

  15. Harvesting and cryo-cooling crystals of membrane proteins grown in lipidic mesophases for structure determination by macromolecular crystallography.

    PubMed

    Li, Dianfan; Boland, Coilín; Aragao, David; Walsh, Kilian; Caffrey, Martin

    2012-09-02

    An important route to understanding how proteins function at a mechanistic level is to have the structure of the target protein available, ideally at atomic resolution. Presently, there is only one way to capture such information as applied to integral membrane proteins (Figure 1), and the complexes they form, and that method is macromolecular X-ray crystallography (MX). To do MX diffraction quality crystals are needed which, in the case of membrane proteins, do not form readily. A method for crystallizing membrane proteins that involves the use of lipidic mesophases, specifically the cubic and sponge phases(1-5), has gained considerable attention of late due to the successes it has had in the G protein-coupled receptor field(6-21) (www.mpdb.tcd.ie). However, the method, henceforth referred to as the in meso or lipidic cubic phase method, comes with its own technical challenges. These arise, in part, due to the generally viscous and sticky nature of the lipidic mesophase in which the crystals, which are often micro-crystals, grow. Manipulating crystals becomes difficult as a result and particularly so during harvesting(22,23). Problems arise too at the step that precedes harvesting which requires that the glass sandwich plates in which the crystals grow (Figure 2)(24,25) are opened to expose the mesophase bolus, and the crystals therein, for harvesting, cryo-cooling and eventual X-ray diffraction data collection. The cubic and sponge mesophase variants (Figure 3) from which crystals must be harvested have profoundly different rheologies(4,26). The cubic phase is viscous and sticky akin to a thick toothpaste. By contrast, the sponge phase is more fluid with a distinct tendency to flow. Accordingly, different approaches for opening crystallization wells containing crystals growing in the cubic and the sponge phase are called for as indeed different methods are required for harvesting crystals from the two mesophase types. Protocols for doing just that have been

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Purification, Refolding, and Crystallization of the Outer Membrane Protein OmpG from Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Köster, Stefan; van Pee, Katharina; Yildiz, Özkan

    2015-01-01

    OmpG is a pore-forming protein from E. coli outer membranes. Unlike the classical outer membrane porins, which are trimers, the OmpG channel is a monomeric β-barrel made of 14 antiparallel β-strands with short periplasmic turns and longer extracellular loops. The channel activity of OmpG is pH dependent and the channel is gated by the extracellular loop L6. At neutral/high pH, the channel is open and permeable for substrate molecules with a size up to 900 Da. At acidic pH, loop L6 folds across the channel and blocks the pore. The channel blockage at acidic pH appears to be triggered by the protonation of a histidine pair on neighboring β-strands, which repel one another, resulting in the rearrangement of loop L6 and channel closure. OmpG was purified by refolding from inclusion bodies and crystallized in two and three dimensions. Crystallization and analysis by electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography revealed the fundamental mechanisms essential for the channel activity.

  19. Crystallizing Membrane Proteins in the Lipidic Mesophase. Experience with Human Prostaglandin E2 Synthase 1 and an Evolving Strategy

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The lipidic mesophase or in meso method for crystallizing membrane proteins has several high profile targets to its credit and is growing in popularity. Despite its success, the method is in its infancy as far as rational crystallogenesis is concerned. Consequently, significant time, effort, and resources are still required to generate structure-grade crystals, especially with a new target type. Therefore, a need exists for crystallogenesis protocols that are effective with a broad range of membrane protein types. Recently, a strategy for crystallizing a prokaryotic α-helical membrane protein, diacylglycerol kinase (DgkA), by the in meso method was reported (Cryst. Growth. Des.2013, 13, 2846−2857). Here, we describe its application to the human α-helical microsomal prostaglandin E2 synthase 1 (mPGES1). While the DgkA strategy proved useful, significant modifications were needed to generate structure-quality crystals of this important therapeutic target. These included protein engineering, using an additive phospholipid in the hosting mesophase, performing multiple rounds of salt screening, and carrying out trials at 4 °C in the presence of a tight binding ligand. The crystallization strategy detailed here should prove useful for generating structures of other integral membrane proteins by the in meso method. PMID:24803849

  20. Expression, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of an outer membrane protein from Thermus thermophilus HB27

    PubMed Central

    Brosig, Alexander; Nesper, Jutta; Welte, Wolfram; Diederichs, Kay

    2008-01-01

    The cell envelope of the thermophilic bacterium Thermus thermophilus is multilayered and includes an outer membrane with integral outer membrane proteins that are not well characterized. The hypothetical protein TTC0834 from T. thermophilus HB27 was identified as a 22 kDa outer membrane protein containing eight predicted β-strands. TTC0834 was expressed with an N-­terminal His tag in T. thermophilus HB8 and detected in the S-layer/outer membrane envelope fraction. His-TTC0834 was purified and crystallized under various conditions. Native data sets were collected to 3.2 Å resolution and the best diffracting crystals belonged to space group P3121 or P3221, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 166.67, c = 97.53 Å. PMID:18540069

  1. Expression, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of an outer membrane protein from Thermus thermophilus HB27.

    PubMed

    Brosig, Alexander; Nesper, Jutta; Welte, Wolfram; Diederichs, Kay

    2008-06-01

    The cell envelope of the thermophilic bacterium Thermus thermophilus is multilayered and includes an outer membrane with integral outer membrane proteins that are not well characterized. The hypothetical protein TTC0834 from T. thermophilus HB27 was identified as a 22 kDa outer membrane protein containing eight predicted beta-strands. TTC0834 was expressed with an N-terminal His tag in T. thermophilus HB8 and detected in the S-layer/outer membrane envelope fraction. His-TTC0834 was purified and crystallized under various conditions. Native data sets were collected to 3.2 A resolution and the best diffracting crystals belonged to space group P3(1)21 or P3(2)21, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 166.67, c = 97.53 A.

  2. 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.

  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.

  4. 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.

  5. Purification and Bicelle Crystallization for Structure Determination of the E. coli Outer Membrane Protein TamA.

    PubMed

    Gruss, Fabian; Hiller, Sebastian; Maier, Timm

    2015-01-01

    TamA is an Omp85 protein involved in autotransporter assembly in the outer membrane of Escherichia coli. It comprises a C-terminal 16-stranded transmembrane β-barrel as well as three periplasmic POTRA domains, and is a challenging target for structure determination. Here, we present a method for crystal structure determination of TamA, including recombinant expression in E. coli, detergent extraction, chromatographic purification, and bicelle crystallization in combination with seeding. As a result, crystals in space group P21212 are obtained, which diffract to 2.3 Å resolution. This protocol also serves as a template for structure determination of other outer membrane proteins, in particular of the Omp85 family.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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-β-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. PMID:18831551

  7. 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.

  8. Contamination from an affinity column: an encounter with a new villain in the world of membrane-protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Panwar, Pankaj; Deniaud, Aurélien; Pebay-Peyroula, Eva

    2012-10-01

    Attempts to crystallize AtNTT1, a chloroplast ATP/ADP transporter from Arabidopsis thaliana, revealed an unexpected contaminant, Strep-Tactin, a variant of streptavidin that was used during purification of the protein. Although it was present in very small amounts, crystals of Strep-Tactin were reproducibly grown from the AtNTT1 solution. AtNTT1 was overexpressed in Escherichia coli and purified from detergent-solubilized membrane fractions using Strep-Tactin affinity chromatography based on an engineered streptavidin. The contamination of protein solutions purified on Strep-Tactin columns has never been described previously and seems to be specific to membrane proteins solubilized in detergents. Trace amounts of Strep-Tactin were observed to be eluted from a Strep-Tactin column using several routinely used detergents, illustrating their possible role in the contamination. This finding raises an alarm and suggests caution in membrane-protein purification using Strep-Tactin affinity columns, where detergents are essential components. The small crystals of contaminant protein led to the structure at 1.9 Å resolution of Strep-Tactin in complex with desthiobiotin.

  9. 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

  10. A fluorescence-detection size-exclusion chromatography-based thermostability assay to identify membrane protein expression and crystallization conditions

    PubMed Central

    Hattori, Motoyuki; Hibbs, Ryan E.; Gouaux, Eric

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Optimization of membrane protein stability under different solution conditions is essential for obtaining crystals that diffract to high resolution. Traditional methods that evaluate protein stability require large amounts of material, and are therefore ill-suited for medium- to high-throughput screening of membrane proteins. Here we present a rapid and efficient fluorescence-detection size-exclusion chromatography-based thermostability assay (FSEC-TS). In this method, the target protein is fused to GFP. Heated protein samples, treated with a panel of additives, are then analyzed by FSEC. FSEC-TS allows one to evaluate the thermostability of nanogram to microgram amounts of the target protein under a variety of conditions without purification. We applied this method to the Danio rerio P2X4 receptor and Caenorhabditis elegans GluCl to screen ligands, ions and lipids, including newly designed cholesterol derivatives. In the case of GluCl, the screening results were used to obtain crystals of the receptor in the presence of lipids. PMID:22884106

  11. Inverse colloidal crystal membranes for hydrophobic interaction membrane chromatography.

    PubMed

    Vu, Anh T; Wang, Xinying; Wickramasinghe, S Ranil; Yu, Bing; Yuan, Hua; Cong, Hailin; Luo, Yongli; Tang, Jianguo

    2015-08-01

    Hydrophobic interaction membrane chromatography has gained interest due to its excellent performance in the purification of humanized monoclonal antibodies. The membrane material used in hydrophobic interaction membrane chromatography has typically been commercially available polyvinylidene fluoride. In this contribution, newly developed inverse colloidal crystal membranes that have uniform pores, high porosity and, therefore, high surface area for protein binding are used as hydrophobic interaction membrane chromatography membranes for humanized monoclonal antibody immunoglobulin G purification. The capacity of the inverse colloidal crystal membranes developed here is up to ten times greater than commercially available polyvinylidene fluoride membranes with a similar pore size. This work highlights the importance of developing uniform pore size high porosity membranes in order to maximize the capacity of hydrophobic interaction membrane chromatography.

  12. Purification, crystallization and characterization of the Pseudomonas outer membrane protein FapF, a functional amyloid transporter

    PubMed Central

    Rouse, Sarah L.; Hawthorne, Wlliam J.; Lambert, Sebastian; Morgan, Marc L.; Hare, Stephen A.; Matthews, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria often produce extracellular amyloid fibres via a multi-component secretion system. Aggregation-prone, unstructured subunits cross the periplasm and are secreted through the outer membrane, after which they self-assemble. Here, significant progress is presented towards solving the high-resolution crystal structure of the novel amyloid transporter FapF from Pseudomonas, which facilitates the secretion of the amyloid-forming polypeptide FapC across the bacterial outer membrane. This represents the first step towards obtaining structural insight into the products of the Pseudomonas fap operon. Initial attempts at crystallizing full-length and N-terminally truncated constructs by refolding techniques were not successful; however, after preparing FapF106–430 from the membrane fraction, reproducible crystals were obtained using the sitting-drop method of vapour diffusion. Diffraction data have been processed to 2.5 Å resolution. These crystals belonged to the monoclinic space group C121, with unit-cell parameters a = 143.4, b = 124.6, c = 80.4 Å, α = γ = 90, β = 96.32° and three monomers in the asymmetric unit. It was found that the switch to complete detergent exchange into C8E4 was crucial for forming well diffracting crystals, and it is suggested that this combined with limited proteolysis is a potentially useful protocol for membrane β-barrel protein crystallography. The three-dimensional structure of FapF will provide invaluable information on the mechanistic differences of biogenesis between the curli and Fap functional amyloid systems. PMID:27917837

  13. 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

  14. Purification, crystallization and preliminary crystallographic studies of an integral membrane protein, cytochrome bo3 ubiquinol oxidase from Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Abramson, J; Larsson, G; Byrne, B; Puustinen, A; Garcia-Horsman, A; Iwata, S

    2000-08-01

    Cytochrome bo(3) ubiquinol oxidase has been successfully purified for crystallization. Single crystals of this integral membrane protein diffract X-rays to 3.5 A resolution and belong to the orthorhombic space group C222(1). From the diffraction data, the unit-cell parameters were determined to be a = 91.3, b = 370.3, c = 232.4 A. The crystals have a solvent content of 59% and contain two molecules per asymmetric unit. A search model generated from the structures of cytochrome c oxidase from Paracoccus denitrificans and the extrinsic domain of cytochrome bo(3) ubiquinol oxidase from Escherichia coli was used for molecular-replacement studies, resulting in a solution with sensible molecular packing.

  15. Membrane Protein Crystallization in Lipidic Mesophases. Hosting lipid affects on the crystallization and structure of a transmembrane peptide.

    PubMed

    Höfer, Nicole; Aragão, David; Lyons, Joseph A; Caffrey, Martin

    2011-04-06

    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 synthesised 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.

  16. Membrane Protein Crystallization in Lipidic Mesophases. Hosting lipid affects on the crystallization and structure of a transmembrane peptide

    PubMed Central

    Höfer, Nicole; Aragão, David; Lyons, Joseph A.; Caffrey, Martin

    2012-01-01

    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 synthesised 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. PMID:22933857

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 2D and 3D crystallization of a bacterial homologue of human vitamin C membrane transport proteins.

    PubMed

    Jeckelmann, Jean-Marc; Harder, Daniel; Ucurum, Zöhre; Fotiadis, Dimitrios

    2014-10-01

    Most organisms are able to synthesize vitamin C whereas humans are not. In order to contribute to the elucidation of the molecular working mechanism of vitamin C transport through biological membranes, we cloned, overexpressed, purified, functionally characterized, and 2D- and 3D-crystallized a bacterial protein (UraDp) with 29% of amino acid sequence identity to the human sodium-dependent vitamin C transporter 1 (SVCT1). Ligand-binding experiments by scintillation proximity assay revealed that uracil is a substrate preferably bound to UraDp. For structural analysis, we report on the production of tubular 2D crystals and present a first projection structure of UraDp from negatively stained tubes. On the other hand the successful growth of UraDp 3D crystals and their crystallographic analysis is described. These 3D crystals, which diffract X-rays to 4.2Å resolution, pave the way towards the high-resolution crystal structure of a bacterial homologue with high amino acid sequence identity to human SVCT1.

  20. 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

  1. 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."

  2. Proteins of Excitable Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Nachmansohn, David

    1969-01-01

    Excitable membranes have the special ability of changing rapidly and reversibly their permeability to ions, thereby controlling the ion movements that carry the electric currents propagating nerve impulses. Acetylcholine (ACh) is the specific signal which is released by excitation and is recognized by a specific protein, the ACh-receptor; it induces a conformational change, triggering off a sequence of reactions resulting in increased permeability. The hydrolysis of ACh by ACh-esterase restores the barrier to ions. The enzymes hydrolyzing and forming ACh and the receptor protein are present in the various types of excitable membranes. Properties of the two proteins directly associated with electrical activity, receptor and esterase, will be described in this and subsequent lectures. ACh-esterase has been shown to be located within the excitable membranes. Potent enzyme inhibitors block electrical activity demonstrating the essential role in this function. The enzyme has been recently crystallized and some protein properties will be described. The monocellular electroplax preparation offers a uniquely favorable material for analyzing the properties of the ACh-receptor and its relation to function. The essential role of the receptor in electrical activity has been demonstrated with specific receptor inhibitors. Recent data show the basically similar role of ACh in the axonal and junctional membranes; the differences of electrical events and pharmacological actions are due to variations of shape, structural organization, and environment. PMID:19873642

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of YidC, a membrane-protein chaperone and insertase from Bacillus halodurans

    SciTech Connect

    Kumazaki, Kaoru; Tsukazaki, Tomoya; Nishizawa, Tomohiro; Tanaka, Yoshiki; Kato, Hideaki E.; Nakada-Nakura, Yoshiko; Hirata, Kunio; Mori, Yoshihiro; Suga, Hiroaki; Dohmae, Naoshi; Ishitani, Ryuichiro; Nureki, Osamu

    2014-07-23

    YidC, a membrane-protein chaperone/insertase from B. halodurans, was expressed, purified and crystallized in the lipidic cubic phase. An X-ray diffraction data set was collected to 2.4 Å resolution. YidC, a member of the YidC/Oxa1/Alb3 family, inserts proteins into the membrane and facilitates membrane-protein folding in bacteria. YidC plays key roles in both Sec-mediated integration and Sec-independent insertion of membrane proteins. Here, Bacillus halodurans YidC2, which has five transmembrane helices conserved among the other family members, was identified as a target protein for structure determination by a fluorescent size-exclusion chromatography analysis. The protein was overexpressed, purified and crystallized in the lipidic cubic phase. The crystals diffracted X-rays to 2.4 Å resolution and belonged to space group P2{sub 1}, with unit-cell parameters a = 43.9, b = 60.6, c = 58.9 Å, β = 100.3°. The experimental phases were determined by the multiwavelength anomalous diffraction method using a mercury-derivatized crystal.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. A new approach for structure analysis of two-dimensional membrane protein crystals using X-ray powder diffraction data

    PubMed Central

    Dilanian, R A; Darmanin, C; Varghese, J N; Wilkins, S W; Oka, T; Yagi, N; Quiney, H M; Nugent, K A

    2011-01-01

    The application of powder diffraction methods to problems in structural biology is generally regarded as intractable because of the large number of unresolved, overlapping X-ray reflections. Here, we use information about unit cell lattice parameters, space group transformations, and chemical composition as a priori information in a bootstrap process that resolves the ambiguities associated with overlapping reflections. The measured ratios of reflections that can be resolved experimentally are used to refine the position, the shape, and the orientation of low-resolution molecular structures within the unit cell, in leading to the resolution of the overlapping reflections. The molecular model is then made progressively more sophisticated as additional diffraction information is included in the analysis. We apply our method to the recovery of the structure of the bacteriorhodopsin molecule (bR) to a resolution of 7 Å using experimental data obtained from two-dimensional purple membrane crystals. The approach can be used to determine the structure factors directly or to provide reliable low-resolution phase information that can be refined further by the conventional methods of protein crystallography. PMID:21154412

  13. General qPCR and Plate Reader Methods for Rapid Optimization of Membrane Protein Purification and Crystallization Using Thermostability Assays.

    PubMed

    Tomasiak, Thomas M; Pedersen, Bjørn P; Chaudhary, Sarika; Rodriguez, Andrew; Colmanares, Yaneth Robles; Roe-Zurz, Zygy; Thamminana, Sobha; Tessema, Meseret; Stroud, Robert M

    2014-08-01

    This unit describes rapid and generally applicable methods to identify conditions that stabilize membrane proteins using temperature-based denaturation measurements as a proxy for target time-dependent stability. Recent developments with thiol-reactive dyes sensitive to the unmasking of cysteine residues upon protein unfolding have allowed for routine application of thermostability assays to systematically evaluate the stability of membrane protein preparations after various purification procedures. Test conditions can include different lipid cocktails, lipid-detergent micelles, pH, salts, osmolytes, and potential active-site ligands. Identification and use of conditions that stabilize the structure have proven successful in enabling the structure determination of numerous families of membrane proteins that otherwise were intractable.

  14. How To Minimize Artifacts in Atomistic Simulations of Membrane Proteins, Whose Crystal Structure Is Heavily Engineered: β₂-Adrenergic Receptor in the Spotlight.

    PubMed

    Manna, Moutusi; Kulig, Waldemar; Javanainen, Matti; Tynkkynen, Joona; Hensen, Ulf; Müller, Daniel J; Rog, Tomasz; Vattulainen, Ilpo

    2015-07-14

    Atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are used extensively to elucidate membrane protein properties. These simulations are based on three-dimensional protein structures that in turn are often based on crystallography. The protein structures resolved in crystallographic studies typically do not correspond to pristine proteins, however. Instead the crystallized proteins are commonly engineered, including structural modifications (mutations, replacement of protein sequences by antibodies, bound ligands, etc.) whose impact on protein structure and dynamics is largely unknown. Here we explore this issue through atomistic MD simulations (∼5 μs in total), focusing on the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) that is one of the most studied members of the G-protein coupled receptor superfamily. Starting from an inactive-state crystal structure of β2AR, we remove the many modifications in β2AR systematically one at a time, in six consecutive steps. After each step, we equilibrate the system and simulate it quite extensively. The results of this step-by-step approach highlight that the structural modifications used in crystallization can affect ligand and G-protein binding sites, packing at the transmembrane-helix interface region, and the dynamics of connecting loops in β2AR. When the results of the systematic step-by-step approach are compared to an all-at-once technique where all modifications done on β2AR are removed instantaneously at the same time, it turns out that the step-by-step method provides results that are superior in terms of maintaining protein structural stability. The results provide compelling evidence that for membrane proteins whose 3D structure is based on structural engineering, the preparation of protein structure for atomistic MD simulations is a delicate and sensitive process. The results show that most valid results are found when the structural modifications are reverted slowly, one at a time.

  15. Protein crystallization in microgravity.

    PubMed

    Aibara, S; Shibata, K; Morita, Y

    1997-12-01

    A space experiment involving protein crystallization was conducted in a microgravity environment using the space shuttle "Endeavour" of STS-47, on a 9-day mission from September 12th to 20th in 1992. The crystallization was carried out according to a batch method, and 5 proteins were selected as flight samples for crystallization. Two of these proteins: hen egg-white lysozyme and co-amino acid: pyruvate aminotransferase from Pseudomonas sp. F-126, were obtained as single crystals of good diffraction quality. Since 1992 we have carried out several space experiments for protein crystallization aboard space shuttles and the space station MIR. Our experimental results obtained mainly from hen egg-white lysozyme are described below, focusing on the effects of microgravity on protein crystal growth.

  16. Dynamic pictures of membrane proteins in two-dimensional crystal, lipid bilayer and detergent as revealed by site-directed solid-state 13C NMR.

    PubMed

    Saitô, Hazime

    2004-11-01

    We have compared site-directed 13C solid-state NMR spectra of [3-13C]Ala- and/or [1-13C]Val-labeled membrane proteins, including bacteriorhodopsin (bR), pharaonis phoborhodopin (ppR), its cognate transducer (pHtrII) and Escherichia coli diacylglycerol kinase (DGK), in two-dimensional (2D) crystal, lipid bilayers, and detergent. Restricted fluctuation motions of these membrane proteins due to oligomerization of bR by specific protein-protein interactions in the 2D crystalline lattice or protein complex between ppR and pHtrII provide the most favorable environment to yield well-resolved, fully visible 13C NMR signals for [3-13C]Ala-labeled proteins. In contrast, several signals from such membrane proteins were broadened or lost owing to interference of inherent fluctuation frequencies (10(4)-10(5)Hz) with frequency of either proton decoupling or magic angle spinning, if their 13C NMR spectra were recorded as a monomer in lipid bilayers at ambient temperature. The presence of such protein dynamics is essential for the respective proteins to achieve their own biological functions. Finally, spectral broadening found for bR and DGK in detergents were discussed.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. A Versatile System for High-Throughput In Situ X-ray Screening and Data Collection of Soluble and Membrane-Protein Crystals

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, in situ data collection has been a major focus of progress in protein crystallography. Here, we introduce the Mylar in situ method using Mylar-based sandwich plates that are inexpensive, easy to make and handle, and show significantly less background scattering than other setups. A variety of cognate holders for patches of Mylar in situ sandwich films corresponding to one or more wells makes the method robust and versatile, allows for storage and shipping of entire wells, and enables automated crystal imaging, screening, and goniometer-based X-ray diffraction data-collection at room temperature and under cryogenic conditions for soluble and membrane-protein crystals grown in or transferred to these plates. We validated the Mylar in situ method using crystals of the water-soluble proteins hen egg-white lysozyme and sperm whale myoglobin as well as the 7-transmembrane protein bacteriorhodopsin from Haloquadratum walsbyi. In conjunction with current developments at synchrotrons, this approach promises high-resolution structural studies of membrane proteins to become faster and more routine. PMID:28261000

  20. There is a baby in the bath water: AcrB contamination is a major problem in membrane-protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Veesler, David; Blangy, Stéphanie; Cambillau, Christian; Sciara, Giuliano

    2008-10-01

    In the course of a crystallographic study of the Methanosarcina mazei CorA transporter, the membrane protein was obtained with at least 95% purity and was submitted to crystallization trials. Small crystals (<100 microm) were grown that diffracted to 3.42 A resolution and belonged to space group R32, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 145.74, c = 514.0 A. After molecular-replacement attempts using available CorA structures as search models failed to yield a solution, it was discovered that the crystals consisted of an Escherichia coli contaminating protein, acriflavine resistance protein B (AcrB), that was present at less than 5% in the protein preparations. AcrB contamination is a major problem when expressing membrane proteins in E. coli since it binds naturally to immobilized metal-ion affinity chromatography (IMAC) resins. Here, the structure is compared with previously deposited AcrB structures and strategies are proposed to avoid this contamination.

  1. Inherently tunable electrostatic assembly of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Liang, Hongjun; Whited, Gregg; Nguyen, Chi; Okerlund, Adam; Stucky, Galen D

    2008-01-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Laterally Mobile, Functionalized Self-Assembled Monolayers at the Fluorous−Aqueous Interface in a Plug-Based Microfluidic System: Characterization and Testing with Membrane Protein Crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    Kreutz, Jason E.; Li, Liang; Roach, L. Spencer; Hatakeyama, Takuji; Ismagilov, Rustem F.

    2009-11-04

    This paper describes a method to generate functionalizable, mobile self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) in plug-based microfluidics. Control of interfaces is advancing studies of biological interfaces, heterogeneous reactions, and nanotechnology. SAMs have been useful for such studies, but they are not laterally mobile. Lipid-based methods, though mobile, are not easily amenable to setting up the hundreds of experiments necessary for crystallization screening. Here we demonstrate a method, complementary to current SAM and lipid methods, for rapidly generating mobile, functionalized SAMs. This method relies on plugs, droplets surrounded by a fluorous carrier fluid, to rapidly explore chemical space. Specifically, we implemented his-tag binding chemistry to design a new fluorinated amphiphile, RfNTA, using an improved one-step synthesis of RfOEG under Mitsunobu conditions. RfNTA introduces specific binding of protein at the fluorous-aqueous interface, which concentrates and orients proteins at the interface, even in the presence of other surfactants. We then applied this approach to the crystallization of a his-tagged membrane protein, Reaction Center from Rhodobacter sphaeroides, performed 2400 crystallization trials, and showed that this approach can increase the range of crystal-producing conditions, the success rate at a given condition, the rate of nucleation, and the quality of the crystal formed.

  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. 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.

  9. Quantification of detergent using colorimetric methods in membrane protein crystallography.

    PubMed

    Prince, Chelsy; Jia, Zongchao

    2015-01-01

    Membrane protein crystallography has the potential to greatly aid our understanding of membrane protein biology. Yet, membrane protein crystals remain challenging to produce. Although robust methods for the expression and purification of membrane proteins continue to be developed, the detergent component of membrane protein samples is equally important to crystallization efforts. This chapter describes the development of three colorimetric assays for the quantitation of detergent in membrane protein samples and provides detailed protocols. All of these techniques use small sample volumes and have potential applications in crystallography. The application of these techniques in crystallization prescreening, detergent concentration modification, and detergent exchange experiments is demonstrated. It has been observed that the concentration of detergent in a membrane protein sample can be just as important as the protein concentration when attempting to reproduce crystallization lead conditions.

  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. 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.

  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. Combinatorial Method for Overexpression of Membrane Proteins in Escherichia coli*

    PubMed Central

    Leviatan, Shani; Sawada, Keisuke; Moriyama, Yoshinori; Nelson, Nathan

    2010-01-01

    Membrane proteins constitute 20–30% of all proteins encoded by the genome of various organisms. Large amounts of purified proteins are required for activity and crystallization attempts. Thus, there is an unmet need for a heterologous membrane protein overexpression system for purification, crystallization, and activity determination. We developed a combinatorial method for overexpressing and purifying membrane proteins using Escherichia coli. This method utilizes short hydrophilic bacterial proteins, YaiN and YbeL, fused to the ends of the membrane proteins to serve as facilitating factors for expression and purification. Fourteen prokaryotic and mammalian membrane proteins were expressed using this system. Moderate to high expression was obtained for most proteins, and detergent solubilization combined with a short purification process produced stable, monodispersed membrane proteins. Five of the mammalian membrane proteins, overexpressed using our system, were reconstituted into liposomes and exhibited transport activity comparable with the native transporters. PMID:20525689

  15. Combinatorial method for overexpression of membrane proteins in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Leviatan, Shani; Sawada, Keisuke; Moriyama, Yoshinori; Nelson, Nathan

    2010-07-30

    Membrane proteins constitute 20-30% of all proteins encoded by the genome of various organisms. Large amounts of purified proteins are required for activity and crystallization attempts. Thus, there is an unmet need for a heterologous membrane protein overexpression system for purification, crystallization, and activity determination. We developed a combinatorial method for overexpressing and purifying membrane proteins using Escherichia coli. This method utilizes short hydrophilic bacterial proteins, YaiN and YbeL, fused to the ends of the membrane proteins to serve as facilitating factors for expression and purification. Fourteen prokaryotic and mammalian membrane proteins were expressed using this system. Moderate to high expression was obtained for most proteins, and detergent solubilization combined with a short purification process produced stable, monodispersed membrane proteins. Five of the mammalian membrane proteins, overexpressed using our system, were reconstituted into liposomes and exhibited transport activity comparable with the native transporters.

  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. 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.

  18. Tracking membrane protein association in model membranes.

    PubMed

    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 A, 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 extract a

  19. 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.

  20. Thermostabilisation of membrane proteins for structural studies

    PubMed Central

    Magnani, Francesca; Serrano-Vega, Maria J.; Shibata, Yoko; Abdul-Hussein, Saba; Lebon, Guillaume; Miller-Gallacher, Jennifer; Singhal, Ankita; Strege, Annette; Thomas, Jennifer A.; Tate, Christopher G.

    2017-01-01

    The thermostability of an integral membrane protein in detergent solution is a key parameter that dictates the likelihood of obtaining well-diffracting crystals suitable for structure determination. However, many mammalian membrane proteins are too unstable for crystallisation. We developed a thermostabilisation strategy based on systematic mutagenesis coupled to a radioligand-binding thermostability assay that can be applied to receptors, ion channels and transporters. It takes approximately 6-12 months to thermostabilise a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) containing 300 amino acid residues. The resulting thermostabilised membrane proteins are more easily crystallised and result in high-quality structures. This methodology has facilitated structure-based drug design applied to GPCRs, because it is possible to determine multiple structures of the thermostabilised receptors bound to low affinity ligands. Protocols and advice are given on how to develop thermostability assays for membrane proteins and how to combine mutations to make an optimally stable mutant suitable for structural studies. PMID:27466713

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Insecticidal crystal proteins of Bacillus thuringiensis.

    PubMed Central

    Höfte, H; Whiteley, H R

    1989-01-01

    A classification for crystal protein genes of Bacillus thuringiensis is presented. Criteria used are the insecticidal spectra and the amino acid sequences of the encoded proteins. Fourteen genes are distinguished, encoding proteins active against either Lepidoptera (cryI), Lepidoptera and Diptera (cryII), Coleoptera (cryIII), or Diptera (cryIV). One gene, cytA, encodes a general cytolytic protein and shows no structural similarities with the other genes. Toxicity studies with single purified proteins demonstrated that every described crystal protein is characterized by a highly specific, and sometimes very restricted, insect host spectrum. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences reveals sequence elements which are conserved for Cry proteins. The expression of crystal protein genes is affected by a number of factors. Recently, two distinct sigma subunits regulating transcription during different stages of sporulation have been identified, as well as a protein regulating the expression of a crystal protein at a posttranslational level. Studies on the biochemical mechanisms of toxicity suggest that B. thuringiensis crystal proteins induce the formation of pores in membranes of susceptible cells. In vitro binding studies with radiolabeled toxins demonstrated a strong correlation between the specificity of B. thuringiensis toxins and the interaction with specific binding sites on the insect midgut epithelium. The expression of B. thuringiensis crystal proteins in plant-associated microorganisms and in transgenic plants has been reported. These approaches are potentially powerful strategies for the protection of agriculturally important crops against insect damage. Images PMID:2666844

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Bacterial ice crystal controlling proteins.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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

  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. Protein engineering methods applied to membrane protein targets.

    PubMed

    Lluis, M W; Godfroy, J I; Yin, H

    2013-02-01

    Genes encoding membrane proteins have been estimated to comprise as much as 30% of the human genome. Among these membrane, proteins are a large number of signaling receptors, transporters, ion channels and enzymes that are vital to cellular regulation, metabolism and homeostasis. While many membrane proteins are considered high-priority targets for drug design, there is a dearth of structural and biochemical information on them. This lack of information stems from the inherent insolubility and instability of transmembrane domains, which prevents easy obtainment of high-resolution crystals to specifically study structure-function relationships. In part, this lack of structures has greatly impeded our understanding in the field of membrane proteins. One method that can be used to enhance our understanding is directed evolution, a molecular biology method that mimics natural selection to engineer proteins that have specific phenotypes. It is a powerful technique that has considerable success with globular proteins, notably the engineering of protein therapeutics. With respect to transmembrane protein targets, this tool may be underutilized. Another powerful tool to investigate membrane protein structure-function relationships is computational modeling. This review will discuss these protein engineering methods and their tremendous potential in the study of membrane proteins.

  11. 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.

  12. Overexpression of membrane proteins using Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Bornert, Olivier; Alkhalfioui, Fatima; Logez, Christel; Wagner, Renaud

    2012-02-01

    Among the small number of expression systems validated for the mass production of eukaryotic membrane proteins (EMPs), the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris stands as one of the most efficient hosts. This system has been used to produce crystallization-grade proteins for a variety of EMPs, from which high-resolution 3D structures have been determined. This unit describes a set of guidelines and instructions to overexpress membrane proteins using the P. pastoris system. Using a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) as a model EMP, these protocols illustrate the necessary steps, starting with the design of the DNA sequence to be expressed, through the preparation and analysis of samples containing the corresponding membrane protein of interest. In addition, recommendations are given on a series of experimental parameters that can be optimized to substantially improve the amount and/or the functionality of the expressed EMPs.

  13. Design of membrane proteins: toward functional systems.

    PubMed

    Ghirlanda, Giovanna

    2009-12-01

    Over the years, membrane-soluble peptides have provided a convenient model system to investigate the folding and assembly of integral membrane proteins. Recent advances in experimental and computational methods are now being translated into the design of functional membrane proteins. Applications include artificial modulators of membrane protein function, inhibitors of protein-protein interactions, and redox membrane proteins.

  14. 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.

  15. How some proteins tubulate membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassereau, Patricia

    2009-03-01

    Endocytosis, exocytosis, membrane transport between intracellular compartments, virus or toxin entry or exit out of the cell, all imply to deform membrane. Membrane deformation mechanisms of cell membranes by proteins are currently actively studied. Giant vesicles (GUV) are interesting model membrane systems because they are composed of a very limited number of components compared to cellular membranes. The deformations induced by the interaction with a specific protein or any other additional components to the system, can then be directly monitored and the deformation mechanism eventually understood. In this talk, we will focus on different tubular structures induced by proteins. We will show that the B-subunits of Shiga toxin or Cholera Toxin, binding to their lipid receptors, Gb3 or GM1 respectively, incorporated in GUV membrane, induce negative membrane curvature and form tubular invaginations, in absence of any other cellular machinery. Tubular structures can also be obtained when molecular motors walking along microtubules exert a pulling force on the membrane of GUV. The helicoidal assembly of dynamin, a protein involved in vivo in membrane fission can also produce tubular structures. This assembly has been reconstituted around membrane nanotubes of controlled diameter; we will show that the initial tube diameter strongly influences dynamin polymerisation. In each case, a physical framework for understanding deformation mechanism will be presented

  16. Membrane proteins, lipids and detergents: not just a soap opera.

    PubMed

    Seddon, Annela M; Curnow, Paul; Booth, Paula J

    2004-11-03

    Studying membrane proteins represents a major challenge in protein biochemistry, with one of the major difficulties being the problems encountered when working outside the natural lipid environment. In vitro studies such as crystallization are reliant on the successful solubilization or reconstitution of membrane proteins, which generally involves the careful selection of solubilizing detergents and mixed lipid/detergent systems. This review will concentrate on the methods currently available for efficient reconstitution and solubilization of membrane proteins through the use of detergent micelles, mixed lipid/detergent micelles and bicelles or liposomes. We focus on the relevant molecular properties of the detergents and lipids that aid understanding of these processes. A significant barrier to membrane protein research is retaining the stability and function of the protein during solubilization, reconstitution and crystallization. We highlight some of the lessons learnt from studies of membrane protein folding in vitro and give an overview of the role that lipids can play in stabilizing the proteins.

  17. Quantification of Detergents Complexed with Membrane Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Chaptal, Vincent; Delolme, Frédéric; Kilburg, Arnaud; Magnard, Sandrine; Montigny, Cédric; Picard, Martin; Prier, Charlène; Monticelli, Luca; Bornert, Olivier; Agez, Morgane; Ravaud, Stéphanie; Orelle, Cédric; Wagner, Renaud; Jawhari, Anass; Broutin, Isabelle; Pebay-Peyroula, Eva; Jault, Jean-Michel; Kaback, H. Ronald; le Maire, Marc; Falson, Pierre

    2017-01-01

    Most membrane proteins studies require the use of detergents, but because of the lack of a general, accurate and rapid method to quantify them, many uncertainties remain that hamper proper functional and structural data analyses. To solve this problem, we propose a method based on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) that allows quantification of pure or mixed detergents in complex with membrane proteins. We validated the method with a wide variety of detergents and membrane proteins. We automated the process, thereby allowing routine quantification for a broad spectrum of usage. As a first illustration, we show how to obtain information of the amount of detergent in complex with a membrane protein, essential for liposome or nanodiscs reconstitutions. Thanks to the method, we also show how to reliably and easily estimate the detergent corona diameter and select the smallest size, critical for favoring protein-protein contacts and triggering/promoting membrane protein crystallization, and to visualize the detergent belt for Cryo-EM studies. PMID:28176812

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. (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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Protein Crystallization Apparatus for Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    The Protein Crystallization for Microgravity (DCAM) was developed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. A droplet of solution with protein molecules dissolved in it is isolated in the center of a small well. In orbit, an elastomer seal is lifted so the solution can evaporate and be absorbed by a wick material. This raises the concentration of the solution, thus prompting protein molecules in the solution to form crystals. The principal investigator is Dr. Dan Carter of New Century Pharmaceuticals in Huntsville, AL.

  7. Protein crystallization apparatus for microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    The Protein Crystallization for Microgravity (DCAM) was developed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. A droplet of solution with protein molecules dissolved in it is isolated in the center of a small well. In orbit, an elastomer seal is lifted so the solution can evaporate and be absorbed by a wick material. This raises the concentration of the solution, thus prompting protein molecules in the solution to form crystals. The principal investigator is Dr. Dan Carter of New Century Pharmaceuticals in Huntsville, AL.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Structural Symmetry in Membrane Proteins.

    PubMed

    Forrest, Lucy R

    2015-01-01

    Symmetry is a common feature among natural systems, including protein structures. A strong propensity toward symmetric architectures has long been recognized for water-soluble proteins, and this propensity has been rationalized from an evolutionary standpoint. Proteins residing in cellular membranes, however, have traditionally been less amenable to structural studies, and thus the prevalence and significance of symmetry in this important class of molecules is not as well understood. In the past two decades, researchers have made great strides in this area, and these advances have provided exciting insights into the range of architectures adopted by membrane proteins. These structural studies have revealed a similarly strong bias toward symmetric arrangements, which were often unexpected and which occurred despite the restrictions imposed by the membrane environment on the possible symmetry groups. Moreover, membrane proteins disproportionately contain internal structural repeats resulting from duplication and fusion of smaller segments. This article discusses the types and origins of symmetry in membrane proteins and the implications of symmetry for protein function.

  11. Phase separation in the isolation and purification of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Thomas; Linke, Dirk

    2007-10-01

    Phase separation is a simple, efficient, and cheap method to purify and concentrate detergent-solubilized membrane proteins. In spite of this, phase separation is not widely used or even known among membrane protein scientists, and ready-to-use protocols are available for only relatively few detergent/membrane protein combinations. Here, we summarize the physical and chemical parameters that influence the phase separation behavior of detergents commonly used for membrane protein studies. Examples for the successful purification of membrane proteins using this method with different classes of detergents are provided. As the choice of the detergent is critical in many downstream applications (e.g., membrane protein crystallization or functional assays), we discuss how new phase separation protocols can be developed for a given detergent buffer system.

  12. The interactions of peripheral membrane proteins with biological membranes

    DOE PAGES

    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

  13. 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.

  14. Secondary and lyotropic liquid crystal membranes for improved aqueous separations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nemade, Parag Ramesh

    An effective membrane separation process should have high flux (i.e., volume filtered per unit membrane surface area per unit time) and selectivity (i.e., passage of the desired species and rejection of undesired species). This dissertation examined two approaches, secondary membranes and lyotropic liquid crystal membranes, for improving flux and selectivity in aqueous liquid separations. The first part of my work emphasizes the use of pre-deposited secondary membranes and backflushing for controlling membrane fouling in microfiltration and ultrafiltration of biological mixtures. Use of secondary membranes increased the permeate flux in microfiltration by several fold. Protein transmission is also enhanced due to the presence of the secondary membrane, and the amount of protein recovered is more than twice that obtained during filtration of protein-only solutions under otherwise identical conditions. In ultrafiltration, the flux enhancement due to secondary membranes is 50%, or less. For the second part of my research, I developed and evaluated polymerized lyotropic liquid crystal (LLC) thin-film composite membranes. LLC assemblies provide an opportunity to make nanoporous polymer membranes with precise control over chemical and structural features on the nanometer scale, which is currently lacking in commercial reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) membranes available today. These LLC composite membranes are prepared by photopolymerization of solution-cast films of LLC monomer on an ultrafiltration support membrane. These LLC membranes appeared to exhibit almost linearly increasing ionic rejection based on ionic diameter. LLC monomer was modified to achieve a 15% reduction in channel diameter, through the use of a larger multivalent Eu3+ cation as the carboxylate counterion. However, the monomers synthesized required use of solvents such as tetrahydrofuran, which resulted in the dissolution and damage of the support membranes used. Therefore, this direction

  15. Thermodynamic competition between membrane protein oligomeric states

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahraman, Osman; Haselwandter, Christoph A.

    2016-10-01

    Self-assembly of protein monomers into distinct membrane protein oligomers provides a general mechanism for diversity in the molecular architectures, and resulting biological functions, of membrane proteins. We develop a general physical framework describing the thermodynamic competition between different oligomeric states of membrane proteins. Using the mechanosensitive channel of large conductance as a model system, we show how the dominant oligomeric states of membrane proteins emerge from the interplay of protein concentration in the cell membrane, protein-induced lipid bilayer deformations, and direct monomer-monomer interactions. Our results suggest general physical mechanisms and principles underlying regulation of protein function via control of membrane protein oligomeric state.

  16. 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.

  17. Measuring phonons in protein crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niessen, Katherine A.; Snell, Edward; Markelz, A. G.

    2013-03-01

    Using Terahertz near field microscopy we find orientation dependent narrow band absorption features for lysozyme crystals. Here we discuss identification of protein collective modes associated with the observed features. Using normal mode calculations we find good agreement with several of the measured features, suggesting that the modes arise from internal molecular motions and not crystal phonons. Such internal modes have been associated with protein function.

  18. Methods for synthesizing microporous crystals and microporous crystal membranes

    DOEpatents

    Dutta, Prabir; Severance, Michael; Sun, Chenhu

    2017-02-07

    A method of making a microporous crystal material, comprising: a. forming a mixture comprising NaOH, water, and one or more of an aluminum source, a silicon source, and a phosphate source, whereupon the mixture forms a gel; b. heating the gel for a first time period, whereupon a first volume of water is removed from the gel and micoroporous crystal nuclei form, the nuclei having a framework; and c.(if a membrane is to be formed) applying the gel to a solid support seeded with microporous crystals having a framework that is the same as the framework of the nuclei; d. heating the gel for a second time period. during which a second volume of water is added to the gel; wherein the rate of addition of the second volume of water is between about 0.5 and about 2.0 fold the rate of removal of the first volume of water.

  19. 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

  20. Protein crystal nucleation in pores

    PubMed Central

    Nanev, Christo N.; Saridakis, Emmanuel; Chayen, Naomi E.

    2017-01-01

    The most powerful method for protein structure determination is X-ray crystallography which relies on the availability of high quality crystals. Obtaining protein crystals is a major bottleneck, and inducing their nucleation is of crucial importance in this field. An effective method to form crystals is to introduce nucleation-inducing heterologous materials into the crystallization solution. Porous materials are exceptionally effective at inducing nucleation. It is shown here that a combined diffusion-adsorption effect can increase protein concentration inside pores, which enables crystal nucleation even under conditions where heterogeneous nucleation on flat surfaces is absent. Provided the pore is sufficiently narrow, protein molecules approach its walls and adsorb more frequently than they can escape. The decrease in the nucleation energy barrier is calculated, exhibiting its quantitative dependence on the confinement space and the energy of interaction with the pore walls. These results provide a detailed explanation of the effectiveness of porous materials for nucleation of protein crystals, and will be useful for optimal design of such materials. PMID:28091515

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Strategies for the purification of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Smith, Sinead Marian

    2011-01-01

    Although membrane proteins account for 20-30% of the coding regions of all sequenced genomes and play crucial roles in many fundamental cell processes, there are relatively few membranes proteins with known 3D structure. This is likely due to technical challenges associated with membrane protein extraction, solubilisation, and purification. Membrane proteins are classified based on the level of interaction with membrane lipid bilayers, with peripheral membrane proteins associating non-covalently with the membrane, and integral membrane proteins associating more strongly by means of hydrophobic interactions. Generally speaking, peripheral membrane proteins can be purified by milder techniques than integral membrane proteins, whose extraction requires phospholipid bilayer disruption by detergents. Here, important criteria for strategies of membrane protein purification are addressed, with a focus on the initial stages of membrane protein solublilisation, where problems are most frequently encountered. Protocols are outlined for the successful extraction of peripheral membrane proteins, solubilisation of integral membrane proteins, and detergent removal which is important not only for retaining native protein stability and biological functions, but also for the efficiency of later purification techniques.

  4. Membrane Proteins in Four Acts: Function Precedes Structure Determination

    PubMed Central

    Cramer, W. A.; Zakharov, S. D.; Hasan, S. Saif; Zhang, H.; Baniulis, D.; Zhalnina, M. V.; Soriano, G. M.; Sharma, O.; Rochet, J. C.; Ryan, C.; Whitelegge., J.; Kurisu, G.; Yamashita, E.

    2011-01-01

    Studies on four membrane protein systems, which combine information derived from crystal structures and biophysical studies have emphasized, as a precursor to crystallization, demonstration of functional activity. These assays have relied on sensitive spectrophotometric, electrophysiological, and microbiological assays of activity to select purification procedures that lead to functional complexes and with greater likelihood to successful crystallization: (I), Hetero-oligomeric proteins involved in electron transport/ proton translocation). (1) Crystal structures of the eight subunit heterooligomeric trans-membrane dimeric cytochrome b6f complex were obtained from cyanobacteria using a protocol that allowed an analysis of the structure and function of internal lipids at specific intra-membrane, intra-protein sites. Proteolysis and monomerization that inactivated the complex and prevented crystallization was minimized through the use of filamentous cyanobacterial strains that seem to have a different set of membrane-active proteases. (2) An NADPH-quinone oxido-reductase isolated from cyanobacteria contains an expanded set of seventeen monotopic and polytopic hetero-subunits. (II) β-barrel outer membrane proteins (OMPs). High resolution structures of the vitamin B12 binding protein, BtuB, solved in meso and in surfo, provide the best example of the differences in such structures that were anticipated in the first application of the lipid cubic phase to membrane proteins (1). A structure of the complex of BtuB with the colicin E3 and E2 receptor binding domain established a “fishing pole” model for outer membrane receptor function in cellular import of nuclease colicins. (III) A modified faster purification procedure contributed to significantly improved resolution (1.83 Å) of the universal porin, OmpF, the first membrane protein for which meaningful 3D crystals have been obtained (2). A crystal structure of the N-terminal translocation domain of colicin E3

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Compact Apparatus Grows Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, Charles E.; Delucas, Lawrence J.; Suddath, Fred L.; Snyder, Robert S.; Herren, Blair J.; Carter, Daniel C.; Yost, Vaughn H.

    1989-01-01

    Laboratory apparatus provides delicately balanced combination of materials and chemical conditions for growth of protein crystals. Apparatus and technique for growth based on hanging-drop method for crystallization of macromolecules. Includes pair of syringes with ganged plungers. One syringe contains protein solution; other contains precipitating-agent solution. Syringes intrude into cavity lined with porous reservoir material saturated with 1 mL or more of similar precipitating-agent solution. Prior to activation, ends of syringes plugged to prevent transport of water vapor among three solutions.

  8. Proteomic analysis of integral plasma membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yingxin; Zhang, Wei; Kho, Yoonjung; Zhao, Yingming

    2004-04-01

    Efficient methods for profiling proteins integral to the plasma membrane are highly desirable for the identification of overexpressed proteins in disease cells. Such methods will aid in both understanding basic biological processes and discovering protein targets for the design of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. Avoiding contamination by subcellular organelles and cytosolic proteins is crucial to the successful proteomic analysis of integral plasma membrane proteins. Here we report a biotin-directed affinity purification (BDAP) method for the preparation of integral plasma membrane proteins, which involves (1) biotinylation of cell surface membrane proteins in viable cells, (2) affinity enrichment using streptavidin beads, and (3) depletion of plasma membrane-associated cytosolic proteins by harsh washes with high-salt and high-pH buffers. The integral plasma membrane proteins are then extracted and subjected to SDS-PAGE separation and HPLC/MS/MS for protein identification. We used the BDAP method to prepare integral plasma membrane proteins from a human lung cancer cell line. Western blotting analysis showed that the preparation was almost completely devoid of actin, a major cytosolic protein. Nano-HPLC/MS/MS analysis of only 30 microg of protein extracted from the affinity-enriched integral plasma membrane preparation led to the identification of 898 unique proteins, of which 781 were annotated with regard to their plasma membrane localization. Among the annotated proteins, at least 526 (67.3%) were integral plasma membrane proteins. Notable among them were 62 prenylated proteins and 45 Ras family proteins. To our knowledge, this is the most comprehensive proteomic analysis of integral plasma membrane proteins in mammalian cells to date. Given the importance of integral membrane proteins for drug design, the described approach will expedite the characterization of plasma membrane subproteomes and the discovery of plasma membrane protein drug targets.

  9. Membrane stiffness is modified by integral membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Fowler, Philip W; Hélie, Jean; Duncan, Anna; Chavent, Matthieu; Koldsø, Heidi; Sansom, Mark S P

    2016-09-20

    The ease with which a cell membrane can bend and deform is important for a wide range of biological functions. Peripheral proteins that induce curvature in membranes (e.g. BAR domains) have been studied for a number of years. Little is known, however, about the effect of integral membrane proteins on the stiffness of a membrane (characterised by the bending rigidity, Kc). We demonstrate by computer simulation that adding integral membrane proteins at physiological densities alters the stiffness of the membrane. First we establish that the coarse-grained MARTINI forcefield is able to accurately reproduce the bending rigidity of a small patch of 1500 phosphatidyl choline lipids by comparing the calculated value to both experiment and an atomistic simulation of the same system. This enables us to simulate the dynamics of large (ca. 50 000 lipids) patches of membrane using the MARTINI coarse-grained description. We find that altering the lipid composition changes the bending rigidity. Adding integral membrane proteins to lipid bilayers also changes the bending rigidity, whilst adding a simple peripheral membrane protein has no effect. Our results suggest that integral membrane proteins can have different effects, and in the case of the bacterial outer membrane protein, BtuB, the greater the density of protein, the larger the reduction in stiffness.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. The MORPHEUS protein crystallization screen.

    PubMed

    Gorrec, Fabrice

    2009-12-01

    A 96-condition initial screen for protein crystallization, called MORPHEUS, has been developed at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England (MRC-LMB). The concept integrates several innovative approaches, such as chemically compatible mixes of potential ligands, new buffer systems and precipitant mixes that also act as cryoprotectants. Instead of gathering a set of crystallization conditions that have already been successful, a selection of molecules frequently observed in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) to co-crystallize with proteins has been made. These have been put together in mixes of similar chemical behaviour and structure, and combined with buffers and precipitant mixes that were also derived from PDB searches, to build the screen de novo. Observations made at the MRC-LMB and many practical aspects were also taken into account when formulating the screen. The resulting screen is easy to use, comprehensive yet small, and has already yielded a list of crystallization hits using both known and novel samples. As an indicator of success, the screen has now become one of the standard screens used routinely at the MRC-LMB when searching initial crystallization conditions for biological macromolecules.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Slow cooling of protein crystals.

    PubMed

    Warkentin, Matthew; Thorne, Robert E

    2009-10-01

    Cryoprotectant-free thaumatin crystals have been cooled from 300 to 100 K at a rate of 0.1 K s(-1) - 10(3)-10(4) times slower than in conventional flash cooling - while continuously collecting X-ray diffraction data, so as to follow the evolution of protein lattice and solvent properties during cooling. Diffraction patterns show no evidence of crystalline ice at any temperature. This indicates that the lattice of protein molecules is itself an excellent cryoprotectant, and with sodium potassium tartrate incorporated from the 1.5 M mother liquor ice nucleation rates are at least as low as in a 70% glycerol solution. Crystal quality during slow cooling remains high, with an average mosaicity at 100 K of 0.2 degrees . Most of the mosaicity increase occurs above approximately 200 K, where the solvent is still liquid, and is concurrent with an anisotropic contraction of the unit cell. Near 180 K a crossover to solid-like solvent behavior occurs, and on further cooling there is no additional degradation of crystal order. The variation of B factor with temperature shows clear evidence of a protein dynamical transition near 210 K, and at lower temperatures the slope dB/dT is a factor of 3-6 smaller than has been reported for any other protein. These results establish the feasibility of fully temperature controlled studies of protein structure and dynamics between 300 and 100 K.

  20. 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

  1. 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

    2015-11-13

    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.

  2. Microfluidic Approaches for Protein Crystal Structure Analysis.

    PubMed

    Maeki, Masatoshi; Yamaguchi, Hiroshi; Tokeshi, Manabu; Miyazaki, Masaya

    2016-01-01

    This review summarizes two microfluidic-based protein crystallization methods, protein crystallization behavior in the microfluidic devices, and their applications for X-ray crystal structure analysis. Microfluidic devices provide many advantages for protein crystallography; they require small sample volumes, provide high-throughput screening, and allow control of the protein crystallization. A droplet-based protein crystallization method is a useful technique for high-throughput screening and the formation of a single crystal without any complicated device fabrication process. Well-based microfluidic platforms also enable effective protein crystallization. This review also summarizes the protein crystal growth behavior in microfluidic devices as, is known from viewpoints of theoretical and experimental approaches. Finally, we introduce applications of microfluidic devices for on-chip crystal structure analysis.

  3. Enhanced membrane protein expression by engineering increased intracellular membrane production

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Membrane protein research is frequently hampered by the low natural abundance of these proteins in cells and typically relies on recombinant gene expression. Different expression systems, like mammalian cells, insect cells, bacteria and yeast are being used, but very few research efforts have been directed towards specific host cell customization for enhanced expression of membrane proteins. Here we show that by increasing the intracellular membrane production by interfering with a key enzymatic step of lipid synthesis, enhanced expression of membrane proteins in yeast is achieved. Results We engineered the oleotrophic yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica, by deleting the phosphatidic acid phosphatase, PAH1, which led to massive proliferation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes. For all eight tested representatives of different integral membrane protein families, we obtained enhanced protein accumulation levels and in some cases enhanced proteolytic integrity in the ∆pah1 strain. We analysed the adenosine A2AR G-protein coupled receptor case in more detail and found that concomitant induction of the unfolded protein response in the ∆pah1 strain enhanced the specific ligand binding activity of the receptor. These data indicate an improved quality control mechanism for membrane proteins accumulating in yeast cells with proliferated ER. Conclusions We conclude that redirecting the metabolic flux of fatty acids away from triacylglycerol- and sterylester-storage towards membrane phospholipid synthesis by PAH1 gene inactivation, provides a valuable approach to enhance eukaryotic membrane protein production. Complementary to this improvement in membrane protein quantity, UPR co-induction further enhances the quality of the membrane protein in terms of its proper folding and biological activity. Importantly, since these pathways are conserved in all eukaryotes, it will be of interest to investigate similar engineering approaches in other cell types of

  4. 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

  5. Membrane Structure: Lipid-Protein Interactions in Microsomal Membranes*

    PubMed Central

    Trump, Benjamin F.; Duttera, Sue M.; Byrne, William L.; Arstila, Antti U.

    1970-01-01

    The relationships of phospholipid to membrane structure and function were examined in hepatic microsomes. Findings indicate that normal microsomal membrane structure is dependent on lipid-protein interactions and that it correlates closely with glucose-6-phosphatase activity. Modification of most phospholipid with phospholipase-C is associated with widening of the membrane which can be reversed following readdition of phospholipid. Images PMID:4317915

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Detection of Proteins on Blot Membranes.

    PubMed

    Goldman, Aaron; Harper, Sandra; Speicher, David W

    2016-11-01

    Staining of blot membranes enables the visualization of bound proteins. Proteins are usually transferred to blot membranes by electroblotting, by direct spotting of protein solutions, or by contact blots. Staining allows the efficiency of transfer to the membrane to be monitored. This unit describes protocols for staining proteins after electroblotting from polyacrylamide gels to blot membranes such as polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF), nitrocellulose, or nylon membranes. The same methods can be used if proteins are directly spotted, either manually or using robotics. Protocols are included for seven general protein stains (amido black, Coomassie blue, Ponceau S, colloidal gold, colloidal silver, India ink, and MemCode) and three fluorescent protein stains (fluorescamine, IAEDANS, and SYPRO Ruby). Also included is an in-depth discussion of the different blot membrane types and the compatibility of different protein stains with downstream applications, such as immunoblotting or N-terminal Edman sequencing. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  9. 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.

  10. Malate synthase a membrane protein

    SciTech Connect

    Chapman, K.D.; Turley, R.B.; Hermerath, C.A.; Carrapico, F.; Trelease, R.N.

    1987-04-01

    Malate synthase (MS) is generally regarded as a peripheral membrane protein, and believed by some to be ontogenetically associated with ER. However, immuno- and cyto-chemical in situ localizations show MS throughout the matrix of cotton (and cucumber) glyoxysomes, not specifically near their boundary membranes, nor in ER. Only a maximum of 50% MS can be solubilized from cotton glyoxysomes with 1% Triton X-100, 2mM Zwittergen 14, or 10mM DOC +/- salts. Cotton MS does not incorporate /sup 3/H-glucosamine in vivo, nor does it react with Con A on columns or blots. Cotton MS banded with ER in sucrose gradients (20-40%) in Tricine after 3h, but not after 22h in Tricine or Hepes, or after 3h in Hepes or K-phosphate. Collectively the authors data are inconsistent with physiologically meaningful MS-membrane associations in ER or glyoxysomes. It appears that experimentally-induced aggregates of MS migrate in ER gradients and occur in isolated glyoxysomes. These data indicate that ER is not involved in synthesis or modification of cottonseed MS prior to its import into the glyoxysomal matrix.

  11. 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.

  12. Internal packing of helical membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Eilers, Markus; Shekar, Srinivasan C.; Shieh, Ted; Smith, Steven O.; Fleming, Patrick J.

    2000-01-01

    Helix packing is important in the folding, stability, and association of membrane proteins. Packing analysis of the helical portions of 7 integral membrane proteins and 37 soluble proteins show that the helices in membrane proteins have higher packing values (0.431) than in soluble proteins (0.405). The highest packing values in integral membrane proteins originate from small hydrophobic (G and A) and small hydroxyl-containing (S and T) amino acids, whereas in soluble proteins large hydrophobic and aromatic residues have the highest packing values. The highest packing values for membrane proteins are found in the transmembrane helix–helix interfaces. Glycine and alanine have the highest occurrence among the buried amino acids in membrane proteins, whereas leucine and alanine are the most common buried residue in soluble proteins. These observations are consistent with a shorter axial separation between helices in membrane proteins. The tight helix packing revealed in this analysis contributes to membrane protein stability and likely compensates for the lack of the hydrophobic effect as a driving force for helix–helix association in membranes. PMID:10823938

  13. 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.

  14. (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.

  15. Functionalizing Microporous Membranes for Protein Purification and Protein Digestion.

    PubMed

    Dong, Jinlan; Bruening, Merlin L

    2015-01-01

    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.

  16. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Fenglei

    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

  18. 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

  19. 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).

  20. Membrane proteins in four acts: function precedes structure determination.

    PubMed

    Cramer, W A; Zakharov, S D; Saif Hasan, S; Zhang, H; Baniulis, D; Zhalnina, M V; Soriano, G M; Sharma, O; Rochet, J C; Ryan, C; Whitelegge, J; Kurisu, G; Yamashita, E

    2011-12-01

    Studies on four membrane protein systems, which combine information derived from crystal structures and biophysical studies have emphasized, as a precursor to crystallization, demonstration of functional activity. These assays have relied on sensitive spectrophotometric, electrophysiological, and microbiological assays of activity to select purification procedures that lead to functional complexes and with greater likelihood to successful crystallization: (I), Hetero-oligomeric proteins involved in electron transport/proton translocation. (1) Crystal structures of the eight subunit hetero-oligomeric trans-membrane dimeric cytochrome b(6)f complex were obtained from cyanobacteria using a protocol that allowed an analysis of the structure and function of internal lipids at specific intra-membrane, intra-protein sites. Proteolysis and monomerization that inactivated the complex and prevented crystallization was minimized through the use of filamentous cyanobacterial strains that seem to have a different set of membrane-active proteases. (2) An NADPH-quinone oxido-reductase isolated from cyanobacteria contains an expanded set of 17 monotopic and polytopic hetero-subunits. (II) β-Barrel outer membrane proteins (OMPs). High resolution structures of the vitamin B(12) binding protein, BtuB, solved in meso and in surfo, provide the best example of the differences in such structures that were anticipated in the first application of the lipid cubic phase to membrane proteins [1]. A structure of the complex of BtuB with the colicin E3 and E2 receptor binding domain established a "fishing pole" model for outer membrane receptor function in cellular import of nuclease colicins. (III) A modified faster purification procedure contributed to significantly improved resolution (1.83Å) of the universal porin, OmpF, the first membrane protein for which meaningful 3D crystals have been obtained [2]. A crystal structure of the N-terminal translocation domain of colicin E3 complexed to

  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. Classification of protein crystallization imagery.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiaoqing; Sun, Shaohua; Bern, Marshall

    2004-01-01

    We investigate automatic classification of protein crystallization imagery, and evaluate the performance of several modern mathematical tools when applied to the problem. For feature extraction, we try a combination of geometric and texture features; for classification algorithms, the support vector machine (SVM) is compared with an automatic decision-tree classifier. Experimental results from 520 images are presented for the binary classification problem: separating successful trials from failed attempts. The best false positive and false negative rates are at 14.6% and 9.6% respectively, achieved by feeding both sets of features to the decision-tree classifier with boosting.

  5. 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.

  6. [Membrane protein characterization by photoactivatable localization microscopy].

    PubMed

    Huang, Li; Fang, Weihuan; Yu, Ying; Song, Houhui

    2012-11-01

    The on-site labeling and localization tracking of membrane proteins in pathogenic bacteria are tedious work. In order to develop a novel protein labeling technology at super resolution level (nanometer scale) using the photoactivatable localization microscopy (PALM), the chimeric protein of the outer membrane protein A (OmpA) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the photoactivatable mEos2m protein were expressed in the non-pathogenic Mycobacterium smegmatis. The recombinant bacteria were fixed on slide, activated by 405 nm laser and subject to PALM imaging to capture photons released by the fusion protein. Meanwhile, colony and cell morphology were visualized under regular fluorescent stereomicroscope and upright fluorescent microscope to characterize fluorescence conversion and protein localization. The fusion proteins formed a "belt"-like structure on cell membrane of M. smegmatis under PALM, providing direct evidence of on-site imaging of membrane proteins. Expression of fusion protein did not compromise the localization properties of OmpA. Thus, mEos2m could be used as a labeling probe to track localizations of non-oligomer oriented membrane proteins. This indicates non-pathogenic M. smegmatis could be served as a model strain to characterize the function and localization of the proteins derived from pathogenic M. tuberculosis. This is the first report using PALM to characterize localization of membrane proteins.

  7. Membrane topology of transmembrane proteins: determinants and experimental tools.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hunsang; Kim, Hyun

    2014-10-17

    Membrane topology refers to the two-dimensional structural information of a membrane protein that indicates the number of transmembrane (TM) segments and the orientation of soluble domains relative to the plane of the membrane. Since membrane proteins are co-translationally translocated across and inserted into the membrane, the TM segments orient themselves properly in an early stage of membrane protein biogenesis. Each membrane protein must contain some topogenic signals, but the translocation components and the membrane environment also influence the membrane topology of proteins. We discuss the factors that affect membrane protein orientation and have listed available experimental tools that can be used in determining membrane protein topology.

  8. Predictions of Protein-Protein Interfaces within Membrane Protein Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Asadabadi, Ebrahim Barzegari; Abdolmaleki, Parviz

    2013-01-01

    Background Prediction of interaction sites within the membrane protein complexes using the sequence data is of a great importance, because it would find applications in modification of molecules transport through membrane, signaling pathways and drug targets of many diseases. Nevertheless, it has gained little attention from the protein structural bioinformatics community. Methods In this study, a wide variety of prediction and classification tools were applied to distinguish the residues at the interfaces of membrane proteins from those not in the interfaces. Results The tuned SVM model achieved the high accuracy of 86.95% and the AUC of 0.812 which outperforms the results of the only previous similar study. Nevertheless, prediction performances obtained using most employed models cannot be used in applied fields and needs more effort to improve. Conclusion Considering the variety of the applied tools in this study, the present investigation could be a good starting point to develop more efficient tools to predict the membrane protein interaction site residues. PMID:23919118

  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

    2014-11-07

    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.

  11. Crystal cataracts: Human genetic cataract caused by protein crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pande, Ajay; Pande, Jayanti; Asherie, Neer; Lomakin, Aleksey; Ogun, Olutayo; King, Jonathan; Benedek, George B.

    2001-05-01

    Several human genetic cataracts have been linked recently to point mutations in the D crystallin gene. Here we provide a molecular basis for lens opacity in two genetic cataracts and suggest that the opacity occurs because of the spontaneous crystallization of the mutant proteins. Such crystallization of endogenous proteins leading to pathology is an unusual event. Measurements of the solubility curves of crystals of the Arg-58 to His and Arg-36 to Ser mutants of D crystallin show that the mutations dramatically lower the solubility of the protein. Furthermore, the crystal nucleation rate of the mutants is enhanced considerably relative to that of the wild-type protein. It should be noted that, although there is a marked difference in phase behavior, there is no significant difference in protein conformation among the three proteins.

  12. The influence of cholesterol on membrane protein structure, function, and dynamics studied by molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Grouleff, Julie; Irudayam, Sheeba Jem; Skeby, Katrine K; Schiøtt, Birgit

    2015-09-01

    The plasma membrane, which encapsulates human cells, is composed of a complex mixture of lipids and embedded proteins. Emerging knowledge points towards the lipids as having a regulating role in protein function. Furthermore, insight from protein crystallography has revealed several different types of lipids intimately bound to membrane proteins and peptides, hereby possibly pointing to a site of action for the observed regulation. Cholesterol is among the lipid membrane constituents most often observed to be co-crystallized with membrane proteins, and the cholesterol levels in cell membranes have been found to play an essential role in health and disease. Remarkably little is known about the mechanism of lipid regulation of membrane protein function in health as well as in disease. Herein, we review molecular dynamics simulation studies aimed at investigating the effect of cholesterol on membrane protein and peptide properties. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Lipid-protein interactions.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Wilson, William W; Delucas, Lawrence J

    2014-05-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Nanoliter-scale protein crystallization and screening with a microfluidic droplet robot.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Ying; Zhu, Li-Na; Guo, Rui; Cui, Heng-Jun; Ye, Sheng; Fang, Qun

    2014-05-23

    Large-scale screening of hundreds or even thousands of crystallization conditions while with low sample consumption is in urgent need, in current structural biology research. Here we describe a fully-automated droplet robot for nanoliter-scale crystallization screening that combines the advantages of both automated robotics technique for protein crystallization screening and the droplet-based microfluidic technique. A semi-contact dispensing method was developed to achieve flexible, programmable and reliable liquid-handling operations for nanoliter-scale protein crystallization experiments. We applied the droplet robot in large-scale screening of crystallization conditions of five soluble proteins and one membrane protein with 35-96 different crystallization conditions, study of volume effects on protein crystallization, and determination of phase diagrams of two proteins. The volume for each droplet reactor is only ca. 4-8 nL. The protein consumption significantly reduces 50-500 fold compared with current crystallization stations.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  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. 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. Compact Apparatus For Growth Of Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Daniel C.; Miller, Teresa Y.

    1991-01-01

    Compact apparatus proposed specifically for growth of protein crystals in microgravity also used in terrestrial laboratories to initiate and terminate growth at prescribed times automatically. Has few moving parts. Also contains no syringes difficult to clean, load, and unload and introduces contaminant silicon grease into crystallization solution. After growth of crystals terminated, specimens retrieved and transported simply.

  3. Lateral proton transfer between the membrane and a membrane protein.

    PubMed

    Ojemyr, Linda; Sandén, Tor; Widengren, Jerker; Brzezinski, Peter

    2009-03-17

    Proton transport across biological membranes is a key step of the energy conservation machinery in living organisms, and it has been proposed that the membrane itself plays an important role in this process. In the present study we have investigated the effect of incorporation of a proton transporter, cytochrome c oxidase, into a membrane on the protonation kinetics of a fluorescent pH-sensitive probe attached at the surface of the protein. The results show that proton transfer to the probe was slightly accelerated upon attachment at the protein surface (approximately 7 x 1010 s(-1) M(-1), compared to the expected value of (1-2) x 10(10) s(-1) M(-1)), which is presumably due to the presence of acidic/His groups in the vicinity. Upon incorporation of the protein into small unilamellar phospholipid vesicles the rate increased by more than a factor of 400 to approximately 3 x 10(13) s(-1) M(-1), which indicates that the protein-attached probe is in rapid protonic contact with the membrane surface. The results indicate that the membrane acts to accelerate proton uptake by the membrane-bound proton transporter.

  4. 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.

  5. Improving the Quality of Protein Crystals Using Stirring Crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adachi, Hiroaki; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Niino, Ai; Takano, Kazufumi; Kinoshita, Takayoshi; Warizaya, Masaichi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Sasaki, Takatomo

    2004-04-01

    Recent reports state that a high magnetic field improves the crystal quality of bovine adenosine deaminase (ADA) with an inhibitor [Kinoshita et al.: Acta Cryst. D59 (2003) 1333]. In this paper, we examine the effect of stirring solution on ADA crystallization using a vapor-diffusion technique with rotary and figure-eight motion shakers. The probability of obtaining high-quality crystals is increased with stirring in a figure-eight pattern. Furthermore, rotary stirring greatly increased the probability of obtaining high-quality crystals, however, nucleation time was also increased. The crystal structure with the inhibitor was determined at a high resolution using a crystal obtained from a stirred solution. These results indicate that stirring with simple equipment is as useful as the high magnetic field technique for protein crystallization.

  6. The MORPHEUS II protein crystallization screen.

    PubMed

    Gorrec, Fabrice

    2015-07-01

    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.

  7. 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

  8. Membrane protein architects: the role of the BAM complex in outer membrane protein assembly.

    PubMed

    Knowles, Timothy J; Scott-Tucker, Anthony; Overduin, Michael; Henderson, Ian R

    2009-03-01

    The folding of transmembrane proteins into the outer membrane presents formidable challenges to Gram-negative bacteria. These proteins must migrate from the cytoplasm, through the inner membrane and into the periplasm, before being recognized by the beta-barrel assembly machinery, which mediates efficient insertion of folded beta-barrels into the outer membrane. Recent discoveries of component structures and accessory interactions of this complex are yielding insights into how cells fold membrane proteins. Here, we discuss how these structures illuminate the mechanisms responsible for the biogenesis of outer membrane proteins.

  9. Effect of Stirring Method on Protein Crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaoi, Mari; Adachi, Hiroaki; Takano, Kazufumi; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Sasaki, Takatomo

    2004-10-01

    We previously proposed the use of solution stirring during the growth of protein crystals using the Micro-Stirring technique with a rotary shaker. In this paper, we report on the effects of a new type solution flow on the crystallization of hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) using a wave shaker. The time required for nucleation was reduced by wave stirring, but increased by rotary stirring. Nucleation was stimulated by wave stirring. This result indicates that protein crystal growth in a stirred solution is strongly dependent on the stirring method used and the solution flow. Therefore, optimized stirring conditions are essential for producing high-quality protein crystals.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Crystallization of viruses and virus proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sehnke, Paul C.; Harrington, Melissa; Hosur, M. V.; Li, Yunge; Usha, R.; Craig Tucker, R.; Bomu, Wu; Stauffacher, Cynthia V.; Johnson, John E.

    1988-07-01

    Methods for crystallizing six isometric plant and insect viruses are presented. Procedures developed for modifying, purifying and crystallizing coat protein subunits isolated from a virus forming asymmetric, spheroidal particles, stabilized almost exclusively by protein-RNA interactions, are also discussed. The tertiary and quaternary structures of small RNA viruses are compared.

  16. Growth Of Oriented Crystals At Polymerized Membranes

    DOEpatents

    Charych, Deborah H. , Berman, Amir

    2000-01-25

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

  17. Cavity optomechanics with 2D photonic crystal membrane reflectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lingaraju, Navin B.; Shuai, Yichen; Lawall, John

    2016-03-01

    Membranes made from silicon nitride have significantly higher mechanical Q-factors under tensile stress than those made of other dielectric materials. This makes them ideal candidates for membrane reflectors that provide high finesse in Fabry-Perot cavities or membrane-in-the-middle optomechanical systems. Building on our previous work with one-dimensional gratings on suspended membranes, we patterned two-dimensional photonic crystal gratings on monolithic, suspended membranes made from silicon nitride. These high-Q membranes exhibited high reflectivity, upwards of 99%, over several nanometers in the telecom band. To probe their optical response in a cavity environment, we used these membrane reflectors as the moving mirror in a Fabry-Perot cavity. We were able to realize cavities with a finesse of over 4,500.

  18. 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

  19. Expression and purification of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Kubicek, Jan; Block, Helena; Maertens, Barbara; Spriestersbach, Anne; Labahn, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    Approximately 30% of a genome encodes for membrane proteins. They are one of the most important classes of proteins in that they can receive, differentiate, and transmit intra- and intercellular signals. Some examples of classes of membrane proteins include cell-adhesion molecules, translocases, and receptors in signaling pathways. Defects in membrane proteins may be involved in a number of serious disorders such as neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer's) and diabetes. Furthermore, membrane proteins provide natural entry and anchoring points for the molecular agents of infectious diseases. Thus, membrane proteins constitute ~50% of known and novel drug targets. Progress in this area is slowed by the requirement to develop methods and procedures for expression and isolation that are tailored to characteristic properties of membrane proteins. A set of standard protocols for the isolation of the targets in quantities that allow for the characterization of their individual properties for further optimization is required. The standard protocols given below represent a workable starting point. If optimization of yields is desired, a variation of conditions as outlined in the theory section is recommended.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, Charles E.

    1992-01-01

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

  1. Protein profiles of hatchery egg shell membrane

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: Eggshells, which consist largely of calcareous outer shell and shell membranes, constitute a significant part of poultry hatchery waste. The shell membranes (ESM) not only contain proteins that originate from egg whites but also from the developing embryos and different contaminants of m...

  2. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1990-01-01

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

  3. The MORPHEUS II protein crystallization screen

    SciTech Connect

    Gorrec, Fabrice

    2015-06-27

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

  4. Using Microfluidics to Decouple Nucleation and Growth of Protein Crystals.

    PubMed

    Shim, Jung-Uk; Cristobal, Galder; Link, Darren R; Thorsen, Todd; Fraden, Seth

    2007-01-01

    A high throughput, low volume microfluidic device has been designed to decouple the physical processes of protein crystal nucleation and growth. This device, called the Phase Chip, is constructed out of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) elastomer. One of the Phase Chip's innovations is to exploit surface tension forces to guide each drop to a storage chamber. We demonstrate that nanoliter water-in-oil drops of protein solutions can be rapidly stored in individual wells thereby allowing the screening of 1000 conditions while consuming a total of only 10 mug protein on a 20 cm(2) chip. Another significant advance over current microfluidic devices is that each well is in contact with a reservoir via a dialysis membrane through which only water and other low molecular weight organic solvents can pass, but not salt, polymer, or protein. This enables the concentration of all solutes in a solution to be reversibly, rapidly, and precisely varied in contrast to current methods, such as the free interface diffusion or sitting drop methods, which are irreversible. The Phase Chip operates by first optimizing conditions for nucleation by using dialysis to supersaturate the protein solution, which leads to nucleation of many small crystals. Next, conditions are optimized for crystal growth by using dialysis to reduce the protein and precipitant concentrations, which leads small crystals to dissolve while simultaneously causing only the largest ones to grow, ultimately resulting in the transformation of many small, unusable crystals into a few large ones.

  5. The secretory carrier membrane protein family: structure and membrane topology.

    PubMed

    Hubbard, C; Singleton, D; Rauch, M; Jayasinghe, S; Cafiso, D; Castle, D

    2000-09-01

    Secretory carrier membrane proteins (SCAMPs) are integral membrane proteins found in secretory and endocytic carriers implicated to function in membrane trafficking. Using expressed sequence tag database and library screens and DNA sequencing, we have characterized several new SCAMPs spanning the plant and animal kingdoms and have defined a broadly conserved protein family. No obvious fungal homologue has been identified, however. We have found that SCAMPs share several structural motifs. These include NPF repeats, a leucine heptad repeat enriched in charged residues, and a proline-rich SH3-like and/or WW domain-binding site in the N-terminal domain, which is followed by a membrane core containing four putative transmembrane spans and three amphiphilic segments that are the most highly conserved structural elements. All SCAMPs are 32-38 kDa except mammalian SCAMP4, which is approximately 25 kDa and lacks most of the N-terminal hydrophilic domain of other SCAMPs. SCAMP4 is authentic as determined by Northern and Western blotting, suggesting that this portion of the larger SCAMPs encodes the functional domain. Focusing on SCAMP1, we have characterized its structure further by limited proteolysis and Western blotting with the use of isolated secretory granules as a uniformly oriented source of antigen and by topology mapping through expression of alkaline phosphatase gene fusions in Escherichia coli. Results show that SCAMP1 is degraded sequentially from the N terminus and then the C terminus, yielding an approximately 20-kDa membrane core that contains four transmembrane spans. Using synthetic peptides corresponding to the three conserved amphiphilic segments of the membrane core, we have demonstrated their binding to phospholipid membranes and shown by circular dichroism spectroscopy that the central amphiphilic segment linking transmembrane spans 2 and 3 is alpha-helical. In the intact protein, these segments are likely to reside in the cytoplasm-facing membrane

  6. 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

  7. Electrostatic Stabilization Of Growing Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shlichta, Paul J.

    1991-01-01

    Proposed technique produces large crystals in compact, economical apparatus. Report presents concept for supporting protein crystals during growth in microgravity. Yields crystals larger and more-nearly perfect than those grown on Earth. Combines best features of sandwich-drop and electrostatic-levitation methods of support. Drop of protein solution inserted between pair of glass or plastic plates, as in sandwich-drop-support method. Electrostatically charged ring confines drop laterally and shapes it, as in electrostatic technique. Apparatus also made to accommodate several drops simultaneously between same pair of supporting plates. Drops can be inserted and crystals removed through ducts in plates.

  8. The Protein Crystallization Facility STS-95

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

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

  9. Ponticulin is an atypical membrane protein

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    We have cloned and sequenced ponticulin, a 17,000-dalton integral membrane glycoprotein that binds F-actin and nucleates actin assembly. A single copy gene encodes a developmentally regulated message that is high during growth and early development, but drops precipitously during cell streaming at approximately 8 h of development. The deduced amino acid sequence predicts a protein with a cleaved NH2-terminal signal sequence and a COOH-terminal glycosyl anchor. These predictions are supported by amino acid sequencing of mature ponticulin and metabolic labeling with glycosyl anchor components. Although no alpha- helical membrane-spanning domains are apparent, several hydrophobic and/or sided beta-strands, each long enough to traverse the membrane, are predicted. Although its location on the primary sequence is unclear, an intracellular domain is indicated by the existence of a discontinuous epitope that is accessible to antibody in plasma membranes and permeabilized cells, but not in intact cells. Such a cytoplasmically oriented domain also is required for the demonstrated role of ponticulin in binding actin to the plasma membrane in vivo and in vitro (Hitt, A. L., J. H. Hartwig, and E. J. Luna. 1994. Ponticulin is the major high affinity link between the plasma membrane and the cortical actin network in Dictyostelium. J. Cell Biol. 126:1433-1444). Thus, ponticulin apparently represents a new category of integral membrane proteins that consists of proteins with both a glycosyl anchor and membrane-spanning peptide domain(s). PMID:8089175

  10. 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

  11. Practical aspects in expression and purification of membrane proteins for structural analysis.

    PubMed

    Vinothkumar, Kutti R; Edwards, Patricia C; Standfuss, Joerg

    2013-01-01

    A surge of membrane protein structures in the last few years can be attributed to advances in technologies starting at the level of genomes, to highly efficient expression systems, stabilizing conformational flexibility, automation of crystallization and data collection for screening large numbers of crystals and the microfocus beam lines at synchrotrons. The substantial medical importance of many membrane proteins provides a strong incentive to understand them at the molecular level. It is becoming obvious that the major bottleneck in many of the membrane projects is obtaining sufficient amount of stable functional proteins in a detergent micelle for structural studies. Naturally, large effort has been spent on optimizing and advancing multiple expression systems and purification strategies that have started to yield sufficient protein and structures. We describe in this chapter protocols to refold membrane proteins from inclusion bodies, purification from inner membranes of Escherichia coli and from mammalian cell lines.

  12. Protein Crystallization Using Room Temperature Ionic Fluids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Electrophysiological characterization of membrane transport proteins.

    PubMed

    Grewer, Christof; Gameiro, Armanda; Mager, Thomas; Fendler, Klaus

    2013-01-01

    Active transport in biological membranes has been traditionally studied using a variety of biochemical and biophysical techniques, including electrophysiology. This review focuses on aspects of electrophysiological methods that make them particularly suited for the investigation of transporter function. Two major approaches to electrical recording of transporter activity are discussed: (a) artificial planar lipid membranes, such as the black lipid membrane and solid supported membrane, which are useful for studies on bacterial transporters and transporters of intracellular compartments, and (b) patch clamp and voltage clamp techniques, which investigate transporters in native cellular membranes. The analytical power of these methods is highlighted by several examples of mechanistic studies of specific membrane proteins, including cytochrome c oxidase, NhaA Na(+)/H(+) exchanger, ClC-7 H(+)/Cl(-) exchanger, glutamate transporters, and neutral amino acid transporters. These examples reveal the wealth of mechanistic information that can be obtained when electrophysiological methods are used in combination with rapid perturbation approaches.

  14. Crystal Structure of the Herpesvirus Nuclear Egress Complex Provides Insights into Inner Nuclear Membrane Remodeling.

    PubMed

    Zeev-Ben-Mordehai, Tzviya; Weberruß, Marion; Lorenz, Michael; Cheleski, Juliana; Hellberg, Teresa; Whittle, Cathy; El Omari, Kamel; Vasishtan, Daven; Dent, Kyle C; Harlos, Karl; Franzke, Kati; Hagen, Christoph; Klupp, Barbara G; Antonin, Wolfram; Mettenleiter, Thomas C; Grünewald, Kay

    2015-12-29

    Although nucleo-cytoplasmic transport is typically mediated through nuclear pore complexes, herpesvirus capsids exit the nucleus via a unique vesicular pathway. Together, the conserved herpesvirus proteins pUL31 and pUL34 form the heterodimeric nuclear egress complex (NEC), which, in turn, mediates the formation of tight-fitting membrane vesicles around capsids at the inner nuclear membrane. Here, we present the crystal structure of the pseudorabies virus NEC. The structure revealed that a zinc finger motif in pUL31 and an extensive interaction network between the two proteins stabilize the complex. Comprehensive mutational analyses, characterized both in situ and in vitro, indicated that the interaction network is not redundant but rather complementary. Fitting of the NEC crystal structure into the recently determined cryoEM-derived hexagonal lattice, formed in situ by pUL31 and pUL34, provided details on the molecular basis of NEC coat formation and inner nuclear membrane remodeling.

  15. Phonon dispersion in hypersonic two-dimensional phononic crystal membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graczykowski, B.; Sledzinska, M.; Alzina, F.; Gomis-Bresco, J.; Reparaz, J. S.; Wagner, M. R.; Sotomayor Torres, C. M.

    2015-02-01

    We investigate experimentally and theoretically the acoustic phonon propagation in two-dimensional phononic crystal membranes. Solid-air and solid-solid phononic crystals were made of square lattices of holes and Au pillars in and on 250 nm thick single crystalline Si membrane, respectively. The hypersonic phonon dispersion was investigated using Brillouin light scattering. Volume reduction (holes) or mass loading (pillars) accompanied with second-order periodicity and local resonances are shown to significantly modify the propagation of thermally activated GHz phonons. We use numerical modeling based on the finite element method to analyze the experimental results and determine polarization, symmetry, or three-dimensional localization of observed modes.

  16. Thermal crystallization mechanism of silk fibroin protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiao

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

  17. Intrinsically disordered proteins drive membrane curvature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  18. Intrinsically disordered proteins drive membrane curvature

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Intrinsically disordered proteins drive membrane curvature.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-24

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

  20. Protein transfer to membranes upon shape deformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  1. The Nucleation and Growth of Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc

    2004-01-01

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

  2. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Porcine Elastase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

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

  3. Protein separation using an electrically tunable membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jou, Ining; Melnikov, Dmitriy; Gracheva, Maria

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

  4. Frequency control of photonic crystal membrane resonators by monolayer deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strauf, S.; Rakher, M. T.; Carmeli, I.; Hennessy, K.; Meier, C.; Badolato, A.; DeDood, M. J. A.; Petroff, P. M.; Hu, E. L.; Gwinn, E. G.; Bouwmeester, D.

    2006-01-01

    We study the response of GaAs photonic crystal membrane resonators to thin-film deposition. Slow spectral shifts of the cavity mode of several nanometers are observed at low temperatures, caused by cryo-gettering of background molecules. Heating the membrane resets the drift and shielding will prevent drift altogether. In order to explore the drift as a tool to detect surface layers, or to intentionally shift the cavity resonance frequency, we studied the effect of self-assembled monolayers of polypeptide molecules attached to the membranes. The 2-nm-thick monolayers lead to a discrete step in the resonance frequency and partially passivate the surface.

  5. Protein aggregation in a membrane environment.

    PubMed

    Gorbenko, Galyna; Trusova, Valeriya

    2011-01-01

    Biological membranes are featured by a remarkable ability to modulate a wide range of physiological and pathological processes. Of these, protein aggregation is currently receiving the greatest attention, as one type of the ordered protein aggregates, amyloid fibrils, proved to be involved in molecular etiology of a number of fatal diseases. It has been hypothesized that nucleation of amyloid fibrils and toxic action of their precursors is mediated by lipid-protein interactions. Lipid bilayer provides a variety of environments in which aggregated state of polypeptide chain appears to be more thermodynamically favorable than its monomeric form. The major factors responsible for the enhanced self-association propensity of membrane-bound proteins include (i) structural transition of polypeptide chain into aggregation-prone conformation; (ii) protein crowding in a lipid phase; (iii) particular aggregation-favoring orientation and bilayer embedment of the protein molecules. All these factors are considered in the present review with an emphasis being put on the role of electrostatic, hydrophobic, and hydrogen-bonding phenomena in initiating and modulating the protein aggregation on a membrane template. Likewise, we survey the advanced experimental techniques employed for detection and structural characterization of the aggregated species in membrane systems.

  6. Fluorescence spectroscopy of protein oligomerization in membranes.

    PubMed

    Gorbenko, Galyna P

    2011-05-01

    Fluorescence spectroscopy is one of the most powerful tools for characterization of a multitude of biological processes. Of these, the phenomenon of protein oligomerization attracts especial interest due to its crucial role in the formation of fibrillar protein aggregates (amyloid fibrils) involved in ethiology of so-called protein misfolding diseases. It is becoming increasingly substantiated that protein fibrillization in vivo can be initiated and modulated at membrane-water interface. All steps of membrane-assisted fibrillogenesis, viz., protein adsorption onto lipid bilayer, structural transition of polypeptide chain into a highly aggregation-prone partially folded conformation, assembly of oligomeric nucleus from membrane-bound monomeric species and fiber elongation can be monitored with a mighty family of fluorescence-based techniques. Furthermore, the mechanisms behind cytotoxicity of prefibrillar protein oligomers are highly amenable to fluorescence analysis. The applications of fluorescence spectroscopy to monitoring protein oligomerization in a membrane environment are exemplified and some problems encountered in such kinds of studies are highlighted.

  7. Breaking the barriers in membrane protein crystallography.

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  8. Can Supersaturation Affect Protein Crystal Quality?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorti, Sridhar

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Trace fluorescent labeling for protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Curvature-mediated interactions between membrane proteins.

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

  12. The synthesis of recombinant membrane proteins in yeast for structural studies.

    PubMed

    Routledge, Sarah J; Mikaliunaite, Lina; Patel, Anjana; Clare, Michelle; Cartwright, Stephanie P; Bawa, Zharain; Wilks, Martin D B; Low, Floren; Hardy, David; Rothnie, Alice J; Bill, Roslyn M

    2016-02-15

    Historically, recombinant membrane protein production has been a major challenge meaning that many fewer membrane protein structures have been published than those of soluble proteins. However, there has been a recent, almost exponential increase in the number of membrane protein structures being deposited in the Protein Data Bank. This suggests that empirical methods are now available that can ensure the required protein supply for these difficult targets. This review focuses on methods that are available for protein production in yeast, which is an important source of recombinant eukaryotic membrane proteins. We provide an overview of approaches to optimize the expression plasmid, host cell and culture conditions, as well as the extraction and purification of functional protein for crystallization trials in preparation for structural studies.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sin-Doo

    2015-10-01

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

  14. Convection effects in protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Glyn O.

    1988-01-01

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

  15. Transmembrane protein sorting driven by membrane curvature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  16. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1993-01-01

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

  17. Predicting membrane protein types with bragging learner.

    PubMed

    Niu, Bing; Jin, Yu-Huan; Feng, Kai-Yan; Liu, Liang; Lu, Wen-Cong; Cai, Yu-Dong; Li, Guo-Zheng

    2008-01-01

    The membrane protein type is an important feature in characterizing the overall topological folding type of a protein or its domains therein. Many investigators have put their efforts to the prediction of membrane protein type. Here, we propose a new approach, the bootstrap aggregating method or bragging learner, to address this problem based on the protein amino acid composition. As a demonstration, the benchmark dataset constructed by K.C. Chou and D.W. Elrod was used to test the new method. The overall success rate thus obtained by jackknife cross-validation was over 84%, indicating that the bragging learner as presented in this paper holds a quite high potential in predicting the attributes of proteins, or at least can play a complementary role to many existing algorithms in this area. It is anticipated that the prediction quality can be further enhanced if the pseudo amino acid composition can be effectively incorporated into the current predictor. An online membrane protein type prediction web server developed in our lab is available at http://chemdata.shu.edu.cn/protein/protein.jsp.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, F.

    1998-01-01

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

  19. Proteomics characterization of abundant Golgi membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Bell, A W; Ward, M A; Blackstock, W P; Freeman, H N; Choudhary, J S; Lewis, A P; Chotai, D; Fazel, A; Gushue, J N; Paiement, J; Palcy, S; Chevet, E; Lafrenière-Roula, M; Solari, R; Thomas, D Y; Rowley, A; Bergeron, J J

    2001-02-16

    A mass spectrometric analysis of proteins partitioning into Triton X-114 from purified hepatic Golgi apparatus (84% purity by morphometry, 122-fold enrichment over the homogenate for the Golgi marker galactosyl transferase) led to the unambiguous identification of 81 proteins including a novel Golgi-associated protein of 34 kDa (GPP34). The membrane protein complement was resolved by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and subjected to a hierarchical approach using delayed extraction matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry characterization by peptide mass fingerprinting, tandem mass spectrometry to generate sequence tags, and Edman sequencing of proteins. Major membrane proteins corresponded to known Golgi residents, a Golgi lectin, anterograde cargo, and an abundance of trafficking proteins including KDEL receptors, p24 family members, SNAREs, Rabs, a single ARF-guanine nucleotide exchange factor, and two SCAMPs. Analytical fractionation and gold immunolabeling of proteins in the purified Golgi fraction were used to assess the intra-Golgi and total cellular distribution of GPP34, two SNAREs, SCAMPs, and the trafficking proteins GBF1, BAP31, and alpha(2)P24 identified by the proteomics approach as well as the endoplasmic reticulum contaminant calnexin. Although GPP34 has never previously been identified as a protein, the localization of GPP34 to the Golgi complex, the conservation of GPP34 from yeast to humans, and the cytosolically exposed location of GPP34 predict a role for a novel coat protein in Golgi trafficking.

  20. Trace fluorescent labeling for protein crystallization

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-06-27

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

  1. Major intrinsic proteins in biomimetic membranes.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Claus Hélix

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Protein Crystal Growth Dynamics and Impurity Incorporation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, Alex A.; Thomas, Bill

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Electrophoretic separation method for membrane pore-forming proteins in multilayer lipid membranes.

    PubMed

    Okamoto, Yukihiro; Tsujimoto, Yusuke; Umakoshi, Hiroshi

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, we report on a novel electrophoretic separation and analysis method for membrane pore-forming proteins in multilayer lipid membranes (MLMs) in order to overcome the problems related to current separation and analysis methods of membrane proteins, and to obtain a high-performance separation method on the basis of specific properties of the lipid membranes. We constructed MLMs, and subsequently characterized membrane pore-forming protein behavior in MLMs. Through the use of these MLMs, we were able to successfully separate and analyze membrane pore-forming proteins in MLMs. To the best of our knowledge, this research is the first example of membrane pore-forming protein separation in lipid membranes. Our method can be expected to be applied for the separation and analysis of other membrane proteins including intrinsic membrane proteins and to result in high-performance by utilizing the specific properties of lipid membranes.

  4. Protein permeation through an electrically tunable membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  5. Directional interactions and cooperativity between mechanosensitive membrane proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haselwandter, Christoph A.; Phillips, Rob

    2013-03-01

    While modern structural biology has provided us with a rich and diverse picture of membrane proteins, the biological function of membrane proteins is often influenced by the mechanical properties of the surrounding lipid bilayer. Here we explore the relation between the shape of membrane proteins and the cooperative function of membrane proteins induced by membrane-mediated elastic interactions. For the experimental model system of mechanosensitive ion channels we find that the sign and strength of elastic interactions depend on the protein shape, yielding distinct cooperative gating curves for distinct protein orientations. Our approach predicts how directional elastic interactions affect the molecular structure, organization, and biological function of proteins in crowded membranes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  7. Liquid nitrogen dewar for protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-12-01

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

  9. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1992-01-01

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

  10. Self diffusion of interacting membrane proteins.

    PubMed Central

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

    1989-01-01

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

  11. Protein crystallization - is it rocket science?

    PubMed

    DeLucas, L J.

    2001-07-01

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

  12. Nucleation and growth control in protein crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  13. Magnetic Control of Convection during Protein Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramachandran, N.; Leslie, F. W.

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Rotating Vessels for Growing Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cottingham, Paul

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  16. Engineering Lipid Bilayer Membranes for Protein Studies

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Membrane Fluctuations Destabilize Clathrin Protein Lattice Order

    PubMed Central

    Cordella, Nicholas; Lampo, Thomas J.; Mehraeen, Shafigh; Spakowitz, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    We develop a theoretical model of a clathrin protein lattice on a flexible cell membrane. The clathrin subunit is modeled as a three-legged pinwheel with elastic deformation modes and intersubunit binding interactions. The pinwheels are constrained to lie on the surface of an elastic sheet that opposes bending deformation and is subjected to tension. Through Monte Carlo simulations, we predict the equilibrium phase behavior of clathrin lattices at various levels of tension. High membrane tensions, which correspond to suppressed membrane fluctuations, tend to stabilize large, flat crystalline structures similar to plaques that have been observed in vivo on cell membranes that are adhered to rigid surfaces. Low tensions, on the other hand, give rise to disordered, defect-ridden lattices that behave in a fluidlike manner. The principles of two-dimensional melting theory are applied to our model system to further clarify how high tensions can stabilize crystalline order on flexible membranes. These results demonstrate the importance of environmental physical cues in dictating the collective behavior of self-assembled protein structures. PMID:24703309

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Opathalage, Achini

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Cry protein crystals: a novel platform for protein delivery.

    PubMed

    Nair, Manoj S; Lee, Marianne M; Bonnegarde-Bernard, Astrid; Wallace, Julie A; Dean, Donald H; Ostrowski, Michael C; Burry, Richard W; Boyaka, Prosper N; Chan, Michael K

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Subdiffusion of proteins and oligomers on membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lepzelter, David; Zaman, Muhammad

    2012-11-01

    Diffusion of proteins on lipid membranes plays a central role in cell signaling processes. From a mathematical perspective, most membrane diffusion processes are explained by the Saffman-Delbrück theory. However, recent studies have suggested a major limitation in the theoretical framework, the lack of complexity in the modeled lipid membrane. Lipid domains (sometimes termed membrane rafts) are known to slow protein diffusion, but there have been no quantitative theoretical examinations of how much diffusion is slowed in a general case. We provide an overall theoretical framework for confined-domain ("corralled") diffusion. Further, there have been multiple apparent contradictions of the basic conclusions of Saffman and Delbrück, each involving cases in which a single protein or an oligomer has multiple transmembrane regions passing through a lipid phase barrier. We present a set of corrections to the Saffman-Delbrück theory to account for these experimental observations. Our corrections are able to provide a quantitative explanation of numerous cellular signaling processes that have been considered beyond the scope of the Saffman-Delbrück theory, and may be extendable to other forms of subdiffusion.

  4. Phylogenetic profiles of all membrane transport proteins

    PubMed Central

    Weiner, January; Kooij, Taco W.A.

    2016-01-01

    In order to combat the on-going malaria epidemic, discovery of new drug targets remains vital. Proteins that are essential to survival and specific to malaria parasites are key candidates. To survive within host cells, the parasites need to acquire nutrients and dispose of waste products across multiple membranes. Additionally, like all eukaryotes, they must redistribute ions and organic molecules between their various internal membrane bound compartments. Membrane transport proteins mediate all of these processes and are considered important mediators of drug resistance as well as drug targets in their own right. Recently, using advanced experimental genetic approaches and streamlined life cycle profiling, we generated a large collection of Plasmodium berghei gene deletion mutants and assigned essential gene functions, highlighting potential targets for prophylactic, therapeutic, and transmission-blocking anti-malarial drugs. Here, we present a comprehensive orthology assignment of all Plasmodium falciparum putative membrane transport proteins and provide a detailed overview of the associated essential gene functions obtained through experimental genetics studies in human and murine model parasites. Furthermore, we discuss the phylogeny of selected potential drug targets identified in our functional screen. We extensively discuss the results in the context of the functional assignments obtained using gene targeting available to date. PMID:28357319

  5. FNAS/advanced protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kawate,T.; Gouaux, E.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Humidity control and hydrophilic glue coating applied to mounted protein crystals improves X-ray diffraction experiments

    PubMed Central

    Baba, Seiki; Hoshino, Takeshi; Ito, Len; Kumasaka, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    Protein crystals are fragile, and it is sometimes difficult to find conditions suitable for handling and cryocooling the crystals before conducting X-ray diffraction experiments. To overcome this issue, a protein crystal-mounting method has been developed that involves a water-soluble polymer and controlled humid air that can adjust the moisture content of a mounted crystal. By coating crystals with polymer glue and exposing them to controlled humid air, the crystals were stable at room temperature and were cryocooled under optimized humidity. Moreover, the glue-coated crystals reproducibly showed gradual transformations of their lattice constants in response to a change in humidity; thus, using this method, a series of isomorphous crystals can be prepared. This technique is valuable when working on fragile protein crystals, including membrane proteins, and will also be useful for multi-crystal data collection. PMID:23999307

  10. Humidity control and hydrophilic glue coating applied to mounted protein crystals improves X-ray diffraction experiments.

    PubMed

    Baba, Seiki; Hoshino, Takeshi; Ito, Len; Kumasaka, Takashi

    2013-09-01

    Protein crystals are fragile, and it is sometimes difficult to find conditions suitable for handling and cryocooling the crystals before conducting X-ray diffraction experiments. To overcome this issue, a protein crystal-mounting method has been developed that involves a water-soluble polymer and controlled humid air that can adjust the moisture content of a mounted crystal. By coating crystals with polymer glue and exposing them to controlled humid air, the crystals were stable at room temperature and were cryocooled under optimized humidity. Moreover, the glue-coated crystals reproducibly showed gradual transformations of their lattice constants in response to a change in humidity; thus, using this method, a series of isomorphous crystals can be prepared. This technique is valuable when working on fragile protein crystals, including membrane proteins, and will also be useful for multi-crystal data collection.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  12. Crystal nuclei templated nanostructured membranes prepared by solvent crystallization and polymer migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Bo; Ji, Jing; Li, Kang

    2016-09-01

    Currently, production of porous polymeric membranes for filtration is predominated by the phase-separation process. However, this method has reached its technological limit, and there have been no significant breakthrough over the last decade. Here we show, using polyvinylidene fluoride as a sample polymer, a new concept of membrane manufacturing by combining oriented green solvent crystallization and polymer migration is able to obtain high performance membranes with pure water permeation flux substantially higher than those with similar pore size prepared by conventional phase-separation processes. The new manufacturing procedure is governed by fewer operating parameters and is, thus, easier to control with reproducible results. Apart from the high water permeation flux, the prepared membranes also show excellent stable flux after fouling and superior mechanical properties of high pressure load and better abrasion resistance. These findings demonstrate the promise of a new concept for green manufacturing nanostructured polymeric membranes with high performances.

  13. Crystal nuclei templated nanostructured membranes prepared by solvent crystallization and polymer migration

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Bo; Ji, Jing; Li, Kang

    2016-01-01

    Currently, production of porous polymeric membranes for filtration is predominated by the phase-separation process. However, this method has reached its technological limit, and there have been no significant breakthrough over the last decade. Here we show, using polyvinylidene fluoride as a sample polymer, a new concept of membrane manufacturing by combining oriented green solvent crystallization and polymer migration is able to obtain high performance membranes with pure water permeation flux substantially higher than those with similar pore size prepared by conventional phase-separation processes. The new manufacturing procedure is governed by fewer operating parameters and is, thus, easier to control with reproducible results. Apart from the high water permeation flux, the prepared membranes also show excellent stable flux after fouling and superior mechanical properties of high pressure load and better abrasion resistance. These findings demonstrate the promise of a new concept for green manufacturing nanostructured polymeric membranes with high performances. PMID:27640994

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Virus-Mimetic Fusogenic Exosomes for Direct Delivery of Integral Membrane Proteins to Target Cell Membranes.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yoosoo; Hong, Yeonsun; Nam, Gi-Hoon; Chung, Jin Hwa; Koh, Eunee; Kim, In-San

    2017-02-06

    An efficient system for direct delivery of integral membrane proteins is successfully developed using a new biocompatible exosome-based platform. Fusogenic exosomes harboring viral fusogen, vascular stomatitis virus (VSV)-G protein, can fuse with and modify plasma membranes in a process called "membrane editing." This can facilitate the transfer of biologically active membrane proteins into the target cell membranes both in vitro and in vivo.

  16. IR laser-induced protein crystal transformation

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-05-01

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

  17. Flexible photonic crystal membranes with nanoparticle high refractive index layers.

    PubMed

    Karrock, Torben; Paulsen, Moritz; Gerken, Martina

    2017-01-01

    Flexible photonic crystal slabs with an area of 2 cm(2) are fabricated by nanoimprint replication of a 400 nm period linear grating nanostructure into a ≈60 µm thick polydimethylsiloxane membrane and subsequent spin coating of a high refractive index titanium dioxide nanoparticle layer. Samples are prepared with different nanoparticle concentrations. Guided-mode resonances with a quality factor of Q ≈ 40 are observed. The highly flexible nature of the membranes allows for stretching of up to 20% elongation. Resonance peak positions for unstretched samples vary from 555 to 630 nm depending on the particle concentration. Stretching results in a resonance shift for these peaks of up to ≈80 nm, i.e., 3.9 nm per % strain. The color impression of the samples observed with crossed-polarization filters changes from the green to the red regime. The high tunability renders these membranes promising for both tunable optical devices as well as visualization devices.

  18. Flexible photonic crystal membranes with nanoparticle high refractive index layers

    PubMed Central

    Paulsen, Moritz; Gerken, Martina

    2017-01-01

    Flexible photonic crystal slabs with an area of 2 cm2 are fabricated by nanoimprint replication of a 400 nm period linear grating nanostructure into a ≈60 µm thick polydimethylsiloxane membrane and subsequent spin coating of a high refractive index titanium dioxide nanoparticle layer. Samples are prepared with different nanoparticle concentrations. Guided-mode resonances with a quality factor of Q ≈ 40 are observed. The highly flexible nature of the membranes allows for stretching of up to 20% elongation. Resonance peak positions for unstretched samples vary from 555 to 630 nm depending on the particle concentration. Stretching results in a resonance shift for these peaks of up to ≈80 nm, i.e., 3.9 nm per % strain. The color impression of the samples observed with crossed-polarization filters changes from the green to the red regime. The high tunability renders these membranes promising for both tunable optical devices as well as visualization devices. PMID:28243558

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-05-29

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

  20. Membrane cholesterol access into a G-protein-coupled receptor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guixà-González, Ramon; Albasanz, José L.; Rodriguez-Espigares, Ismael; Pastor, Manuel; Sanz, Ferran; Martí-Solano, Maria; Manna, Moutusi; Martinez-Seara, Hector; Hildebrand, Peter W.; Martín, Mairena; Selent, Jana

    2017-02-01

    Cholesterol is a key component of cell membranes with a proven modulatory role on the function and ligand-binding properties of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Crystal structures of prototypical GPCRs such as the adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) have confirmed that cholesterol finds stable binding sites at the receptor surface suggesting an allosteric role of this lipid. Here we combine experimental and computational approaches to show that cholesterol can spontaneously enter the A2AR-binding pocket from the membrane milieu using the same portal gate previously suggested for opsin ligands. We confirm the presence of cholesterol inside the receptor by chemical modification of the A2AR interior in a biotinylation assay. Overall, we show that cholesterol's impact on A2AR-binding affinity goes beyond pure allosteric modulation and unveils a new interaction mode between cholesterol and the A2AR that could potentially apply to other GPCRs.

  1. Membrane cholesterol access into a G-protein-coupled receptor

    PubMed Central

    Guixà-González, Ramon; Albasanz, José L.; Rodriguez-Espigares, Ismael; Pastor, Manuel; Sanz, Ferran; Martí-Solano, Maria; Manna, Moutusi; Martinez-Seara, Hector; Hildebrand, Peter W.; Martín, Mairena; Selent, Jana

    2017-01-01

    Cholesterol is a key component of cell membranes with a proven modulatory role on the function and ligand-binding properties of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Crystal structures of prototypical GPCRs such as the adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) have confirmed that cholesterol finds stable binding sites at the receptor surface suggesting an allosteric role of this lipid. Here we combine experimental and computational approaches to show that cholesterol can spontaneously enter the A2AR-binding pocket from the membrane milieu using the same portal gate previously suggested for opsin ligands. We confirm the presence of cholesterol inside the receptor by chemical modification of the A2AR interior in a biotinylation assay. Overall, we show that cholesterol's impact on A2AR-binding affinity goes beyond pure allosteric modulation and unveils a new interaction mode between cholesterol and the A2AR that could potentially apply to other GPCRs. PMID:28220900

  2. Physiological Response to Membrane Protein Overexpression in E. coli*

    PubMed Central

    Gubellini, Francesca; Verdon, Grégory; Karpowich, Nathan K.; Luff, Jon D.; Boël, Grégory; Gauthier, Nils; Handelman, Samuel K.; Ades, Sarah E.; Hunt, John F.

    2011-01-01

    Overexpression represents a principal bottleneck in structural and functional studies of integral membrane proteins (IMPs). Although E. coli remains the leading organism for convenient and economical protein overexpression, many IMPs exhibit toxicity on induction in this host and give low yields of properly folded protein. Different mechanisms related to membrane biogenesis and IMP folding have been proposed to contribute to these problems, but there is limited understanding of the physical and physiological constraints on IMP overexpression and folding in vivo. Therefore, we used a variety of genetic, genomic, and microscopy techniques to characterize the physiological responses of Escherichia coli MG1655 cells to overexpression of a set of soluble proteins and IMPs, including constructs exhibiting different levels of toxicity and producing different levels of properly folded versus misfolded product on induction. Genetic marker studies coupled with transcriptomic results indicate only minor perturbations in many of the physiological systems implicated in previous studies of IMP biogenesis. Overexpression of either IMPs or soluble proteins tends to block execution of the standard stationary-phase transcriptional program, although these effects are consistently stronger for the IMPs included in our study. However, these perturbations are not an impediment to successful protein overexpression. We present evidence that, at least for the target proteins included in our study, there is no inherent obstacle to IMP overexpression in E. coli at moderate levels suitable for structural studies and that the biochemical and conformational properties of the proteins themselves are the major obstacles to success. Toxicity associated with target protein activity produces selective pressure leading to preferential growth of cells harboring expression-reducing and inactivating mutations, which can produce chemical heterogeneity in the target protein population, potentially

  3. Sigmoid kinetics of protein crystal nucleation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nanev, Christo N.; Tonchev, Vesselin D.

    2015-10-01

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

  4. Outer membrane proteins of pathogenic spirochetes

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Human Serum Albumin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

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

  6. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1994-01-01

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

  7. Integral Membrane Protein Expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Boswell-Casteel, Rebba C; Johnson, Jennifer M; Stroud, Robert M; Hays, Franklin A

    2016-01-01

    Eukaryotic integral membrane proteins are challenging targets for crystallography or functional characterization in a purified state. Since expression is often a limiting factor when studying this difficult class of biological macromolecules, the intent of this chapter is to focus on the expression of eukaryotic integral membrane proteins (IMPs) using the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. S. cerevisiae is a prime candidate for the expression of eukaryotic IMPs because it offers the convenience of using episomal expression plasmids, selection of positive transformants, posttranslational modifications, and it can properly fold and target IMPs. Here we present a generalized protocol and insights based on our collective knowledge as an aid to overcoming the challenges faced when expressing eukaryotic IMPs in S. cerevisiae.

  8. A systematic assessment of mature MBP in membrane protein production: overexpression, membrane targeting and purification.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jian; Qin, Huajun; Gao, Fei Philip; Cross, Timothy A

    2011-11-01

    Obtaining enough membrane protein in native or native-like status is still a challenge in membrane protein structure biology. Maltose binding protein (MBP) has been widely used as a fusion partner in improving membrane protein production. In the present work, a systematic assessment on the application of mature MBP (mMBP) for membrane protein overexpression and purification was performed on 42 membrane proteins, most of which showed no or poor expression level in membrane fraction fused with an N-terminal Histag. It was found that most of the small membrane proteins were overexpressed in the native membrane of Escherichia coli when using mMBP. In addition, the proteolysis of the fusions were performed on the membrane without solubilization with detergents, leading to the development of an efficient protocol to directly purify the target membrane proteins from the membrane fraction through a one-step affinity chromatography. Our results indicated that mMBP is an excellent fusion partner for overexpression, membrane targeting and purification of small membrane proteins. The present expression and purification method may be a good solution for the large scale preparation of small membrane proteins in structural and functional studies.

  9. Effect of sludge retention on UF membrane fouling: The significance of sludge crystallization and EPS increase.

    PubMed

    Yu, Wenzheng; Graham, Nigel; Yang, Yunjia; Zhou, Zhiqi; Campos, Luiza C

    2015-10-15

    This paper concerns a previously unreported mechanism of membrane ultrafiltration (UF) fouling when a UF process with coagulation pre-treatment is used in drinking water treatment. The significance of settled coagulant solids (sludge) with different age within the membrane tank on UF fouling has been investigated at laboratory-scale, using model micro-polluted surface water. The process of floc crystallization and increasing bacterial EPS with solids (sludge) retention time may be detrimental to UF operation by causing an increased rate of membrane fouling. In this study the performance of two alum pre-treated hollow-fibre UF units, operated in parallel but with different settled sludge retention times (1 and 7 days), was compared. The results showed that over 34 days of operation the extent of reversible and irreversible fouling was much greater for the 7-day solids retention time. This was attributed to the greater extent of bacterial activity and the presence of Al-nanoparticles, arising from sludge crystallization, at the longer retention time. In particular, greater quantities of organic matter, particularly EPS (proteins and polysaccharides), were found in the UF cake layer and pores for the 7-day retention time. The addition of chlorine later in the membrane run substantially reduced the rate of membrane fouling for both sludge retention times, and this corresponded to reduced quantities of organic substances, including EPS, in the cake layer and pores of both membranes. The results suggest that bacterial activity (and EPS production) is more important than the production of Al-nanoparticles from solids crystallization in causing membrane fouling. However, it is likely that both phenomena are interactive and possibly synergistic.

  10. Overexpression, Isolation, and Crystallization of Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skelly, Jane V.; Madden, C. Bernadette

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  13. Stochastic single-molecule dynamics of synaptic membrane protein domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahraman, Osman; Li, Yiwei; Haselwandter, Christoph A.

    2016-09-01

    Motivated by single-molecule experiments on synaptic membrane protein domains, we use a stochastic lattice model to study protein reaction and diffusion processes in crowded membranes. We find that the stochastic reaction-diffusion dynamics of synaptic proteins provide a simple physical mechanism for collective fluctuations in synaptic domains, the molecular turnover observed at synaptic domains, key features of the single-molecule trajectories observed for synaptic proteins, and spatially inhomogeneous protein lifetimes at the cell membrane. Our results suggest that central aspects of the single-molecule and collective dynamics observed for membrane protein domains can be understood in terms of stochastic reaction-diffusion processes at the cell membrane.

  14. The Growth of Protein Crystals Using McDUCK

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  15. Influence of Crystal Expansion/Contraction on Zeolite Membrane Permeation

    SciTech Connect

    Sorenson, Stephanie G; Payzant, E Andrew; Noble, Richard D; Falconer, John L.

    2010-01-01

    X-ray diffraction was used to measure the unit cell parameters of B-ZSM-5, SAPO-34, and NaA zeolite powders as a function of adsorbate loading at 303 K, and in one case, at elevated temperatures. Most adsorbates expanded the zeolite crystals below saturation loading at 303 K: n-hexane and SF6 in B-ZSM-5, methanol and CO2 in SAPO-34, and methanol in NaA zeolite. As the loadings increased, the crystals expanded more. Changes in the unit cell volumes of B-ZSM-5 and SAPO-34 zeolite powders correlated with changes in permeation through zeolite membranes defects. When the zeolite crystals expanded or contracted upon adsorption, the defect sizes decreased or increased. In B-ZSM-5 membranes, the fluxes through defects decreased dramatically when n-hexane or SF6 adsorbed. In contrast, i-butane adsorption at 303 K contracted B-ZSM-5 crystals at low loadings and expanded them at higher loadings. Correspondingly, the flux through B-ZSM-5 membrane defects increased at low i-butane loadings and decreased at high loading because the defects increased in size at low loading and decreased at high loadings. At 398 K and 473 K, n-hexane expanded the B-ZSM-5 unit cell more as the temperature increased from 303 to 473 K. The silicalite-1 and B-ZSM-5 unit cell volumes expanded similarly upon n-hexane adsorption at 303 K; boron substitution had little effect on volume expansion.

  16. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1994-01-01

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

  17. Low temperature heat capacity of phononic crystal membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puurtinen, T. A.; Maasilta, I. J.

    2016-12-01

    Phononic crystal (PnC) membranes are a promising solution to improve sensitivity of bolometric sensor devices operating at low temperatures. Previous work has concentrated only on tuning thermal conductance, but significant changes to the heat capacity are also expected due to the modification of the phonon modes. Here, we calculate the area-specific heat capacity for thin (37.5 - 300 nm) silicon and silicon nitride PnC membranes with cylindrical hole patterns of varying period, in the temperature range 1 - 350 mK. We compare the results to two- and three-dimensional Debye models, as the 3D Debye model is known to give an accurate estimate for the low-temperature heat capacity of a bulk sample. We found that thin PnC membranes do not obey the 3D Debye T3 law, nor the 2D T2 law, but have a weaker, approximately linear temperature dependence in the low temperature limit. We also found that depending on the design, the PnC patterning can either enhance or reduce the heat capacity compared to an unpatterned membrane of the same thickness. At temperatures below ˜ 100 mK, reducing the membrane thickness unintuitively increases the heat capacity for all samples studied. These observations can have significance when designing calorimetric detectors, as heat capacity is a critical parameter for the speed and sensitivity of a device.

  18. Ca2+ induces clustering of membrane proteins in the plasma membrane via electrostatic interactions.

    PubMed

    Zilly, Felipe E; Halemani, Nagaraj D; Walrafen, David; Spitta, Luis; Schreiber, Arne; Jahn, Reinhard; Lang, Thorsten

    2011-04-06

    Membrane proteins and membrane lipids are frequently organized in submicron-sized domains within cellular membranes. Factors thought to be responsible for domain formation include lipid-lipid interactions, lipid-protein interactions and protein-protein interactions. However, it is unclear whether the domain structure is regulated by other factors such as divalent cations. Here, we have examined in native plasma membranes and intact cells the role of the second messenger Ca(2+) in membrane protein organization. We find that Ca(2+) at low micromolar concentrations directly redistributes a structurally diverse array of membrane proteins via electrostatic effects. Redistribution results in a more clustered pattern, can be rapid and triggered by Ca(2+) influx through voltage-gated calcium channels and is reversible. In summary, the data demonstrate that the second messenger Ca(2+) strongly influences the organization of membrane proteins, thus adding a novel and unexpected factor that may control the domain structure of biological membranes.

  19. The Effect of Protein Impurities on Lysozyme Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Judge, Russell A.; Forsythe, Elizabeth L.; Pusey, Marc L.

    1998-01-01

    While bulk crystallization from impure solutions is used industrially as a purification step for a wide variety of materials, it is a technique that has rarely been used for proteins. Proteins have a reputation for being difficult to crystallize and high purity of the initial crystallization solution is considered paramount for success in the crystallization. Although little is written on the purifying capability of protein crystallization or of the effect of impurities on the various aspects of the crystallization process, recent published reports show that crystallization shows promise and feasibility as a purification technique for proteins. In order to further examine the issue of purity in macromolecule crystallization this study investigates the effect of the protein impurities, avidin, ovalbumin and conalbumin, at concentrations up to 50%, on the solubility, crystal face growth rates and crystal purity, of the protein lysozyme. Solubility was measured in batch experiments while a computer controlled video microscope system was used to measure the f {101} and {101} lysozyme crystal face growth rates. While little effect was observed on solubility and high crystal purity was obtained (>99.99%), the effect of the impurities on the face growth rates varied from no effect to a significant face specific effect leading to growth cessation, a phenomenon that is frequently observed in protein crystal growth. The results shed interesting light on the effect of protein impurities on protein crystal growth and strengthen the feasibility of using crystallization as a unit operation for protein purification.

  20. Mixing it up for Protein Crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-03-01

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

  1. Convective diffusion in protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simunovic, Mijo; Voth, Gregory A.

    2015-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-07-11

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

  5. Mass spectrometry of membrane proteins: a focus on aquaporins.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-04

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

  6. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1988-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Ca2+ induces clustering of membrane proteins in the plasma membrane via electrostatic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Zilly, Felipe E; Halemani, Nagaraj D; Walrafen, David; Spitta, Luis; Schreiber, Arne; Jahn, Reinhard; Lang, Thorsten

    2011-01-01

    Membrane proteins and membrane lipids are frequently organized in submicron-sized domains within cellular membranes. Factors thought to be responsible for domain formation include lipid–lipid interactions, lipid–protein interactions and protein–protein interactions. However, it is unclear whether the domain structure is regulated by other factors such as divalent cations. Here, we have examined in native plasma membranes and intact cells the role of the second messenger Ca2+ in membrane protein organization. We find that Ca2+ at low micromolar concentrations directly redistributes a structurally diverse array of membrane proteins via electrostatic effects. Redistribution results in a more clustered pattern, can be rapid and triggered by Ca2+ influx through voltage-gated calcium channels and is reversible. In summary, the data demonstrate that the second messenger Ca2+ strongly influences the organization of membrane proteins, thus adding a novel and unexpected factor that may control the domain structure of biological membranes. PMID:21364530

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1987-01-01

    The solubility and growth mechanism of canavalin were studied, and the applicability of the Schlieren technique to protein crystal growth was investigated. Canavalin which may be crystallized from a basic solution by the addition of hydrogen (H+) ions was shown to have normal solubility characteristics over the range of temperatures (5 to 25 C) and pH (5 to 7.5) studied. The solubility data combined with growth rate data gathered from the seeded growth of canavalin crystals indicated that the growth mechanism at high supersaturation ratios (>1.28) is screw dislocation like. A Schlieren apparatus was constructed and flow patterns were observed in Rochelle salt (sodium potassium tartrate), lysozyme, and canavalin. The critical parameters were identified as the change in density with concentration (dp/dc) and the change in index of refraction with concentration (dn/dc). Some of these values were measured for the materials listed.

  13. Membrane curvature and its generation by BAR proteins

    PubMed Central

    Mim, Carsten; Unger, Vinzenz M

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Abnormal membrane protein methylation and merocyanine 540 fluorescence in sickle erythrocyte membranes.

    PubMed

    Manna, C; Hermanowicz, N; Ro, J Y; Neilan, B; Glushko, V; Kim, S

    1984-06-01

    Sickle cell erythrocytes exhibit reduced carboxyl methylation of membrane proteins compared to normal erythrocytes. This altered methylation in sickle membrane proteins is also observable when extracted membranes, both intact and alkali treated, were used as substrates for the homologous protein methylase II (S-adenosylmethionine:protein-carboxyl O-methyltransferase, EC. 2.1.1.24). However, when glycophorin A, one of the major methyl acceptors in both membranes, was extracted by lithium diiodosalicylate and used as the methyl acceptor, the proteins from both membranes were methylated equally, suggesting an involvement of membrane structure in membrane-bound protein methylation. Merocyanine 540 (MC-540), a fluorescent probe, was used to determine if the membranes differed in organization. Incubation of both normal and sickle erythrocytes membranes with MC-540 produced a marked increase in extrinsic fluorescence, reflecting a relatively nonpolar environment for the dye bound to the membranes. The fluorescence from sickle cell ghosts was only 87% as intense as that from normal ghosts, while the actual amount of MC-540 associated with sickle cell membranes was only 62% of normal. These data suggest that differences exist in the distribution of surface charges on these plasma membranes. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that abnormal levels of membrane protein methylation observed in sickle erythrocytes may be a result of abnormal membrane organization characteristic to sickle cell anemia.

  15. Flextensional Single Crystal Piezoelectric Actuators for Membrane Deformable Mirrors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jiang, Xiaoning; Sahul, Raffi; Hackenberger, Wesley S.

    2006-01-01

    Large aperture and light weight space telescopes requires adaptive optics with deformable mirrors capable of large amplitude aberration corrections at a broad temperature range for space applications including NASA missions such as SAFIR, TPF, Con-X, etc. The single crystal piezoelectric actuators produced at TRS offer large stroke, low hysteresis, and an excellent cryogenic strain response. Specifically, the recently developed low profile, low voltage flextensional single crystal piezoelectric actuators with dimensions of 18 x 5 x 1 mm showed stroke larger than 95 microns under 300 V. Furthermore, flextensional actuator retained approx. 40-50% of its room temperature strain at liquid Nitrogen environment. In this paper, ATILA FEM design of flextensional actuators, actuator fabrication, and characterization results will be presented for the future work on membrane deformable mirror.

  16. An automated protein crystal growth facility on the space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herrmann, Melody

    1988-01-01

    The need is addressed for an automated Protein Crystal Growth experiment on the Space Station and how robotics will be integrated into the system design. This automated laboratory system will enable several hundred protein crystals to grow simultaneously in microgravity and will allow the major variables in protein crystal growth to be monitored and controlled during the experiment. Growing good quality crystals is important in determining the complete structure of the protein by X-ray diffraction. This information is useful in the research and development of medicines and other important medical and biotechnological products. Previous Protein Crystal Growth experiments indicate that the microgravity environment of space allows larger crystals of higher quality to be grown as compared to the same crystals grown on the ground. It is therefore important to have a laboratory in space where protein crystals can be grown under carefully controlled conditions so that a crystal type can be reproduced as needed.

  17. X-ray Microscopic Characterization of Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hu, Z. W.; Holmes, A.; Thomas, B.R.; Chernov, a. A.; Chu, Y. S.; Lai, B.

    2004-01-01

    The microscopic mapping of the variation in degree of perfection and in type of defects in entire protein crystals by x-rays may well be a prerequisite for better understanding causes of lattice imperfections, the growth history, and properties of protein crystals. However, x-ray microscopic characterization of bulk protein crystals, in the as-grown state, is frequently more challenging than that of small molecular crystals due to the experimental difficulties arising largely from the unique features possessed by protein crystals. In this presentation, we will illustrate ssme recent activities in employing coherence-based phase contrast x-ray imaging and high-angular-resolution diffraction techniques for mapping microdefects and the degree of perfection of protein crystals, and demonstrate a correlation between crystal perfection, diffraction phenomena., and crystallization conditions. The observed features and phenomena will be discussed in context to gain insight into the nature of defects, nucleation and growth, and the properties of protein crystals.

  18. Purification of basolateral integral membrane proteins by cationic colloidal silica-based apical membrane subtraction.

    PubMed

    Goode, Robert J A; Simpson, Richard J

    2009-01-01

    Epithelial cell polarity mediates many essential biological functions and perturbation of the apical/basolateral divide is a hallmark of epithelial to mesenchymal transition in carcinoma. Therefore, correct targeting of proteins to the apical and basolateral surfaces is essential to proper epithelial cell function. However, proteomic characterisation of apical/basolateral sorting has been largely ignored, due to ineffectual separation techniques and contamination of plasma-membrane preparations with housekeeping proteins. Here we describe a method that strips the apical membrane from the adherent cells and releases the intracellular contents, thereby leaving the basolateral membrane available for stringent washes and collection. Analysis of the basolateral membrane of an adherent colon adenocarcinoma cell line resulted in 66% of identified proteins being integral membrane proteins, which possessed either a transmembrane domain or lipid modification, including 35 CD antigens. Based on the abundance of peptides from basolateral marker proteins, this method efficiently captures basolateral integral membrane proteins, with minimal contamination from other membranes and basic proteins.

  19. Crystallization of G Protein-Coupled Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Salom, David; Padayatti, Pius S.; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2015-01-01

    Oligomerization is one of several mechanisms that can regulate the activity of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), but little is known about the structure of GPCR oligomers. Crystallography and NMR are the only methods able to reveal the details of receptor–receptor interactions at an atomic level, and several GPCR homodimers already have been described from crystal structures. Two clusters of symmetric interfaces have been identified from these structures that concur with biochemical data, one involving helices I, II, and VIII and the other formed mainly by helices V and VI. In this chapter, we describe the protocols used in our laboratory for the crystallization of rhodopsin and the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2-AR). For bovine rhodopsin, we developed a new purification strategy including a (NH4)2SO4-induced phase separation that proved essential to obtain crystals of photoactivated rhodopsin containing parallel dimers. Crystallization of native bovine rhodopsin was achieved by the classic vapor-diffusion technique. For β2-AR, we developed a purification strategy based on previously published protocols employing a lipidic cubic phase to obtain diffracting crystals of a β2-AR/T4-lysozyme chimera bound to the antagonist carazolol. PMID:24143992

  20. Bacillus thuringiensis and Its Pesticidal Crystal Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Schnepf, E.; Crickmore, N.; Van Rie, J.; Lereclus, D.; Baum, J.; Feitelson, J.; Zeigler, D. R.; Dean, D. H.

    1998-01-01

    During the past decade the pesticidal bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis has been the subject of intensive research. These efforts have yielded considerable data about the complex relationships between the structure, mechanism of action, and genetics of the organism’s pesticidal crystal proteins, and a coherent picture of these relationships is beginning to emerge. Other studies have focused on the ecological role of the B. thuringiensis crystal proteins, their performance in agricultural and other natural settings, and the evolution of resistance mechanisms in target pests. Armed with this knowledge base and with the tools of modern biotechnology, researchers are now reporting promising results in engineering more-useful toxins and formulations, in creating transgenic plants that express pesticidal activity, and in constructing integrated management strategies to insure that these products are utilized with maximum efficiency and benefit. PMID:9729609

  1. Protein purification in multicompartment electrolyzers for crystal growth of r-DNA products in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Righetti, Pier Giorgio; Casale, Elena; Carter, Daniel; Snyder, Robert S.; Wenisch, Elisabeth; Faupel, Michel

    1990-01-01

    Recombinant-DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) (r-DNA) proteins, produced in large quantities for human consumption, are now available in sufficient amounts for crystal growth. Crystallographic analysis is the only method now available for defining the atomic arrangements within complex biological molecules and decoding, e.g., the structure of the active site. Growing protein crystals in microgravity has become an important aspect of biology in space, since crystals that are large enough and of sufficient quality to permit complete structure determinations are usually obtained. However even small amounts of impurities in a protein preparation are anathema for the growth of a regular crystal lattice. A multicompartment electrolyzer with isoelectric, immobiline membranes, able to purify large quantities of r-DNA proteins is described. The electrolyzer consists of a stack of flow cells, delimited by membranes of very precise isoelectric point (pI, consisting of polyacrylamide supported by glass fiber filters containing Immobiline buffers and titrants to uniquely define a pI value) and very high buffering power, able to titrate all proteins tangent or crossing such membranes. By properly selecting the pI values of two membranes delimiting a flow chamber, a single protein can be kept isoelectric in a single flow chamber and thus, be purified to homogeneity (by the most stringent criterion, charge homogeneity).

  2. Membrane shape instabilities induced by BAR domain proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumgart, Tobias

    2014-03-01

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

  3. Can proteins be intrinsically disordered inside a membrane?

    PubMed Central

    Kjaergaard, Magnus

    2015-01-01

    Intrinsically disorder has evolved in many soluble proteins because it confers a unique set of functional advantages. In contrast, the functions of membrane proteins are largely understood in terms of well-defined structures. This raises the question: Why would the evolutionary pressures that select for disorder leave membrane proteins untouched. In this hypothesis piece, I argue that intrinsic disorder may exist in membrane embedded proteins, but that it will take a different form due to the different environment. Disordered membrane proteins are thus likely to have fully formed secondary structure, but little tertiary structure. Furthermore, the sequence signature for disorder in membrane proteins is likely to be reversed; so disordered proteins are more hydrophobic than their folded counterparts. At present it is impossible to tell how common this type of disordered membrane protein is.

  4. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Gamma-Interferon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Gamma-Interferon. Stimulates the body's immune system and is used clinically in the treatment of cancer. Potential as an anti-tumor agent against solid tumors as well as leukemia's and lymphomas. It has additional utility as an anti-ineffective agent, including antiviral, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic activities. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Charles Bugg.

  5. The plug-based nanovolume Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS)

    SciTech Connect

    Gerdts, Cory J.; Elliott, Mark; Lovell, Scott; Mixon, Mark B.; Napuli, Alberto J.; Staker, Bart L.; Nollert, Peter; Stewart, Lance

    2008-11-01

    The Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS) is a new protein-crystallization technology used to generate nanolitre-sized crystallization experiments for crystal screening and optimization. Using the MPCS, diffraction-ready crystals were grown in the plastic MPCS CrystalCard and were used to solve the structure of methionine-R-sulfoxide reductase. The Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS) embodies a new semi-automated plug-based crystallization technology which enables nanolitre-volume screening of crystallization conditions in a plasticware format that allows crystals to be easily removed for traditional cryoprotection and X-ray diffraction data collection. Protein crystals grown in these plastic devices can be directly subjected to in situ X-ray diffraction studies. The MPCS integrates the formulation of crystallization cocktails with the preparation of the crystallization experiments. Within microfluidic Teflon tubing or the microfluidic circuitry of a plastic CrystalCard, ∼10–20 nl volume droplets are generated, each representing a microbatch-style crystallization experiment with a different chemical composition. The entire protein sample is utilized in crystallization experiments. Sparse-matrix screening and chemical gradient screening can be combined in one comprehensive ‘hybrid’ crystallization trial. The technology lends itself well to optimization by high-granularity gradient screening using optimization reagents such as precipitation agents, ligands or cryoprotectants.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1995-01-01

    During the fourth semi-annual period under this grant we have pursued the following activities: (1) crystal growth morphology and kinetics studies with tetragonal lysozyme. These clearly revealed the influence of higher molecular weight protein impurities on interface shape; (2) characterization of the purity and further purification of lysozyme solutions. These efforts have, for the first time, resulted in lysozyme free of higher molecular weight components; (3) continuation of the salt repartitioning studies with Seikagaku lysozyme, which has a lower protein impurity content that Sigma stock. These efforts confirmed our earlier findings of higher salt contents in smaller crystals. However, less salt is in corporated into the crystals grown from Seikagaku stock. This strongly suggests a dependence of salt repartitioning on the concentration of protein impurities in lysozyme. To test this hypothesis, repartitioning studies with the high purity lysozyme prepared in-house will be begun shortly; (4) numerical modelling of the interaction between bulk transport and interface kinetics. These simulations have produced interface shapes which are in good agreement with out experimental observations; and (5) light scattering studies on under- and supersaturated lysozyme solutions. A consistent interpretation of the static and dynamic data leaves little doubt that pre-nucleation clusters, claimed to exist even in undersaturated solutions, are not present. The article: 'Growth morphology response to nutrient and impurity nonuniformities' is attached.

  8. Lattice dynamics of a protein crystal.

    PubMed

    Meinhold, Lars; Merzel, Franci; Smith, Jeremy C

    2007-09-28

    All-atom lattice-dynamical calculations are reported for a crystalline protein, ribonuclease A. The sound velocities, density of states, heat capacity (C(V)) and thermal diffuse scattering are all consistent with available experimental data. C(V) proportional, variant T(1.68) for T < 35 K, significantly deviating from a Debye solid. In Bragg peak vicinity, inelastic scattering of x rays by phonons is found to originate from acoustic mode scattering. The results suggest an approach to protein crystal physics combining all-atom lattice-dynamical calculations with experiments on next-generation neutron sources.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Durable vesicles for reconstitution of membrane proteins in biotechnology

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Sanobar; Muench, Stephen P.; Jeuken, Lars J.C.

    2017-01-01

    The application of membrane proteins in biotechnology requires robust, durable reconstitution systems that enhance their stability and support their functionality in a range of working environments. Vesicular architectures are highly desirable to provide the compartmentalisation to utilise the functional transmembrane transport and signalling properties of membrane proteins. Proteoliposomes provide a native-like membrane environment to support membrane protein function, but can lack the required chemical and physical stability. Amphiphilic block copolymers can also self-assemble into polymersomes: tough vesicles with improved stability compared with liposomes. This review discusses the reconstitution of membrane proteins into polymersomes and the more recent development of hybrid vesicles, which blend the robust nature of block copolymers with the biofunctionality of lipids. These novel synthetic vesicles hold great promise for enabling membrane proteins within biotechnologies by supporting their enhanced in vitro performance and could also contribute to fundamental biochemical and biophysical research by improving the stability of membrane proteins that are challenging to work with. PMID:28202656

  11. Charged ultrafiltration membranes increase the selectivity of whey protein separations.

    PubMed

    Bhushan, S; Etzel, M R

    2009-04-01

    Ultrafiltration is widely used to concentrate proteins, but fractionation of one protein from another is much less common. This study examined the use of positively charged membranes to increase the selectivity of ultrafiltration and allow the fractionation of proteins from cheese whey. By adding a positive charge to ultrafiltration membranes, and adjusting the solution pH, it was possible to permeate proteins having little or no charge, such as glycomacropeptide, and retain proteins having a positive charge. Placing a charge on the membrane increased the selectivity by over 600% compared to using an uncharged membrane. The data were fit using the stagnant film model that relates the observed sieving coefficient to membrane parameters such as the flux, mass transfer coefficient, and membrane Peclet number. The model was a useful tool for data analysis and for the scale up of membrane separations for whey protein fractionation.

  12. When proteins are completely hydrated in crystals.

    PubMed

    Carugo, Oliviero

    2016-08-01

    In the crystalline state, protein surface patches that do not form crystal packing contacts are exposed to the solvent and one or more layers of hydration water molecules can be observed. It is well known that these water molecules cannot be observed at very low resolution, when the scarcity of experimental information precludes the observation of several parts of the protein molecule, like for example side-chains at the protein surface. On the contrary, more details are observable at high resolution. Here it is shown that it is necessary to reach a resolution of about 1.5-1.6Å to observe a continuous hydration layer at the protein surface. This contrasts previous estimations, which were more tolerant and according to which a resolution of 2.5Å was sufficient to describe at the atomic level the structure of the hydration layer. These results should prove useful in guiding a more rigorous selection of structural data to study protein hydration and in interpreting new crystal structures.

  13. Effects of protein engineering and rational mutagenesis on crystal lattice of single chain antibody fragments.

    PubMed

    Kalyoncu, Sibel; Hyun, Jeongmin; Pai, Jennifer C; Johnson, Jennifer L; Entzminger, Kevin; Jain, Avni; Heaner, David P; Morales, Ivan A; Truskett, Thomas M; Maynard, Jennifer A; Lieberman, Raquel L

    2014-09-01

    Protein crystallization is dependent upon, and sensitive to, the intermolecular contacts that assist in ordering proteins into a three-dimensional lattice. Here we used protein engineering and mutagenesis to affect the crystallization of single chain antibody fragments (scFvs) that recognize the EE epitope (EYMPME) with high affinity. These hypercrystallizable scFvs are under development to assist difficult proteins, such as membrane proteins, in forming crystals, by acting as crystallization chaperones. Guided by analyses of intermolecular crystal lattice contacts, two second-generation anti-EE scFvs were produced, which bind to proteins with installed EE tags. Surprisingly, although noncomplementarity determining region (CDR) lattice residues from the parent scFv framework remained unchanged through the processes of protein engineering and rational design, crystal lattices of the derivative scFvs differ. Comparison of energy calculations and the experimentally-determined lattice interactions for this basis set provides insight into the complexity of the forces driving crystal lattice choice and demonstrates the availability of multiple well-ordered surface features in our scFvs capable of forming versatile crystal contacts.

  14. Effects of protein engineering and rational mutagenesis on crystal lattice of single chain antibody fragments

    PubMed Central

    Kalyoncu, Sibel; Hyun, Jeongmin; Pai, Jennifer C.; Johnson, Jennifer L.; Entzminger, Kevin; Jain, Avni; Heaner, David P.; Morales, Ivan A.; Truskett, Thomas M.; Maynard, Jennifer A.; Lieberman, Raquel L.

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystallization is dependent upon, and sensitive to, the intermolecular contacts that assist in ordering proteins into a three dimensional lattice. Here we used protein engineering and mutagenesis to affect the crystallization of single chain antibody fragments (scFvs) that recognize the EE epitope (EYMPME) with high affinity. These hypercrystallizable scFvs are under development to assist difficult proteins, such as membrane proteins, in forming crystals, by acting as crystallization chaperones. Guided by analyses of intermolecular crystal lattice contacts, two second-generation anti-EE scFvs were produced, which bind to proteins with installed EE tags. Surprisingly, although non-complementarity determining region (CDR) lattice residues from the parent scFv framework remained unchanged through the processes of protein engineering and rational design, crystal lattices of the derivative scFvs differ. Comparison of energy calculations and the experimentally-determined lattice interactions for this basis set provides insight into the complexity of the forces driving crystal lattice choice and demonstrates the availability of multiple well-ordered surface features in our scFvs capable of forming versatile crystal contacts. PMID:24615866

  15. Effects of Membrane Charge and Order on Membrane Binding of the Retroviral Structural Protein Gag

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Yi; Dick, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The retroviral structural protein Gag binds to the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane (PM), and many cellular proteins do so as well. We used Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) Gag together with membrane sensors to study the principles governing peripheral protein membrane binding, including electrostatics, specific recognition of phospholipid headgroups, sensitivity to phospholipid acyl chain compositions, preference for membrane order, and protein multimerization. We used an in vitro liposome-pelleting assay to test protein membrane binding properties of Gag, the well-characterized MARCKS peptide, a series of fluorescent electrostatic sensor proteins (mNG-KRn), and the specific phosphatidylserine (PS) binding protein Evectin2. RSV Gag and mNG-KRn bound well to membranes with saturated and unsaturated acyl chains, whereas the MARCKS peptide and Evectin2 preferentially bound to membranes with unsaturated acyl chains. To further discriminate whether the primary driving force for Gag membrane binding is electrostatic interactions or preference for membrane order, we measured protein binding to giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) containing the same PS concentration in both disordered (Ld) and ordered (Lo) phases. RSV Gag and mNG-KRn membrane association followed membrane charge, independent of membrane order. Consistent with pelleting data, the MARCKS peptide showed preference for the Ld domain. Surprisingly, the PS sensor Evectin2 bound to the PS-rich Ld domain with 10-fold greater affinity than to the PS-rich Lo domain. In summary, we found that RSV Gag shows no preference for membrane order, while proteins with reported membrane-penetrating domains show preference for disordered membranes. IMPORTANCE Retroviral particles assemble on the PM and bud from infected cells. Our understanding of how Gag interacts with the PM and how different membrane properties contribute to overall Gag assembly is incomplete. This study examined how membrane charge and membrane order

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Weyand, Simone; Tate, Christopher G.

    2015-05-23

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

  20. Simple micromechanical model of protein crystals for their mechanical characterizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoon, G.; Eom, K.; Na, S.

    2010-06-01

    Proteins have been known to perform the excellent mechanical functions and exhibit the remarkable mechanical properties such as high fracture toughness in spider silk protein [1]. This indicates that the mechanical characterization of protein molecules and/or crystals is very essential to understand such remarkable mechanical function of protein molecules. In this study, for gaining insight into mechanical behavior of protein crystals, we developed the micromechanical model by using the empirical potential field prescribed to alpha carbon atoms of a protein crystal in a unit cell. We consider the simple protein crystals for their mechanical behavior under tensile loading to be compared with full atomic models

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

    PubMed Central

    De Marothy, Minttu T; Elofsson, Arne

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Crystal Structure of the Herpesvirus Nuclear Egress Complex Provides Insights into Inner Nuclear Membrane Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Zeev-Ben-Mordehai, Tzviya; Weberruß, Marion; Lorenz, Michael; Cheleski, Juliana; Hellberg, Teresa; Whittle, Cathy; El Omari, Kamel; Vasishtan, Daven; Dent, Kyle C.; Harlos, Karl; Franzke, Kati; Hagen, Christoph; Klupp, Barbara G.; Antonin, Wolfram; Mettenleiter, Thomas C.; Grünewald, Kay

    2015-01-01

    Summary Although nucleo-cytoplasmic transport is typically mediated through nuclear pore complexes, herpesvirus capsids exit the nucleus via a unique vesicular pathway. Together, the conserved herpesvirus proteins pUL31 and pUL34 form the heterodimeric nuclear egress complex (NEC), which, in turn, mediates the formation of tight-fitting membrane vesicles around capsids at the inner nuclear membrane. Here, we present the crystal structure of the pseudorabies virus NEC. The structure revealed that a zinc finger motif in pUL31 and an extensive interaction network between the two proteins stabilize the complex. Comprehensive mutational analyses, characterized both in situ and in vitro, indicated that the interaction network is not redundant but rather complementary. Fitting of the NEC crystal structure into the recently determined cryoEM-derived hexagonal lattice, formed in situ by pUL31 and pUL34, provided details on the molecular basis of NEC coat formation and inner nuclear membrane remodeling. PMID:26711332

  3. Do protein crystals nucleate within dense liquid clusters?

    PubMed

    Maes, Dominique; Vorontsova, Maria A; Potenza, Marco A C; Sanvito, Tiziano; Sleutel, Mike; Giglio, Marzio; Vekilov, Peter G

    2015-07-01

    Protein-dense liquid clusters are regions of high protein concentration that have been observed in solutions of several proteins. The typical cluster size varies from several tens to several hundreds of nanometres and their volume fraction remains below 10(-3) of the solution. According to the two-step mechanism of nucleation, the protein-rich clusters serve as locations for and precursors to the nucleation of protein crystals. While the two-step mechanism explained several unusual features of protein crystal nucleation kinetics, a direct observation of its validity for protein crystals has been lacking. Here, two independent observations of crystal nucleation with the proteins lysozyme and glucose isomerase are discussed. Firstly, the evolutions of the protein-rich clusters and nucleating crystals were characterized simultaneously by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and confocal depolarized dynamic light scattering (cDDLS), respectively. It is demonstrated that protein crystals appear following a significant delay after cluster formation. The cDDLS correlation functions follow a Gaussian decay, indicative of nondiffusive motion. A possible explanation is that the crystals are contained inside large clusters and are driven by the elasticity of the cluster surface. Secondly, depolarized oblique illumination dark-field microscopy reveals the evolution from liquid clusters without crystals to newly nucleated crystals contained in the clusters to grown crystals freely diffusing in the solution. Collectively, the observations indicate that the protein-rich clusters in lysozyme and glucose isomerase solutions are locations for crystal nucleation.

  4. Fluctuating hydrodynamics of multicomponent membranes with embedded proteins

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-08-21

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

  5. Fluctuating hydrodynamics of multicomponent membranes with embedded proteins.

    PubMed

    Camley, Brian A; Brown, Frank L H

    2014-08-21

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

  6. IR laser-induced protein crystal transformation

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    A method and the design of instrumentation, and its preliminary practical realisation, including test experiments, with the object of inducing phase changes of biomolecular crystals by controlled dehydration through heating with infrared (IR) light are described. The aim is to generate and select crystalline phases through transformation in the solid state which have improved order (higher resolution in X-ray diffraction experiments) and reduced mosaic spread (more uniformly aligned mosaic blocks) for diffraction data collection and analysis. The crystal is heated by pulsed and/or constant IR laser irradiation. Loss of crystal water following heating and its reabsorption through equilibration with the environment is measured optically by a video system. Heating proved superior to traditional controlled dehydration by humidity change for the test cases CODH (carbon monoxide dehydrogenase) and CLK2 (a protein kinase). Heating with IR light is experimentally simple and offers an exploration of a much broader parameter space than the traditional method, as it allows the option of varying the rate of phase changes through modification of the IR pulse strength, width and repeat frequency. It impacts the crystal instantaneously, isotropically and homogeneously, and is therefore expected to cause less mechanical stress. PMID:24816092

  7. Continuum electromechanical modeling of protein-membrane interactions.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Y C; Lu, Benzhuo; Gorfe, Alemayehu A

    2010-10-01

    A continuum electromechanical model is proposed to describe the membrane curvature induced by electrostatic interactions in a solvated protein-membrane system. The model couples the macroscopic strain energy of membrane and the electrostatic solvation energy of the system, and equilibrium membrane deformation is obtained by minimizing the electroelastic energy functional with respect to the dielectric interface. The model is illustrated with the systems with increasing geometry complexity and captures the sensitivity of membrane curvature to the permanent and mobile charge distributions.

  8. A protein coated piezoelectric crystal detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suleiman, Ahmad; Pender, Marie; Ngeh-Ngwainbi, Jerome; Lubrano, Glenn; Guilbault, George

    1990-05-01

    The purpose of this project was to develop a protein coated, portable piezoelectric crystal detector for organophosphorus compounds. The performance of acetylcholinesterase, GD-1 anti-soman, anti-DMMP antibody, and bovine serum albumin (BSA) coatings was evaluated. Different immobilization methods were also tested. The responses obtained with the protein coatings immobilized via cross-linking with glutaraldehyde were acceptable, provided that the reference crystal was coated with dextran. The proposed coatings showed good stability and reasonable lifetimes that ranged from approximately three weeks in the case of the antibody coatings to several months in the case of BSA. Although moisture, gasoline, and sulfur are potential interferents, their effects on the sensor were eliminated by using a sodium sulfate scrubber which did not affect the performance of the detector towards organophosphates. A small, battery operated portable instrument capable of real time measurements with alarm function was produced. The instrument can be used in a wide range of applications, depending on the coatings applied to the crystals.

  9. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1993-01-01

    The experimental setup for the in-situ high resolution optical monitoring of protein crystal growth/dissolution morphologies was substantially improved. By augmenting the observation system with a temperature-controlled enclosure, laser illumination for the interferometric microscope, and software for pixel by pixel light intensity recording, a height resolution of about two unit cells for lysozyme can now be obtained. The repartitioning of Na(+) and Cl(-) ions between lysozyme solutions and crystals was studied. Quite unexpectedly, it was found that the longer crystals were in contact with their solution, the lower was their ion content. The development of a model for diffusive-convective transport and resulting distribution of the growth rate on facets was completed. Results obtained for a realistic growth cell geometry show interesting differences between 'growth runs' at 1g and 0g. The kinematic viscosity of lysozyme solutions of various supersaturations and salt concentrations was monitored over time. In contrast to the preliminary finding of other authors, no changes in viscosity were found over four days. The experimental setup for light scattering investigations of aggregation and nucleation in protein solutions was completed, and a computer program for the evaluation of multi-angle light scattering data was acquired.

  10. Do protein crystals nucleate within dense liquid clusters?

    SciTech Connect

    Maes, Dominique; Vorontsova, Maria A.; Potenza, Marco A. C.; Sanvito, Tiziano; Sleutel, Mike; Giglio, Marzio; Vekilov, Peter G.

    2015-06-27

    The evolution of protein-rich clusters and nucleating crystals were characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS), confocal depolarized dynamic light scattering (cDDLS) and depolarized oblique illumination dark-field microscopy. Newly nucleated crystals within protein-rich clusters were detected directly. These observations indicate that the protein-rich clusters are locations for crystal nucleation. Protein-dense liquid clusters are regions of high protein concentration that have been observed in solutions of several proteins. The typical cluster size varies from several tens to several hundreds of nanometres and their volume fraction remains below 10{sup −3} of the solution. According to the two-step mechanism of nucleation, the protein-rich clusters serve as locations for and precursors to the nucleation of protein crystals. While the two-step mechanism explained several unusual features of protein crystal nucleation kinetics, a direct observation of its validity for protein crystals has been lacking. Here, two independent observations of crystal nucleation with the proteins lysozyme and glucose isomerase are discussed. Firstly, the evolutions of the protein-rich clusters and nucleating crystals were characterized simultaneously by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and confocal depolarized dynamic light scattering (cDDLS), respectively. It is demonstrated that protein crystals appear following a significant delay after cluster formation. The cDDLS correlation functions follow a Gaussian decay, indicative of nondiffusive motion. A possible explanation is that the crystals are contained inside large clusters and are driven by the elasticity of the cluster surface. Secondly, depolarized oblique illumination dark-field microscopy reveals the evolution from liquid clusters without crystals to newly nucleated crystals contained in the clusters to grown crystals freely diffusing in the solution. Collectively, the observations indicate that the protein-rich clusters in

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  12. A nascent membrane protein is located adjacent to ER membrane proteins throughout its integration and translation

    PubMed Central

    1991-01-01

    The immediate environment of nascent membrane proteins undergoing integration into the ER membrane was investigated by photocrosslinking. Nascent polypeptides of different lengths, each containing a single IgM transmembrane sequence that functions either as a stop-transfer or a signal-anchor sequence, were synthesized by in vitro translation of truncated mRNAs in the presence of N epsilon-(5-azido-2-nitrobenzoyl)- Lys-tRNA, signal recognition particle, and microsomal membranes. This yielded nascent chains with photoreactive probes at one end of the transmembrane sequence where two lysine residues are located. When irradiated, these nascent chains reacted covalently with several ER proteins. One prominent crosslinking target was a glycoprotein similar in size to a protein termed mp39, shown previously to be situated adjacent to a secretory protein during its translocation across the ER membrane (Krieg, U. C., A. E. Johnson, and P. Walter. 1989. J. Cell Biol. 109:2033-2043; Wiedmann, M., D. Goerlich, E. Hartmann, T. V. Kurzchalia, and T. A. Rapoport. 1989. FEBS (Fed. Eur. Biochem. Soc.) Lett. 257:263-268) and likely to be identical to a protein previously designated the signal sequence receptor (Wiedmann, M., T. V. Kurzchalia, E. Hartmann, and T. A. Rapoport. 1987. Nature (Lond.). 328:830-833). Changing the orientation of the transmembrane domain in the bilayer, or making the transmembrane domain the first topogenic sequence in the nascent chain instead of the second, did not significantly alter the identities of the ER proteins that were the primary crosslinking targets. Furthermore, the nascent chains crosslinked to the mp39-like glycoprotein and other microsomal proteins even after the cytoplasmic tail of the nascent chain had been lengthened by nearly 100 amino acids beyond the stop-transfer sequence. Yet when the nascent chain was allowed to terminate normally, the major photocrosslinks were no longer observed, including in particular that to the mp39-like

  13. Expression, Solubilization, and Purification of Bacterial Membrane Proteins.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, Constance J

    2016-02-02

    Bacterial integral membrane proteins play many important roles, including sensing changes in the environment, transporting molecules into and out of the cell, and in the case of commensal or pathogenic bacteria, interacting with the host organism. Working with membrane proteins in the lab can be more challenging than working with soluble proteins because of difficulties in their recombinant expression and purification. This protocol describes a standard method to express, solubilize, and purify bacterial integral membrane proteins. The recombinant protein of interest with a 6His affinity tag is expressed in E. coli. After harvesting the cultures and isolating cellular membranes, mild detergents are used to solubilize the membrane proteins. Protein-detergent complexes are then purified using IMAC column chromatography. Support protocols are included to help select a detergent for protein solubilization and for use of gel filtration chromatography for further purification.

  14. Small Device for Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Dr. Daniel Carter (center), president of New Century Pharmaceuticals, and Dr. Joseph Ho (right), vice president, examine a diffusion Controlled Apparatus for Microgravity (DCAM). At left, Dr. John Ruble, a senior scientist, examines some specimens. The plastic DCAM has two chambers joined by a porous plug through which fluids can diffuse at a controlled rate. This allows researchers to mix protein solutions on Earth and load them aboard the Space Shuttle shortly before launch. The diffusion and crystallization processes are already under way, but at such a slow pace that crystals do not start growing before the DCAM is in orbit aboard the Shuttle or a space station. Dozens of DCAM units can be flown in a small volume and require virtually no crew attention. Specimens are returned to Earth for analysis. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center

  15. A novel lipoprotein nanoparticle system for membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Synthesis and properties of dodecyl trehaloside detergents for membrane protein studies.

    PubMed

    Tao, Houchao; Fu, Yu; Thompson, Aaron; Lee, Sung Chang; Mahoney, Nicholas; Stevens, Raymond C; Zhang, Qinghai

    2012-07-31

    Sugar-based detergents, mostly derived from maltose or glucose, prevail in the extraction, solubilization, stabilization, and crystallization of membrane proteins. Inspired by the broad use of trehalose for protecting biological macromolecules and lipid bilayer structures, we synthesized new trehaloside detergents for potential applications in membrane protein research. We devised an efficient synthesis of four dodecyl trehalosides, each with the 12-carbon alkyl chain attached to different hydroxyl groups of trehalose, thus presenting a structurally diverse but related family of detergents. The detergent physical properties, including solubility, hydrophobicity, critical micelle concentration (CMC), and size of micelles, were evaluated and compared with the most popular maltoside analogue, β-D-dodecyl maltoside (DDM), which varied from each other due to distinct molecular geometries and possible polar group interactions in resulting micelles. Crystals of 2-dodecyl trehaloside (2-DDTre) were also obtained in methanol, and the crystal packing revealed multiple H-bonded interactions among adjacent trehalose groups. The few trehaloside detergents were tested for the solubilization and stabilization of the nociceptin/orphanin FQ peptide receptor (ORL1) and MsbA, which belong to the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) and ATP-binding cassette transporter families, respectively. Our results demonstrated the utility of trehaloside detergents as membrane protein solubilization reagents with the optimal detergents being protein dependent. Continuing development and investigations of trehaloside detergents are attractive, given their interesting and unique chemical-physical properties and potential interactions with membrane lipids.

  17. Surfactant-free purification of membrane proteins with intact native membrane environment.

    PubMed

    Jamshad, Mohammed; Lin, Yu-Pin; Knowles, Timothy J; Parslow, Rosemary A; Harris, Craig; Wheatley, Mark; Poyner, David R; Bill, Roslyn M; Thomas, Owen R T; Overduin, Michael; Dafforn, Tim R

    2011-06-01

    In order to study the structure and function of a protein, it is generally required that the protein in question is purified away from all others. For soluble proteins, this process is greatly aided by the lack of any restriction on the free and independent diffusion of individual protein particles in three dimensions. This is not the case for membrane proteins, as the membrane itself forms a continuum that joins the proteins within the membrane with one another. It is therefore essential that the membrane is disrupted in order to allow separation and hence purification of membrane proteins. In the present review, we examine recent advances in the methods employed to separate membrane proteins before purification. These approaches move away from solubilization methods based on the use of small surfactants, which have been shown to suffer from significant practical problems. Instead, the present review focuses on methods that stem from the field of nanotechnology and use a range of reagents that fragment the membrane into nanometre-scale particles containing the protein complete with the local membrane environment. In particular, we examine a method employing the amphipathic polymer poly(styrene-co-maleic acid), which is able to reversibly encapsulate the membrane protein in a 10 nm disc-like structure ideally suited to purification and further biochemical study.

  18. Ultratight crystal packing of a 10 kDa protein

    SciTech Connect

    Trillo-Muyo, Sergio; Chruszcz, Maksymilian; Minor, Wladek; Kuisiene, Nomeda

    2013-03-01

    The crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of a putative U32 peptidase from G. thermoleovorans is reported; it is one of the most tightly packed protein structures reported to date. While small organic molecules generally crystallize forming tightly packed lattices with little solvent content, proteins form air-sensitive high-solvent-content crystals. Here, the crystallization and full structure analysis of a novel recombinant 10 kDa protein corresponding to the C-terminal domain of a putative U32 peptidase are reported. The orthorhombic crystal contained only 24.5% solvent and is therefore among the most tightly packed protein lattices ever reported.

  19. Detergent-resistant membrane subfractions containing proteins of plasma membrane, mitochondrial, and internal membrane origins.

    PubMed

    Mellgren, Ronald L

    2008-04-24

    HEK293 cell detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs) isolated by the standard homogenization protocol employing a Teflon pestle homogenizer yielded a prominent opaque band at approximately 16% sucrose upon density gradient ultracentrifugation. In contrast, cell disruption using a ground glass tissue homogenizer generated three distinct DRM populations migrating at approximately 10%, 14%, and 20% sucrose, named DRM subfractions A, B, and C, respectively. Separation of the DRM subfractions by mechanical disruption suggested that they are physically associated within the cellular environment, but can be dissociated by shear forces generated during vigorous homogenization. All three DRM subfractions possessed cholesterol and ganglioside GM1, but differed in protein composition. Subfraction A was enriched in flotillin-1 and contained little caveolin-1. In contrast, subfractions B and C were enriched in caveolin-1. Subfraction C contained several mitochondrial membrane proteins, including mitofilin and porins. Only subfraction B appeared to contain significant amounts of plasma membrane-associated proteins, as revealed by cell surface labeling studies. A similar distribution of DRM subfractions, as assessed by separation of flotillin-1 and caveolin-1 immunoreactivities, was observed in CHO cells, in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, and in HEK293 cells lysed in detergent-free carbonate. Teflon pestle homogenization of HEK293 cells in the presence of the actin-disrupting agent latrunculin B generated DRM subfractions A-C. The microtubule-disrupting agent vinblastine did not facilitate DRM subfraction separation, and DRMs prepared from fibroblasts of vimentin-null mice were present as a single major band on sucrose gradients, unless pre-treated with latrunculin B. These results suggest that the DRM subfractions are interconnected by the actin cytoskeleton, and not by microtubes or vimentin intermediate filaments. The subfractions described may prove useful in studying discrete protein

  20. Nucleation and Convection Effects in Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vekilow, Peter G.

    1998-01-01

    Our work under this grant has significantly contributed to the goals of the NASA supported protein crystallization program. We have achieved the main objectives of the proposed work, as outlined in the original proposal: (1) We have provided important insight into protein nucleation and crystal growth mechanisms to facilitate a rational approach to protein crystallization; (2) We have delineated the factors that currently limit the x-ray diffraction resolution of protein crystals, and their correlation to crystallization conditions; (3) We have developed novel technologies to study and monitor protein crystal nucleation and growth processes, in order to increase the reproducibility and yield of protein crystallization. We have published 17 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and books and made more than 15 invited and 9 contributed presentations of our results at international and national scientific meetings.

  1. Chitosan-based membrane chromatography for protein adsorption and separation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yezhuo; Feng, Zhicheng; Shao, Zhengzhong; Chen, Xin

    2012-08-01

    A chitosan-based membrane chromatography was set up by using natural chitosan/carboxymethylchitosan (CS/CMCS) blend membrane as the matrix. The dynamic adsorption property for protein (lysozyme as model protein) was detailed discussed with the change in pore size of the membrane, the flow rate and the initial concentration of the feed solution, and the layer of membrane in membrane stack. The best dynamic adsorption capacity of lysozyme on the CS/CMCS membrane chromatography was found to be 15.3mg/mL under the optimal flow conditions. Moreover, the CS/CMCS membrane chromatography exhibited good repeatability and reusability with the desorption efficiency of ~90%. As an application, lysozyme and ovalbumin were successfully separated from their binary mixture through the CS/CMCS membrane chromatography. This implies that such a natural chitosan-based membrane chromatography may have great potential on the bioseparation field in the future.

  2. JAXA protein crystallization in space: ongoing improvements for growing high-quality crystals.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Sachiko; Ohta, Kazunori; Furubayashi, Naoki; Yan, Bin; Koga, Misako; Wada, Yoshio; Yamada, Mitsugu; Inaka, Koji; Tanaka, Hiroaki; Miyoshi, Hiroshi; Kobayashi, Tomoyuki; Kamigaichi, Shigeki

    2013-11-01

    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) started a high-quality protein crystal growth project, now called JAXA PCG, on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2002. Using the counter-diffusion technique, 14 sessions of experiments have been performed as of 2012 with 580 proteins crystallized in total. Over the course of these experiments, a user-friendly interface framework for high accessibility has been constructed and crystallization techniques improved; devices to maximize the use of the microgravity environment have been designed, resulting in some high-resolution crystal growth. If crystallization conditions were carefully fixed in ground-based experiments, high-quality protein crystals grew in microgravity in many experiments on the ISS, especially when a highly homogeneous protein sample and a viscous crystallization solution were employed. In this article, the current status of JAXA PCG is discussed, and a rational approach to high-quality protein crystal growth in microgravity based on numerical analyses is explained.

  3. Towards protein-crystal centering using second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Kissick, David J.; Dettmar, Christopher M.; Becker, Michael; Mulichak, Anne M.; Cherezov, Vadim; Ginell, Stephan L.; Battaile, Kevin P.; Keefe, Lisa J.; Fischetti, Robert F.; Simpson, Garth J.

    2013-01-01

    The potential of second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy for automated crystal centering to guide synchrotron X-­ray diffraction of protein crystals was explored. These studies included (i) comparison of microcrystal positions in cryoloops as determined by SHG imaging and by X-ray diffraction rastering and (ii) X-ray structure determinations of selected proteins to investigate the potential for laser-induced damage from SHG imaging. In studies using β2 adrenergic receptor membrane-protein crystals prepared in lipidic mesophase, the crystal locations identified by SHG images obtained in transmission mode were found to correlate well with the crystal locations identified by raster scanning using an X-­ray minibeam. SHG imaging was found to provide about 2 µm spatial resolution and shorter image-acquisition times. The general insensitivity of SHG images to optical scatter enabled the reliable identification of microcrystals within opaque cryocooled lipidic mesophases that were not identified by conventional bright-field imaging. The potential impact of extended exposure of protein crystals to five times a typical imaging dose from an ultrafast laser source was also assessed. Measurements of myoglobin and thaumatin crystals resulted in no statistically significant differences between structures obtained from diffraction data acquired from exposed and unexposed regions of single crystals. Practical constraints for integrating SHG imaging into an active beamline for routine automated crystal centering are discussed. PMID:23633594

  4. An Integrated Framework Advancing Membrane Protein Modeling and Design

    PubMed Central

    Weitzner, Brian D.; Duran, Amanda M.; Tilley, Drew C.; Elazar, Assaf; Gray, Jeffrey J.

    2015-01-01

    Membrane proteins are critical functional molecules in the human body, constituting more than 30% of open reading frames in the human genome. Unfortunately, a myriad of difficulties in overexpression and reconstitution into membrane mimetics severely limit our ability to determine their structures. Computational tools are therefore instrumental to membrane protein structure prediction, consequently increasing our understanding of membrane protein function and their role in disease. Here, we describe a general framework facilitating membrane protein modeling and design that combines the scientific principles for membrane protein modeling with the flexible software architecture of Rosetta3. This new framework, called RosettaMP, provides a general membrane representation that interfaces with scoring, conformational sampling, and mutation routines that can be easily combined to create new protocols. To demonstrate the capabilities of this implementation, we developed four proof-of-concept applications for (1) prediction of free energy changes upon mutation; (2) high-resolution structural refinement; (3) protein-protein docking; and (4) assembly of symmetric protein complexes, all in the membrane environment. Preliminary data show that these algorithms can produce meaningful scores and structures. The data also suggest needed improvements to both sampling routines and score functions. Importantly, the applications collectively demonstrate the potential of combining the flexible nature of RosettaMP with the power of Rosetta algorithms to facilitate membrane protein modeling and design. PMID:26325167

  5. Recent Progress in the Structure Determination of GPCRs, a Membrane Protein Family with High Potential as Pharmaceutical Targets

    SciTech Connect

    Cherezov, Vadim; Abola, Enrique; Stevens, Raymond C.

    2015-11-30

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute a highly diverse and ubiquitous family of integral membrane proteins, transmitting signals inside the cells in response to an assortment of disparate extra-cellular stimuli. Their strategic location on the cell surface and their involvement in crucial cellular and physiological processes turn these receptors into highly important pharmaceutical targets. Recent technological developments aimed at stabilization and crystallization of these receptors have led to significant breakthroughs in GPCR structure determination efforts. One of the successful approaches involved receptor stabilization with the help of a fusion partner combined with crystallization in lipidic cubic phase (LCP). The success of using an LCP matrix for crystallization is generally attributed to the creation of a more native, membrane-like stabilizing environment for GPCRs just prior to nucleation and to the formation of type I crystal lattices, thus generating highly ordered and strongly diffracting crystals. Here they describe protocols for reconstituting purified GPCRs in LCP, performing pre-crystallization assays, setting up crystallization trials in manual mode, detecting crystallization hits, optimizing crystallization conditions, harvesting, and collecting crystallographic data. The protocols provide a sensible framework for approaching crystallization of stabilized GPCRs in LCP, however, as in any crystallization experiment, extensive screening and optimization of crystallization conditions as well as optimization of protein construct and purification steps are required. The process remains risky and these protocols do not necessarily guarantee success.

  6. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystallization Interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Smith, Lori; Forsythe, Elizabeth

    1999-01-01

    We are investigating protein-protein interactions in under- and over-saturated crystallization solution conditions using fluorescence methods. The use of fluorescence requires fluorescent derivatives where the probe does not markedly affect the crystal packing. A number of chicken egg white lysozyme (CEWL) derivatives have been prepared, with the probes covalently attached to one of two different sites on the protein molecule; the side chain carboxyl of ASP 101, within the active site cleft, and the N-terminal amine. The ASP 101 derivatives crystallize while the N-terminal amine derivatives do not. However, the N-terminal amine is part of the contact region between adjacent 43 helix chains, and blocking this site does would not interfere with formation of these structures in solution. Preliminary FRET data have been obtained at pH 4.6, 0.1M NaAc buffer, at 5 and 7% NaCl, 4 C, using the N-terminal bound pyrene acetic acid (PAA, Ex 340 nm, Em 376 nm) and ASP 101 bound Lucifer Yellow (LY, Ex 425 nm, Em 525 nm) probe combination. The corresponding Csat values are 0.471 and 0.362 mg/ml (approximately 3.3 and approximately 2.5 x 10 (exp 5) M respectively), and all experiments were carried out at approximately Csat or lower total protein concentration. The data at both salt concentrations show a consistent trend of decreasing fluorescence yield of the donor species (PAA) with increasing total protein concentration. This decrease is apparently more pronounced at 7% NaCl, consistent with the expected increased intermolecular interactions at higher salt concentrations (reflected in the lower solubility). The estimated average distance between protein molecules at 5 x 10 (exp 6) M is approximately 70 nm, well beyond the range where any FRET can be expected. The calculated RO, where 50% of the donor energy is transferred to the acceptor, for the PAA-CEWL * LY-CEWL system is 3.28 nm, based upon a PAA-CEWL quantum efficiency of 0.41.

  7. Simple model of membrane proteins including solvent.

    PubMed

    Pagan, D L; Shiryayev, A; Connor, T P; Gunton, J D

    2006-05-14

    We report a numerical simulation for the phase diagram of a simple two-dimensional model, similar to the one proposed by Noro and Frenkel [J. Chem. Phys. 114, 2477 (2001)] for membrane proteins, but one that includes the role of the solvent. We first use Gibbs ensemble Monte Carlo simulations to determine the phase behavior of particles interacting via a square-well potential in two dimensions for various values of the interaction range. A phenomenological model for the solute-solvent interactions is then studied to understand how the fluid-fluid coexistence curve is modified by solute-solvent interactions. It is shown that such a model can yield systems with liquid-liquid phase separation curves that have both upper and lower critical points, as well as closed loop phase diagrams, as is the case with the corresponding three-dimensional model.

  8. Adamantane-based amphiphiles (ADAs) for membrane protein study: importance of a detergent hydrophobic group in membrane protein solubilisation.

    PubMed

    Chae, Pil Seok; Bae, Hyoung Eun; Das, Manabendra

    2014-10-21

    We prepared adamantane-containing amphiphiles and evaluated them using a large membrane protein complex in terms of protein solubilisation and stabilization efficacy. These agents were superior to conventional detergents, especially in terms of the membrane protein solubilisation efficiency, implying a new detergent structure-property relationship.

  9. Electron crystallography of PhoE porin, an outer membrane, channel- forming protein from E. coli

    SciTech Connect

    Walian, P.J.

    1989-11-01

    One approach to studying the structure of membrane proteins is the use of electron crystallography. Dr. Bing Jap has crystallized PhoE pore-forming protein (porin) from the outer membrane of escherichia coli (E. coli) into monolayer crystals. The findings of this research and those of Jap (1988, 1989) have determined these crystals to be highly ordered, yielding structural information to a resolution of better than 2.8 angstroms. The task of this thesis has been to collect and process the electron diffraction patterns necessary to generate a complete three-dimensional set of high resolution structure factor amplitudes of PhoE porin. Fourier processing of these amplitudes when combined with the corresponding phase data is expected to yield the three-dimensional structure of PhoE porin at better than 3.5 angstroms resolution. 92 refs., 33 figs., 3 tabs. (CBS)

  10. The Use of Detergents to Purify Membrane Proteins.

    PubMed

    Orwick-Rydmark, Marcella; Arnold, Thomas; Linke, Dirk

    2016-04-01

    Extraction of membrane proteins from biological membranes is usually accomplished with the help of detergents. This unit describes the use of detergents to solubilize and purify membrane proteins. The chemical and physical properties of the different classes of detergents typically used with biological samples are discussed. A separate section addresses the compatibility of detergents with applications downstream of the membrane protein purification process, such as optical spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, protein crystallography, biomolecular NMR, or electron microscopy. A brief summary of alternative membrane protein solubilizing and stabilizing systems is also included. Protocols in this unit include the isolation and solubilization of biological membranes and phase separation; support protocols for detergent removal, detergent exchange, and the determination of critical micelle concentration using different methods are also included.

  11. Lipid demixing and protein-protein interactions in the adsorption of charged proteins on mixed membranes.

    PubMed Central

    May, S; Harries, D; Ben-Shaul, A

    2000-01-01

    The adsorption free energy of charged proteins on mixed membranes, containing varying amounts of (oppositely) charged lipids, is calculated based on a mean-field free energy expression that accounts explicitly for the ability of the lipids to demix locally, and for lateral interactions between the adsorbed proteins. Minimization of this free energy functional yields the familiar nonlinear Poisson-Boltzmann equation and the boundary condition at the membrane surface that allows for lipid charge rearrangement. These two self-consistent equations are solved simultaneously. The proteins are modeled as uniformly charged spheres and the (bare) membrane as an ideal two-dimensional binary mixture of charged and neutral lipids. Substantial variations in the lipid charge density profiles are found when highly charged proteins adsorb on weakly charged membranes; the lipids, at a certain demixing entropy penalty, adjust their concentration in the vicinity of the adsorbed protein to achieve optimal charge matching. Lateral repulsive interactions between the adsorbed proteins affect the lipid modulation profile and, at high densities, result in substantial lowering of the binding energy. Adsorption isotherms demonstrating the importance of lipid mobility and protein-protein interactions are calculated using an adsorption equation with a coverage-dependent binding constant. Typically, at bulk-surface equilibrium (i.e., when the membrane surface is "saturated" by adsorbed proteins), the membrane charges are "overcompensated" by the protein charges, because only about half of the protein charges (those on the hemispheres facing the membrane) are involved in charge neutralization. Finally, it is argued that the formation of lipid-protein domains may be enhanced by electrostatic adsorption of proteins, but its origin (e.g., elastic deformations associated with lipid demixing) is not purely electrostatic. PMID:11023883

  12. The human platelet membrane proteome reveals several new potential membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Moebius, Jan; Zahedi, René Peiman; Lewandrowski, Urs; Berger, Claudia; Walter, Ulrich; Sickmann, Albert

    2005-11-01

    We present the first focused proteome study on human platelet membranes. Due to the removal of highly abundant cytoskeletal proteins a wide spectrum of known platelet membrane proteins and several new and hypothetical proteins were accessible. In contrast to other proteome studies we focused on prefractionation and purification of membranes from human platelets according to published protocols to reduce sample complexity and enrich interesting membrane proteins. Subsequently protein separation by common one-dimensional SDS-PAGE as well as the combined benzyldimethyl-n-hexadecylammonium chloride/SDS separation technique was performed prior to mass spectrometry analysis by nano-LC-ESI-MS/MS. We demonstrate that the application of both separation systems in parallel is required for maximization of protein tagging out of a complex sample. Furthermore the identification of several potential membrane proteins in human platelets yields new potential targets in functional platelet research.

  13. Bilayer-thickness-mediated interactions between integral membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Kahraman, Osman; Koch, Peter D; Klug, William S; Haselwandter, Christoph A

    2016-04-01

    Hydrophobic thickness mismatch between integral membrane proteins and the surrounding lipid bilayer can produce lipid bilayer thickness deformations. Experiment and theory have shown that protein-induced lipid bilayer thickness deformations can yield energetically favorable bilayer-mediated interactions between integral membrane proteins, and large-scale organization of integral membrane proteins into protein clusters in cell membranes. Within the continuum elasticity theory of membranes, the energy cost of protein-induced bilayer thickness deformations can be captured by considering compression and expansion of the bilayer hydrophobic core, membrane tension, and bilayer bending, resulting in biharmonic equilibrium equations describing the shape of lipid bilayers for a given set of bilayer-protein boundary conditions. Here we develop a combined analytic and numerical methodology for the solution of the equilibrium elastic equations associated with protein-induced lipid bilayer deformations. Our methodology allows accurate prediction of thickness-mediated protein interactions for arbitrary protein symmetries at arbitrary protein separations and relative orientations. We provide exact analytic solutions for cylindrical integral membrane proteins with constant and varying hydrophobic thickness, and develop perturbative analytic solutions for noncylindrical protein shapes. We complement these analytic solutions, and assess their accuracy, by developing both finite element and finite difference numerical solution schemes. We provide error estimates of our numerical solution schemes and systematically assess their convergence properties. Taken together, the work presented here puts into place an analytic and numerical framework which allows calculation of bilayer-mediated elastic interactions between integral membrane proteins for the complicated protein shapes suggested by structural biology and at the small protein separations most relevant for the crowded membrane

  14. Discriminating lysosomal membrane protein types using dynamic neural network.

    PubMed

    Tripathi, Vijay; Gupta, Dwijendra Kumar

    2014-01-01

    This work presents a dynamic artificial neural network methodology, which classifies the proteins into their classes from their sequences alone: the lysosomal membrane protein classes and the various other membranes protein classes. In this paper, neural networks-based lysosomal-associated membrane protein type prediction system is proposed. Different protein sequence representations are fused to extract the features of a protein sequence, which includes seven feature sets; amino acid (AA) composition, sequence length, hydrophobic group, electronic group, sum of hydrophobicity, R-group, and dipeptide composition. To reduce the dimensionality of the large feature vector, we applied the principal component analysis. The probabilistic neural network, generalized regression neural network, and Elman regression neural network (RNN) are used as classifiers and compared with layer recurrent network (LRN), a dynamic network. The dynamic networks have memory, i.e. its output depends not only on the input but the previous outputs also. Thus, the accuracy of LRN classifier among all other artificial neural networks comes out to be the highest. The overall accuracy of jackknife cross-validation is 93.2% for the data-set. These predicted results suggest that the method can be effectively applied to discriminate lysosomal associated membrane proteins from other membrane proteins (Type-I, Outer membrane proteins, GPI-Anchored) and Globular proteins, and it also indicates that the protein sequence representation can better reflect the core feature of membrane proteins than the classical AA composition.

  15. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1994-01-01

    This research involved (1) using the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) in a study on the growth of lysozyme crystals and (2) refinement of the design of the Thermonucleator which controls the supersaturation required for the nucleation and growth of protein crystals separately. AFM studies of the (110) tetragonal face confirmed that lysozyme crystals grow by step propagation. There appears to be very little step pile up in the growth regimes which we studied. The step height was measured at = 54A which was equal to the (110) interpane spacing. The AFM images showed areas of step retardation and the formation of pits. These defects ranged in size from 0.1 to 0.4 mu. The source of these defects was not determined. The redesign of the Thermonucleator produced an instrument based on thermoelectric technology which is both easier to use and more amenable to use in a mu g environment. The use of thermoelectric technology resulted in a considerable size reduction which will allow for the design of a multi-unit growth apparatus. The performance of the new apparatus was demonstrated to be the same as the original design.

  16. Bacteriophage membrane protein P9 as a fusion partner for the efficient expression of membrane proteins in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Jung, Yuna; Jung, Hyeim; Lim, Dongbin

    2015-12-01

    Despite their important roles and economic values, studies of membrane proteins have been hampered by the difficulties associated with obtaining sufficient amounts of protein. Here, we report a novel membrane protein expression system that uses the major envelope protein (P9) of phage φ6 as an N-terminal fusion partner. Phage membrane protein P9 facilitated the synthesis of target proteins and their integration into the Escherichia coli cell membrane. This system was used to produce various multi-pass transmembrane proteins, including G-protein-coupled receptors, transporters, and ion channels of human origin. Green fluorescent protein fusion was used to confirm the correct folding of the expressed proteins. Of the 14 membrane proteins tested, eight were highly expressed, three were moderately expressed, and three were barely expressed in E. coli. Seven of the eight highly expressed proteins could be purified after extraction with the mild detergent lauryldimethylamine-oxide. Although a few proteins have previously been developed as fusion partners to augment membrane protein production, we believe that the major envelope protein P9 described here is better suited to the efficient expression of eukaryotic transmembrane proteins in E. coli.

  17. Protein Crystal Growth Activities on STS-42

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) middeck payload is currently manifested to fly on STS-42 in January 1992. This payload is a joint effort between NASA s Office of Commercial Programs (OCP) and Office of Space Science and Applications (OSSA). The PCG experiments are managed by the Center for Macromolecular Crystallography (CMC), a NASA Center for the Commercial Development of Space (CCDS) based at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). This is the eighth flight of a payload in the PCG program that is jointly sponsored by the OCP and the OSSA. The flight hardware for STS-42 includes six Vapor Diffusion Apparatus (VDA) trays stored in two Refrigerator/Incubator Modules (R/TM s). The VDA trays will simultaneously conduct 120 experiments involving 15 different protein compounds, four of which are sponsored by the OCP, the UAB CCDS, and four co-investigators.

  18. A GaN photonic crystal membrane laser.

    PubMed

    Lin, Cheng-Hung; Wang, Jyh-Yang; Chen, Cheng-Yen; Shen, Kun-Ching; Yeh, Dong-Ming; Kiang, Yean-Woei; Yang, C C

    2011-01-14

    The implementation of a series of optically pumped GaN photonic crystal (PhC) membrane lasers is demonstrated at room temperature. The photonic crystal is composed of a scalene-triangular arrangement of circular holes in GaN. Three defect structures are fabricated for comparing their lasing characteristics with those of perfect PhC. It is observed that all the lasing defect modes have lasing wavelengths very close to the band-edge modes in the perfect PhC structure. Although those lasing modes, including band-edge and defect modes, have different optical pump thresholds, different lasing spectral widths, different quality factors (Q factors), and different polarization ratios, all their polarization distributions show maxima in the directions around one of the hole arrangement axes. The similar lasing characteristics between the band-edge and defect modes are attributed to the existence of extremely narrow partial band gaps for forming the defect modes. Also, the oriented polarization properties are due to the scalene-triangle PhC structure. In one of the defect lasing modes, the lasing threshold is as low as 0.82 mJ cm(-2), the cavity Q factor is as large as 1743, and the polarization ratio is as large as 25.4. Such output parameters represent generally superior lasing behaviors when compared with previously reported implementations of similar laser structures.

  19. Single crystal CVD diamond membranes for betavoltaic cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delfaure, C.; Pomorski, M.; de Sanoit, J.; Bergonzo, P.; Saada, S.

    2016-06-01

    A single crystal diamond large area thin membrane was assembled as a p-doped/Intrinsic/Metal (PIM) structure and used in a betavoltaic configuration. When tested with a 20 keV electron beam from a high resolution scanning electron microscope, we measured an open circuit voltage (Voc) of 1.85 V, a charge collection efficiency (CCE) of 98%, a fill-factor of 80%, and a total conversion efficiency of 9.4%. These parameters are inherently linked to the diamond membrane PIM structure that allows full device depletion even at 0 V and are among the highest reported up to now for any other material tested for betavoltaic devices. It enables to drive a high short-circuit current Isc up to 7.12 μA, to reach a maximum power Pmax of 10.48 μW, a remarkable value demonstrating the high-benefit of diamond for the realization of long-life radioisotope based micro-batteries.

  20. Membrane Interacting Regions of Dengue Virus NS2A Protein

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The Dengue virus (DENV) NS2A protein, essential for viral replication, is a poorly characterized membrane protein. NS2A displays both protein/protein and membrane/protein interactions, yet neither its functions in the viral cycle nor its active regions are known with certainty. To highlight the different membrane-active regions of NS2A, we characterized the effects of peptides derived from a peptide library encompassing this protein’s full length on different membranes by measuring their membrane leakage induction and modulation of lipid phase behavior. Following this initial screening, one region, peptide dens25, had interesting effects on membranes; therefore, we sought to thoroughly characterize this region’s interaction with membranes. This peptide presents an interfacial/hydrophobic pattern characteristic of a membrane-proximal segment. We show that dens25 strongly interacts with membranes that contain a large proportion of lipid molecules with a formal negative charge, and that this effect has a major electrostatic contribution. Considering its membrane modulating capabilities, this region might be involved in membrane rearrangements and thus be important for the viral cycle. PMID:25119664

  1. Intermolecular detergent-membrane protein noes for the characterization of the dynamics of membrane protein-detergent complexes.

    PubMed

    Eichmann, Cédric; Orts, Julien; Tzitzilonis, Christos; Vögeli, Beat; Smrt, Sean; Lorieau, Justin; Riek, Roland

    2014-12-11

    The interaction between membrane proteins and lipids or lipid mimetics such as detergents is key for the three-dimensional structure and dynamics of membrane proteins. In NMR-based structural studies of membrane proteins, qualitative analysis of intermolecular nuclear Overhauser enhancements (NOEs) or paramagnetic resonance enhancement are used in general to identify the transmembrane segments of a membrane protein. Here, we employed a quantitative characterization of intermolecular NOEs between (1)H of the detergent and (1)H(N) of (2)H-perdeuterated, (15)N-labeled α-helical membrane protein-detergent complexes following the exact NOE (eNOE) approach. Structural considerations suggest that these intermolecular NOEs should show a helical-wheel-type behavior along a transmembrane helix or a membrane-attached helix within a membrane protein as experimentally demonstrated for the complete influenza hemagglutinin fusion domain HAfp23. The partial absence of such a NOE pattern along the amino acid sequence as shown for a truncated variant of HAfp23 and for the Escherichia coli inner membrane protein YidH indicates the presence of large tertiary structure fluctuations such as an opening between helices or the presence of large rotational dynamics of the helices. Detergent-protein NOEs thus appear to be a straightforward probe for a qualitative characterization of structural and dynamical properties of membrane proteins embedded in detergent micelles.

  2. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystal Nucleation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.

    1999-01-01

    Fluorescence can be used to study protein crystal nucleation through methods such as anisotropy, quenching, and resonance energy transfer (FRET), to follow pH and ionic strength changes, and follow events occurring at the growth interface. We have postulated, based upon a range of experimental evidence that the growth unit of tetragonal hen egg white lysozyme is an octamer. Several fluorescent derivatives of chicken egg white lysozyme have been prepared. The fluorescent probes lucifer yellow (LY), cascade blue, and 5-((2-aminoethyl)aminonapthalene-1-sulfonic acid (EDANS), have been covalently attached to ASP 101. All crystallize in the characteristic tetragonal form, indicating that the bound probes are likely laying within the active site cleft. Crystals of the LY and EDANS derivatives have been found to diffract to at least 1.7 A. A second group of derivatives is to the N-terminal amine group, and these do not crystallize as this site is part of the contact region between the adjacent 43 helix chains. However derivatives at these sites would not interfere with formation of the 43 helices in solution. Preliminary FRET studies have been carried out using N-terminal bound pyrene acetic acid (Ex 340 nm, Em 376 nm) lysozyme as a donor and LY (Ex -425 nm, Em 525 nm) labeled lysozyme as an acceptor. FRET data have been obtained at pH 4.6, 0.1 M NaAc buffer, at 5 and 7% NaCl, 4 C. The corresponding Csat values are 0.471 and 0.362 mg/ml (approximately 3.3 and approximately 2.5 x 10(exp -5) M respectively). The data at both salt concentrations show a consistent trend of decreasing fluorescence intensity of the donor species (PAA) with increasing total protein concentration. This decrease is more pronounced at 7% NaCl, consistent with the expected increased intermolecular interactions at higher salt concentrations reflected in the lower solubility. The calculated average distance between any two protein molecules at 5 x 10(exp -6) M is approximately 70nm, well beyond the

  3. Miniature fiber acoustic sensors using a photonic-crystal membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jo, Wonuk; Akkaya, Onur C.; Solgaard, Olav; Digonnet, Michel J. F.

    2013-12-01

    This paper discusses recent developments in fiber acoustic sensors utilizing a miniature Fabry-Perot (FP) interferometer fabricated at the tip of a fiber. The FP is made of a high-reflectivity photonic-crystal membrane placed ˜30 μm from the reflective end of a single-mode fiber. When exposed to an acoustic wave the compliant membrane vibrates, and this vibration is detected as a modulation of the optical power reflected by the FP. The interferometer is enclosed in a sensor head designed, with the assistance of an electro-mechanical model, to minimize squeezed-film damping of the thin air gap between the reflectors and obtain a good acoustic response. The sensor head is fabricated out of silica elements and assembled with silicate bonding to minimize thermal expansion and ensure thermal stability. In the first sensor of this type the reflector at the fiber tip is a gold coating. It exhibits an average minimum detectable pressure (MDP) of 33 μPa/√Hz (1-30 kHz), a high thermal stability, and a weak polarization dependence. The second sensor incorporates several improvements, including a larger membrane for increased vibration amplitude, and higher reflectivity mirrors (PC and fiber tip) for increased displacement sensitivity. Its measured response is flat between ˜600 Hz and 20 kHz, with a normalized sensitivity as high as ˜0.17 Pa-1. Between 1 kHz and 30 kHz its average MDP is ˜2.6 μPa/√Hz, the lowest reported value for a fiber acoustic sensor this small. These results demonstrate the promising potential of this class of stable and compact optical sensors for highly sensitive detection in the audible range.

  4. Promotion of protein crystal growth by actively switching crystal growth mode via femtosecond laser ablation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tominaga, Yusuke; Maruyama, Mihoko; Yoshimura, Masashi; Koizumi, Haruhiko; Tachibana, Masaru; Sugiyama, Shigeru; Adachi, Hiroaki; Tsukamoto, Katsuo; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Takano, Kazufumi; Murakami, Satoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Yoshikawa, Hiroshi Y.; Mori, Yusuke

    2016-11-01

    Large single crystals with desirable shapes are essential for various scientific and industrial fields, such as X-ray/neutron crystallography and crystalline devices. However, in the case of proteins the production of such crystals is particularly challenging, despite the efforts devoted to optimization of the environmental, chemical and physical parameters. Here we report an innovative approach for promoting the growth of protein crystals by directly modifying the local crystal structure via femtosecond laser ablation. We demonstrate that protein crystals with surfaces that are locally etched (several micrometers in diameter) by femtosecond laser ablation show enhanced growth rates without losing crystal quality. Optical phase-sensitive microscopy and X-ray topography imaging techniques reveal that the local etching induces spiral growth, which is energetically advantageous compared with the spontaneous two-dimensional nucleation growth mode. These findings prove that femtosecond laser ablation can actively switch the crystal growth mode, offering flexible control over the size and shape of protein crystals.

  5. Characterization of the mycoplasma membrane proteins. VI. Composition and disposition of proteins in membranes from aging Mycoplasma hominis cultures.

    PubMed

    Amar, A; Rottem, S; Kahane, I; Razin, S

    1976-03-05

    Membranes of Mycoplasma hominis cells from cultures progressing from the mid to the end of the logarithmic phase of growth became richer in protein, poorer in phospholipids and cholesterol, heavier in density, and more viscous as determined by EPR. The membrane-bound ATPase activity declined steeply. Electrophoretic analysis failed to show marked changes in membrane protein composition on aging, apart from an increase in the staining intensity of one protein band (Mr approximately 130 000) concomitant with a decrease in the staining intensity of several minor protein bands of high molecular weight. To test for possible changes in the disposition of the various membrane proteins on aging of cultures, a comparison was made of the susceptibility of membrane proteins of intact cells and isolated membranes to trypsinization and lactoperoxidase-mediated iodination. The iodination values and the percent of membrane protein released by trypsinization of intact cells were similar in cells from cultures of different ages, indicating no significant changes in the organization of the proteins on the outer surface. On the other hand, trypsinization and iodination of isolated membranes were found to be most markedly affected by the culture age, indicating significant changes in the organization of the proteins on the inner membrane surface. Thus, the iodination values of isolated membranes decreased by almost two fold, while the percentage of protein released from the membrane by trypsin increased from 28% to 50% during the experimental period. It is suggested that aging in M. hominis cultures is accompanied by a continuous increase in the packing density of the protein molecules on the inner surface of the cell membrane.

  6. Modulation of the bilayer thickness of exocytic pathway membranes by membrane proteins rather than cholesterol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitra, Kakoli; Ubarretxena-Belandia, Iban; Taguchi, Tomohiko; Warren, Graham; Engelman, Donald M.

    2004-03-01

    A biological membrane is conceptualized as a system in which membrane proteins are naturally matched to the equilibrium thickness of the lipid bilayer. Cholesterol, in addition to lipid composition, has been suggested to be a major regulator of bilayer thickness in vivo because measurements in vitro have shown that cholesterol can increase the thickness of simple phospholipid/cholesterol bilayers. Using solution x-ray scattering, we have directly measured the average bilayer thickness of exocytic pathway membranes, which contain increasing amounts of cholesterol. The bilayer thickness of membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum, the Golgi, and the basolateral and apical plasma membranes, purified from rat hepatocytes, were determined to be 37.5 ± 0.4 Å, 39.5 ± 0.4 Å, 35.6 ± 0.6 Å, and 42.5 ± 0.3 Å, respectively. After cholesterol depletion using cyclodextrins, Golgi and apical plasma membranes retained their respective bilayer thicknesses whereas the bilayer thickness of the endoplasmic reticulum and the basolateral plasma membrane decreased by 1.0 Å. Because cholesterol was shown to have a marginal effect on the thickness of these membranes, we measured whether membrane proteins could modulate thickness. Protein-depleted membranes demonstrated changes in thickness of up to 5 Å, suggesting that (i) membrane proteins rather than cholesterol modulate the average bilayer thickness of eukaryotic cell membranes, and (ii) proteins and lipids are not naturally hydrophobically matched in some biological membranes. A marked effect of membrane proteins on the thickness of Escherichia coli cytoplasmic membranes, which do not contain cholesterol, was also observed, emphasizing the generality of our findings.

  7. Toward understanding driving forces in membrane protein folding.

    PubMed

    Hong, Heedeok

    2014-12-15

    α-Helical membrane proteins are largely composed of nonpolar residues that are embedded in the lipid bilayer. An enigma in the folding of membrane proteins is how a polypeptide chain can be condensed into the compact folded state in the environment where the hydrophobic effect cannot strongly drive molecular interactions. Probably other forces such as van der Waals packing, hydrogen bonding, and weakly polar interactions, which are regarded less important in the folding of water-soluble proteins, should emerge. However, it is not clearly understood how those individual forces operate and how they are balanced for stabilizing membrane proteins. Studying this problem is not a trivial task mainly because of the methodological challenges in controlling the reversible folding of membrane proteins in the lipid bilayer. Overcoming the hurdles, meaningful progress has been made in the field in the last few decades. This review will focus on recent studies tackling the problem of driving forces in membrane protein folding.

  8. Size-dependent protein segregation at membrane interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmid, Eva M.; Bakalar, Matthew H.; Choudhuri, Kaushik; Weichsel, Julian; Ann, Hyoung Sook; Geissler, Phillip L.; Dustin, Michael L.; Fletcher, Daniel A.

    2016-07-01

    Membrane interfaces formed at cell-cell junctions are associated with characteristic patterns of membrane proteins whose organization is critical for intracellular signalling. To isolate the role of membrane protein size in pattern formation, we reconstituted model membrane interfaces in vitro using giant unilamellar vesicles decorated with synthetic binding and non-binding proteins. We show that size differences between membrane proteins can drastically alter their organization at membrane interfaces, with as little as a ~5 nm increase in non-binding protein size driving its exclusion from the interface. Combining in vitro measurements with Monte Carlo simulations, we find that non-binding protein exclusion is also influenced by lateral crowding, binding protein affinity, and thermally driven membrane height fluctuations that transiently limit access to the interface. This sensitive and highly effective means of physically segregating proteins has implications for cell-cell contacts such as T-cell immunological synapses (for example, CD45 exclusion) and epithelial cell junctions (for example, E-cadherin enrichment), as well as for protein sorting at intracellular contact points between membrane-bound organelles.

  9. Imaging of Protein Crystals with Two-Photon Microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Padayatti, Pius; Palczewska, Grazyna; Sun, Wenyu; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Salom, David

    2012-05-02

    Second-order nonlinear optical imaging of chiral crystals (SONICC), which portrays second-harmonic generation (SHG) by noncentrosymmetric crystals, is emerging as a powerful imaging technique for protein crystals in media opaque to visible light because of its high signal-to-noise ratio. Here we report the incorporation of both SONICC and two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) into one imaging system that allows visualization of crystals as small as 10 {mu}m in their longest dimension. Using this system, we then documented an inverse correlation between the level of symmetry in examined crystals and the intensity of their SHG. Moreover, because of blue-green TPEF exhibited by most tested protein crystals, we also could identify and image SHG-silent protein crystals. Our experimental data suggest that the TPEF in protein crystals is mainly caused by the oxidation of tryptophan residues. Additionally, we found that unspecific fluorescent dyes are able to bind to lysozyme crystals and enhance their detection by TPEF. We finally confirmed that the observed fluorescence was generated by a two-photon rather than a three-photon process. The capability for imaging small protein crystals in turbid or opaque media with nondamaging infrared light in a single system makes the combination of SHG and intrinsic visible TPEF a powerful tool for nondestructive protein crystal identification and characterization during crystallization trials.

  10. Improvements in G protein-coupled receptor purification yield light stable rhodopsin crystals.

    PubMed

    Salom, David; Le Trong, Isolde; Pohl, Ehmke; Ballesteros, Juan A; Stenkamp, Ronald E; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Lodowski, David T

    2006-12-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent the largest family of transmembrane signaling proteins and are the target of approximately half of all therapeutic agents. Agonist ligands bind their cognate GPCRs stabilizing the active conformation that is competent to bind G proteins, thus initiating a cascade of intracellular signaling events leading to modification of the cell activity. Despite their biomedical importance, the only known GPCR crystal structures are those of inactive rhodopsin forms. In order to understand how GPCRs are able to transduce extracellular signals across the plasma membrane, it is critical to determine the structure of these receptors in their ligand-bound, active state. Here, we report a novel combination of purification procedures that allowed the crystallization of rhodopsin in two new crystal forms and can be applicable to the purification and crystallization of other membrane proteins. Importantly, these new crystals are stable upon photoactivation and the preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of both photoactivated and ground state rhodopsin crystals are also reported.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  12. Assembly of outer-membrane proteins in bacteria and mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Tommassen, Jan

    2010-09-01

    The cell envelope of Gram-negative bacteria consists of two membranes separated by the periplasm. In contrast with most integral membrane proteins, which span the membrane in the form of hydrophobic alpha-helices, integral outer-membrane proteins (OMPs) form beta-barrels. Similar beta-barrel proteins are found in the outer membranes of mitochondria and chloroplasts, probably reflecting the endosymbiont origin of these eukaryotic cell organelles. How these beta-barrel proteins are assembled into the outer membrane has remained enigmatic for a long time. In recent years, much progress has been reached in this field by the identification of the components of the OMP assembly machinery. The central component of this machinery, called Omp85 or BamA, is an essential and highly conserved bacterial protein that recognizes a signature sequence at the C terminus of its substrate OMPs. A homologue of this protein is also found in mitochondria, where it is required for the assembly of beta-barrel proteins into the outer membrane as well. Although accessory components of the machineries are different between bacteria and mitochondria, a mitochondrial beta-barrel OMP can be assembled into the bacterial outer membrane and, vice versa, bacterial OMPs expressed in yeast are assembled into the mitochondrial outer membrane. These observations indicate that the basic mechanism of OMP assembly is evolutionarily highly conserved.

  13. Humidity control and hydrophilic glue coating applied to mounted protein crystals improves X-ray diffraction experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Baba, Seiki; Hoshino, Takeshi; Ito, Len; Kumasaka, Takashi

    2013-09-01

    A new crystal-mounting method has been developed that involves a combination of controlled humid air and polymer glue for crystal coating. This method is particularly useful when applied to fragile protein crystals that are known to be sensitive to subtle changes in their physicochemical environment. Protein crystals are fragile, and it is sometimes difficult to find conditions suitable for handling and cryocooling the crystals before conducting X-ray diffraction experiments. To overcome this issue, a protein crystal-mounting method has been developed that involves a water-soluble polymer and controlled humid air that can adjust the moisture content of a mounted crystal. By coating crystals with polymer glue and exposing them to controlled humid air, the crystals were stable at room temperature and were cryocooled under optimized humidity. Moreover, the glue-coated crystals reproducibly showed gradual transformations of their lattice constants in response to a change in humidity; thus, using this method, a series of isomorphous crystals can be prepared. This technique is valuable when working on fragile protein crystals, including membrane proteins, and will also be useful for multi-crystal data collection.

  14. Crystal Structure of the Japanese Encephalitis Virus Envelope Protein

    SciTech Connect

    Luca, Vincent C.; AbiMansour, Jad; Nelson, Christopher A.; Fremont, Daved H.

    2012-03-13

    Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is the leading global cause of viral encephalitis. The JEV envelope protein (E) facilitates cellular attachment and membrane fusion and is the primary target of neutralizing antibodies. We have determined the 2.1-{angstrom} resolution crystal structure of the JEV E ectodomain refolded from bacterial inclusion bodies. The E protein possesses the three domains characteristic of flavivirus envelopes and epitope mapping of neutralizing antibodies onto the structure reveals determinants that correspond to the domain I lateral ridge, fusion loop, domain III lateral ridge, and domain I-II hinge. While monomeric in solution, JEV E assembles as an antiparallel dimer in the crystal lattice organized in a highly similar fashion as seen in cryo-electron microscopy models of mature flavivirus virions. The dimer interface, however, is remarkably small and lacks many of the domain II contacts observed in other flavivirus E homodimers. In addition, uniquely conserved histidines within the JEV serocomplex suggest that pH-mediated structural transitions may be aided by lateral interactions outside the dimer interface in the icosahedral virion. Our results suggest that variation in dimer structure and stability may significantly influence the assembly, receptor interaction, and uncoating of virions.

  15. Generation of Protein Crystals Using a Solution-Stirring Technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adachi, Hiroaki; Niino, Ai; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Takano, Kazufumi; Kinoshita, Takayoshi; Warizaya, Masaichi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Sasaki, Takatomo

    2004-06-01

    Crystals of bovine adenosine deaminase (ADA) were grown over a two week period in the presence of an inhibitor, whereas ADA crystals did not form using conventional crystallization methods when the inhibitor was excluded. To obtain ADA crystals in the absence of the inhibitor, a solution-stirring technique was used. The crystals obtained using this technique were found to be of high quality and were shown to have high structural resolution for X-ray diffraction analysis. The results of this study indicate that the stirring technique is a useful method for obtaining crystals of proteins that do not crystallize using conventional techniques.

  16. Topology of Class A G Protein-Coupled Receptors: Insights Gained from Crystal Structures of Rhodopsins, Adrenergic and Adenosine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Mustafi, Debarshi; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2009-01-01

    Biological membranes are densely packed with membrane proteins that occupy approximately half of their volume. In almost all cases, membrane proteins in the native state lack the higher-order symmetry required for their direct study by diffraction methods. Despite many technical difficulties, numerous crystal structures of detergent solubilized membrane proteins have been determined that illustrate their internal organization. Among such proteins, class A G protein-coupled receptors have become amenable to crystallization and high resolution X-ray diffraction analyses. The derived structures of native and engineered receptors not only provide insights into their molecular arrangements but also furnish a framework for designing and testing potential models of transformation from inactive to active receptor signaling states and for initiating rational drug design. PMID:18945819

  17. Disturbed vesicular trafficking of membrane proteins in prion disease.

    PubMed

    Uchiyama, Keiji; Miyata, Hironori; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2013-01-01

    The pathogenic mechanism of prion diseases remains unknown. We recently reported that prion infection disturbs post-Golgi trafficking of certain types of membrane proteins to the cell surface, resulting in reduced surface expression of membrane proteins and abrogating the signal from the proteins. The surface expression of the membrane proteins was reduced in the brains of mice inoculated with prions, well before abnormal symptoms became evident. Prions or pathogenic prion proteins were mainly detected in endosomal compartments, being particularly abundant in recycling endosomes. Some newly synthesized membrane proteins are delivered to the surface from the Golgi apparatus through recycling endosomes, and some endocytosed membrane proteins are delivered back to the surface through recycling endosomes. These results suggest that prions might cause neuronal dysfunctions and cell loss by disturbing post-Golgi trafficking of membrane proteins via accumulation in recycling endosomes. Interestingly, it was recently shown that delivery of a calcium channel protein to the cell surface was impaired and its function was abrogated in a mouse model of hereditary prion disease. Taken together, these results suggest that impaired delivery of membrane proteins to the cell surface is a common pathogenic event in acquired and hereditary prion diseases.

  18. How curvature-generating proteins build scaffolds on membrane nanotubes

    PubMed Central

    Evergren, Emma; Golushko, Ivan; Prévost, Coline; Renard, Henri-François; Johannes, Ludger; McMahon, Harvey T.; Lorman, Vladimir; Voth, Gregory A.; Bassereau, Patricia

    2016-01-01

    Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain proteins control the curvature of lipid membranes in endocytosis, trafficking, cell motility, the formation of complex subcellular structures, and many other cellular phenomena. They form 3D assemblies that act as molecular scaffolds to reshape the membrane and alter its mechanical properties. It is unknown, however, how a protein scaffold forms and how BAR domains interact in these assemblies at protein densities relevant for a cell. In this work, we use various experimental, theoretical, and simulation approaches to explore how BAR proteins organize to form a scaffold on a membrane nanotube. By combining quantitative microscopy with analytical modeling, we demonstrate that a highly curving BAR protein endophilin nucleates its scaffolds at the ends of a membrane tube, contrary to a weaker curving protein centaurin, which binds evenly along the tube’s length. Our work implies that the nature of local protein–membrane interactions can affect the specific localization of proteins on membrane-remodeling sites. Furthermore, we show that amphipathic helices are dispensable in forming protein scaffolds. Finally, we explore a possible molecular structure of a BAR-domain scaffold using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. Together with fluorescence microscopy, the simulations show that proteins need only to cover 30–40% of a tube’s surface to form a rigid assembly. Our work provides mechanical and structural insights into the way BAR proteins may sculpt the membrane as a high-order cooperative assembly in important biological processes. PMID:27655892

  19. Methods for Studying Interactions of Detergents and Lipids withα-Helical and β-Barrel Integral Membrane Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Hasan, S. Saif; Baniulis, Danas; Yamashita, Eiki; Zhalnina, Mariya V.; Zakharov, Stanislav D.; Stofleth, Jason T.; Cramer, William A.

    2014-01-01

    Methods for studying interactions of protein with lipids and detergents are described for representatives of two major classes of membrane proteins: (1) the α-helical heterooligomeric integral cytochrome b6f complex of oxygenic photosynthesis from cyanobacteria, and (2) the outer membrane β-barrel proteins BtuB and OmpF from Gram-negative Escherichia coli bacteria. Details are presented on the use of detergents for purification and crystallization of the b6f complex as well as a method for lipid exchange. The positions of detergent and lipid molecules, which define eight potential lipid-binding sites in the b6f complex, are described. Differences in detergent strategies for isolation and crystallization of β-barrel proteins relative to those for oligomeric helical membrane proteins are discussed, and purification and assessment of protein quality by circular dichroism (CD) is presented. PMID:24510648

  20. Effect of Preparation Methods on Crystallization Behavior and Tensile Strength of Poly(vinylidene fluoride) Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jie; Lu, Xiaolong; Wu, Chunrui

    2013-01-01

    Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) membranes were prepared by non solvent induced phase separation (NIPS), melt spinning and the solution-cast method. The effect of preparation methods with different membrane formation mechanisms on crystallization behavior and tensile strength of PVDF membranes was investigated. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy-attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were employed to examine the crystal form of the surface layers and the overall membranes, respectively. Spherulite morphologies and thermal behavior of the membranes were studied by polarized light optical microscopy (PLO) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) separately. It was found that the crystallization behavior of PVDF membranes was closely related to the preparation methods. For membranes prepared by the NIPS method, the skin layers had a mixture of α and β phases, the overall membranes were predominantly α phase, and the total crystallinity was 60.0% with no spherulite. For melt spinning membranes, the surface layers also showed a mixture of α and β phases, the overall membranes were predominantly α phase. The total crystallinity was 48.7% with perfect spherulites. Whereas the crystallization behavior of solution-cast membranes was related to the evaporation temperature and the additive, when the evaporation temperature was 140 °C with a soluble additive in the dope solution, obvious spherulites appeared. The crystalline morphology of PVDF exerted a great influence on the tensile strength of the membranes, which was much higher with perfect spherulites. PMID:24957064

  1. Probing Single Membrane Proteins by Atomic Force Microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheuring, S.; Sapra, K. Tanuj; Müller, Daniel J.

    In this book chapter, we describe the working principle of the atomic force microscope (AFM), followed by the applications of AFM in high-resolution imaging and single-molecule force spectroscopy of membrane proteins. In the imaging mode, AFM allows observing the assembly of membrane proteins directly in native membranes approaching a resolution of ~0.5 nm with an outstanding signal-to-noise ratio. Conformational deviations of individual membrane proteins can be observed and their functional states directly imaged. Time-lapse AFM can image membrane proteins at work. In conjunction with high- resolution imaging, the use of the AFM as a single-molecule force spectroscope (SMFS) has gained tremendous importance in recent years. This combination allows to locate the inter- and intramolecular interactions of single membrane proteins. SMFS allows characterization of interactions that guide the folding of proteins and describe the parameters that lead to their destabilization, malfunction and misfolding. Moreover, it enables to measure the interactions established by ligand- and inhibitor-binding and in membrane protein assemblies. Because of its practical use in characterizing various parameters of membrane proteins in their native environment, AFM can be aptly described as a `lab on a tip' device.

  2. Protein and virus crystal growth on international microgravity laboratory-2.

    PubMed Central

    Koszelak, S; Day, J; Leja, C; Cudney, R; McPherson, A

    1995-01-01

    Two T = 1 and one T = 3 plant viruses, along with a protein, were crystallized in microgravity during the International Microgravity Laboratory-2 (IML-2) mission in July of 1994. The method used was liquid-liquid diffusion in the European Space Agency's Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility (APCF). Distinctive alterations in the habits of Turnip Yellow Mosaic Virus (TYMV) crystals and hexagonal canavalin crystals were observed. Crystals of cubic Satellite Tobacco Mosaic Virus (STMV) more than 30 times the volume of crystals grown in the laboratory were produced in microgravity. X-ray diffraction analysis demonstrated that both crystal forms of canavalin and the cubic STMV crystals diffracted to significantly higher resolution and had superior diffraction properties as judged by relative Wilson plots. It is postulated that the establishment of quasi-stable depletion zones around crystals growing in microgravity are responsible for self-regulated and more ordered growth. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 6 PMID:7669890

  3. Negative Ions Enhance Survival of Membrane Protein Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liko, Idlir; Hopper, Jonathan T. S.; Allison, Timothy M.; Benesch, Justin L. P.; Robinson, Carol V.

    2016-06-01

    Membrane protein complexes are commonly introduced to the mass spectrometer solubilized in detergent micelles. The collisional activation used to remove the detergent, however, often causes protein unfolding and dissociation. As in the case for soluble proteins, electrospray in the positive ion mode is most commonly used for the study of membrane proteins. Here we show several distinct advantages of employing the negative ion mode. Negative polarity can yield lower average charge states for membrane proteins solubilized in saccharide detergents, with enhanced peak resolution and reduced adduct formation. Most importantly, we demonstrate that negative ion mode electrospray ionization (ESI) minimizes subunit dissociation in the gas phase, allowing access to biologically relevant oligomeric states. Together, these properties mean that intact membrane protein ions can be generated in a greater range of solubilizing detergents. The formation of negative ions, therefore, greatly expands the possibilities of using mass spectrometry on this intractable class of protein.

  4. Acoustic Methods to Monitor Protein Crystallization and to Detect Protein Crystals in Suspensions of Agarose and Lipidic Cubic Phase.

    PubMed

    Ericson, Daniel L; Yin, Xingyu; Scalia, Alexander; Samara, Yasmin N; Stearns, Richard; Vlahos, Harry; Ellson, Richard; Sweet, Robert M; Soares, Alexei S

    2016-02-01

    Improvements needed for automated crystallography include crystal detection and crystal harvesting. A technique that uses acoustic droplet ejection to harvest crystals was previously reported. Here a method is described for using the same acoustic instrument to detect protein crystals and to monitor crystal growth. Acoustic pulses were used to monitor the progress of crystallization trials and to detect the presence and location of protein crystals. Crystals were detected, and crystallization was monitored in aqueous solutions and in lipidic cubic phase. Using a commercially available acoustic instrument, crystals measuring ~150 µm or larger were readily detected. Simple laboratory techniques were used to increase the sensitivity to 50 µm by suspending the crystals away from the plastic surface of the crystallization plate. This increased the sensitivity by separating the strong signal generated by the plate bottom that can mask the signal from small protein crystals. It is possible to further boost the acoustic reflection from small crystals by reducing the wavelength of the incident sound pulse, but our current instrumentation does not allow this option. In the future, commercially available sound-emitting transducers with a characteristic frequency near 300 MHz should detect and monitor the growth of individual 3 µm crystals.

  5. A sliding selectivity scale for lipid binding to membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Landreh, Michael; Marty, Michael T.; Gault, Joseph; Robinson, Carol V.

    2017-01-01

    Biological membranes form barriers that are essential for cellular integrity and compartmentalisation. Proteins that reside in the membrane have co-evolved with their hydrophobic lipid environment which serves as a solvent for proteins with very diverse requirements. As a result, membrane protein-lipid interactions range from completely non-selective to highly discriminating. Mass spectrometry (MS), in combination with X-ray crystallography and molecular dynamics simulations, enables us to monitor how lipids interact with intact membrane protein complexes and assess their effects on structure and dynamics. Recent studies illustrate the ability to differentiate specific lipid binding, preferential interactions with lipid subsets, and nonselective annular contacts. In this review, we consider the biological implications of different lipid-binding scenarios and propose that binding occurs on a sliding selectivity scale, in line with the view of biological membranes as facilitators of dynamic protein and lipid organization. PMID:27155089

  6. Pathogen receptor discovery with a microfluidic human membrane protein array.

    PubMed

    Glick, Yair; Ben-Ari, Ya'ara; Drayman, Nir; Pellach, Michal; Neveu, Gregory; Boonyaratanakornkit, Jim; Avrahami, Dorit; Einav, Shirit; Oppenheim, Ariella; Gerber, Doron

    2016-04-19

    The discovery of how a pathogen invades a cell requires one to determine which host cell receptors are exploited. This determination is a challenging problem because the receptor is invariably a membrane protein, which represents an Achilles heel in proteomics. We have developed a universal platform for high-throughput expression and interaction studies of membrane proteins by creating a microfluidic-based comprehensive human membrane protein array (MPA). The MPA is, to our knowledge, the first of its kind and offers a powerful alternative to conventional proteomics by enabling the simultaneous study of 2,100 membrane proteins. We characterized direct interactions of a whole nonenveloped virus (simian virus 40), as well as those of the hepatitis delta enveloped virus large form antigen, with candidate host receptors expressed on the MPA. Selected newly discovered membrane protein-pathogen interactions were validated by conventional methods, demonstrating that the MPA is an important tool for cellular receptor discovery and for understanding pathogen tropism.

  7. Analysis of crystallization data in the Protein Data Bank

    SciTech Connect

    Kirkwood, Jobie; Hargreaves, David; O’Keefe, Simon; Wilson, Julie

    2015-09-23

    In a large-scale study using data from the Protein Data Bank, some of the many reported findings regarding the crystallization of proteins were investigated. The Protein Data Bank (PDB) is the largest available repository of solved protein structures and contains a wealth of information on successful crystallization. Many centres have used their own experimental data to draw conclusions about proteins and the conditions in which they crystallize. Here, data from the PDB were used to reanalyse some of these results. The most successful crystallization reagents were identified, the link between solution pH and the isoelectric point of the protein was investigated and the possibility of predicting whether a protein will crystallize was explored.

  8. Protein quality control at the inner nuclear membrane.

    PubMed

    Khmelinskii, Anton; Blaszczak, Ewa; Pantazopoulou, Marina; Fischer, Bernd; Omnus, Deike J; Le Dez, Gaëlle; Brossard, Audrey; Gunnarsson, Alexander; Barry, Joseph D; Meurer, Matthias; Kirrmaier, Daniel; Boone, Charles; Huber, Wolfgang; Rabut, Gwenaël; Ljungdahl, Per O; Knop, Michael

    2014-12-18

    The nuclear envelope is a double membrane that separates the nucleus from the cytoplasm. The inner nuclear membrane (INM) functions in essential nuclear processes including chromatin organization and regulation of gene expression. The outer nuclear membrane is continuous with the endoplasmic reticulum and is the site of membrane protein synthesis. Protein homeostasis in this compartment is ensured by endoplasmic-reticulum-associated protein degradation (ERAD) pathways that in yeast involve the integral membrane E3 ubiquitin ligases Hrd1 and Doa10 operating with the E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes Ubc6 and Ubc7 (refs 2, 3). However, little is known about protein quality control at the INM. Here we describe a protein degradation pathway at the INM in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) mediated by the Asi complex consisting of the RING domain proteins Asi1 and Asi3 (ref. 4). We report that the Asi complex functions together with the ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes Ubc6 and Ubc7 to degrade soluble and integral membrane proteins. Genetic evidence suggests that the Asi ubiquitin ligase defines a pathway distinct from, but complementary to, ERAD. Using unbiased screening with a novel genome-wide yeast library based on a tandem fluorescent protein timer, we identify more than 50 substrates of the Asi, Hrd1 and Doa10 E3 ubiquitin ligases. We show that the Asi ubiquitin ligase is involved in degradation of mislocalized integral membrane proteins, thus acting to maintain and safeguard the identity of the INM.

  9. Protein Crystal Growth With the Aid of Microfluidics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vanderWoerd, Mark

    2003-01-01

    Protein crystallography is one of three well-known methods to obtain the structure of proteins. A major rate limiting step in protein crystallography is protein crystal nucleation and growth, which is still largely a process conducted by trial-and-error methods. Many attempts have been made to improve protein crystal growth by performing growth in microgravity. Although the use of microgravity appears to improve crystal quality in some attempts, this method has been inefficient because several reasons: we lack a fundamental understanding of macromolecular crystal growth in general and of the influence of microgravity in particular, we have to start with crystal growth conditions in microgravity based on conditions on the ground and finally the hardware does not allow for experimental iteration without reloading samples on the ground. To partially accommodate the disadvantages of the current hardware, we have used microfluidic technology (Lab-on-a-Chip devices) to design the concept of a more efficient crystallization device, suitable for use on the International Space Station and in high-throughput applications on the ground. The concept and properties of microfluidics, the application design process, and the advances in protein crystal growth hardware will be discussed in this presentation. Some examples of proteins crystallized in the new hardware will be discussed, including the differences between conventional crystallization versus crystallization in microfluidics.

  10. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystal Nucleation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc; Sumida, John

    2000-01-01

    -association process is a function of the protein concentration relative to the saturation concentration, and observing it in dilute solution (conc. less than or equal to 10(exp -5)M) requires that the experiments be performed under low solubility conditions, i.e., low temperatures and high salt concentrations. Data from preliminary steady state FRET studies with N-terminal bound pyrene acetic acid (PAA-lys, donor, Ex 340 nm, Em 376 nm) and asp101 LY-lys as an acceptor showed a consistent trend of decreasing donor fluorescence intensity with increasing total protein concentration. The FRET data have been obtained at pH 4.6, 0.1M NaAc buffer, at 5 and 7% NaCl, 4 C. The corresponding C(sub sat) values are 0.471 and 0.362 mg/ml (approx. 3.3 and approx. 2.5 x 10(exp -5)M respectively). The donor fluorescence decrease is more pronounced at7% NaCl, consistent with the expected increased intermolecular interactions at higher salt concentrations as reflected in the lower solubility. Results from these and other ongoing studies will be discussed in conjunction with an emerging model for how tetragonal lysozyme crystals nucleate and the relevance of that model to other proteins.

  11. BPROMPT: A consensus server for membrane protein prediction.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Paul D; Attwood, Teresa K; Flower, Darren R

    2003-07-01

    Protein structure prediction is a cornerstone of bioinformatics research. Membrane proteins require their own prediction methods due to their intrinsically different composition. A variety of tools exist for topology prediction of membrane proteins, many of them available on the Internet. The server described in this paper, BPROMPT (Bayesian PRediction Of Membrane Protein Topology), uses a Bayesian Belief Network to combine the results of other prediction methods, providing a more accurate consensus prediction. Topology predictions with accuracies of 70% for prokaryotes and 53% for eukaryotes were achieved. BPROMPT can be accessed at http://www.jenner.ac.uk/BPROMPT.

  12. Membrane-Protein Crystallography and Potentiality for Drug Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Atsuko

    Structure-based drug design for membrane proteins is far behind that for soluble proteins due to difficulty in crystallographic structure determination, despite the fact that about 60% of FDA-approved drugs target membrane proteins located at the cell surface. Stable homologs for a membrane protein of interest, such as prokaryotic neurotransmitter transporter homolog LeuT, might enable cooperative analyses by crystallography and functional assays, provide useful information for functional mechanisms, and thus serve as important probes for drug design based on mechanisms as well as structures.

  13. Electrorheological crystallization of proteins and other molecules

    DOEpatents

    Craig, George D.; Rupp, Bernhard

    1996-01-01

    An electrorheological crystalline mass of a molecule is formed by dispersing the molecule in a dispersion fluid and subjecting the molecule dispersion to a uniform electrical field for a period of time during which time an electrorheological crystalline mass is formed. Molecules that may be used to form an electrorheological crystalline mass include any organic or inorganic molecule which has a permanent dipole and/or which is capable of becoming an induced dipole in the presence of an electric field. The molecules used to form the electrorheological crystalline mass are preferably macromolecules, such as biomolecules, such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipoproteins and viruses. Molecules are crystallized by a method in which an electric field is maintained for a period of time after the electrorheological crystalline mass has formed during which time at least some of the molecules making up the electrorheological crystalline mass form a crystal lattice. The three dimensional structure of a molecule is determined by a method in which an electrorheological crystalline mass of the molecule is formed, an x-ray diffraction pattern of the electrorheological crystalline mass is obtained and the three dimensional structure of the molecule is calculated from the x-ray diffraction pattern.

  14. Electrorheological crystallization of proteins and other molecules

    DOEpatents

    Craig, G.D.; Rupp, B.

    1996-06-11

    An electrorheological crystalline mass of a molecule is formed by dispersing the molecule in a dispersion fluid and subjecting the molecule dispersion to a uniform electrical field for a period of time during which time an electrorheological crystalline mass is formed. Molecules that may be used to form an electrorheological crystalline mass include any organic or inorganic molecule which has a permanent dipole and/or which is capable of becoming an induced dipole in the presence of an electric field. The molecules used to form the electrorheological crystalline mass are preferably macromolecules, such as biomolecules, such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipoproteins and viruses. Molecules are crystallized by a method in which an electric field is maintained for a period of time after the electrorheological crystalline mass has formed during which time at least some of the molecules making up the electrorheological crystalline mass form a crystal lattice. The three dimensional structure of a molecule is determined by a method in which an electrorheological crystalline mass of the molecule is formed, an X-ray diffraction pattern of the electrorheological crystalline mass is obtained and the three dimensional structure of the molecule is calculated from the X-ray diffraction pattern. 4 figs.

  15. The Matrix protein M1 from influenza C virus induces tubular membrane invaginations in an in vitro cell membrane model

    PubMed Central

    Saletti, David; Radzimanowski, Jens; Effantin, Gregory; Midtvedt, Daniel; Mangenot, Stéphanie; Weissenhorn, Winfried; Bassereau, Patricia; Bally, Marta

    2017-01-01

    Matrix proteins from enveloped viruses play an important role in budding and stabilizing virus particles. In order to assess the role of the matrix protein M1 from influenza C virus (M1-C) in plasma membrane deformation, we have combined structural and in vitro reconstitution experiments with model membranes. We present the crystal structure of the N-terminal domain of M1-C and show by Small Angle X-Ray Scattering analysis that full-length M1-C folds into an elongated structure that associates laterally into ring-like or filamentous polymers. Using negatively charged giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs), we demonstrate that M1-C full-length binds to and induces inward budding of membrane tubules with diameters that resemble the diameter of viruses. Membrane tubule formation requires the C-terminal domain of M1-C, corroborating its essential role for M1-C polymerization. Our results indicate that M1-C assembly on membranes constitutes the driving force for budding and suggest that M1-C plays a key role in facilitating viral egress. PMID:28120862

  16. Influence of NaA Zeolite Crystal Expansion/Contraction on Zeolite Membrane Separations

    SciTech Connect

    Sorenson, Stephanie G; Payzant, E Andrew; Gibbons, Will T; Soydas, Belma; Kita, Hidetoshi; Noble, Richard D; Falconer, John L.

    2011-01-01

    In-situ powder XRD measurements showed that the NaA zeolite unit cell contracts and expands upon adsorption, and these changes in zeolite crystal size correlate with permeation changes through NaA zeolite membranes. These membranes had high pervaporation selectivities, even though gas permeation was mainly through defects, as indicated by Knudsen selectivities for gases. At 300 K and a thermodynamic activity of 0.03, water contracted the NaA crystals by 0.22 vol%, and this contraction increased the helium flux through two NaA membranes by approximately 80%. Crystal contraction also increased the fluxes of i-butane during vapor permeation and i-propanol (IPA) during pervaporation (~ 0.03 wt% water). At activities above 0.07, water expanded NaA crystals and correspondingly decreased the membrane fluxes of helium, i-butane, and IPA. Similarly, methanol contracted NaA crystals by 0.05 vol% at an activity of 0.02, and this contraction slightly increased the helium and i-butane fluxes through a NaA membrane. Above an activity of 0.06, methanol expanded the crystals, and the fluxes of helium and i-butane through a NaA membrane decreased. The adsorbate-induced changes explain some pervaporation behavior reported by others, and they indicate that crystal expansion and contraction may increase or decrease zeolite NaA membrane selectivity by changing the defect sizes.

  17. Crystal quality and differential crystal-growth behaviour of three proteins crystallized in gel at high hydrostatic pressure.

    PubMed

    Kadri, A; Lorber, B; Charron, C; Robert, M-C; Capelle, B; Damak, M; Jenner, G; Giegé, R

    2005-06-01

    Pressure is a non-invasive physical parameter that can be used to control and influence protein crystallization. It is also found that protein crystals of superior quality can be produced in gel. Here, a novel crystallization strategy combining hydrostatic pressure and agarose gel is described. Comparative experiments were conducted on hen and turkey egg-white lysozymes and the plant protein thaumatin. Crystals could be produced under up to 75-100 MPa (lysozymes) and 250 MPa (thaumatin). Several pressure-dependent parameters were determined, which included solubility and supersaturation of the proteins, number, size and morphology of the crystals, and the crystallization volume. Exploration of three-dimensional phase diagrams in which pH and pressure varied identified growth conditions where crystals had largest size and best morphology. As a general trend, nucleation and crystal-growth kinetics are altered and nucleation is always enhanced under pressure. Further, solubility of the lysozymes increases with pressure while that of thaumatin decreases. Likewise, changes in crystallization volumes at high and atmospheric pressure are opposite, being positive for the lysozymes and negative for thaumatin. Crystal quality was estimated by analysis of Bragg reflection profiles and X-ray topographs. While the quality of lysozyme crystals deteriorates as pressure increases, that of thaumatin crystals improves, with more homogeneous crystal morphology suggesting that pressure selectively dissociates ill-formed nuclei. Analysis of the thaumatin structure reveals a less hydrated solvent shell around the protein when pressure increases, with approximately 20% less ordered water molecules in crystals grown at 150 MPa when compared with those grown at atmospheric pressure (0.1 MPa). Noticeably, the altered water distribution is seen in depressurized crystals, indicating that pressure triggers a stable structural alteration on the protein surface while its polypeptide backbone

  18. Concentrating membrane proteins using asymmetric traps and AC electric fields.

    PubMed

    Cheetham, Matthew R; Bramble, Jonathan P; McMillan, Duncan G G; Krzeminski, Lukasz; Han, Xiaojun; Johnson, Benjamin R G; Bushby, Richard J; Olmsted, Peter D; Jeuken, Lars J C; Marritt, Sophie J; Butt, Julea N; Evans, Stephen D

    2011-05-04

    Membrane proteins are key components of the plasma membrane and are responsible for control of chemical ionic gradients, metabolite and nutrient transfer, and signal transduction between the interior of cells and the external environment. Of the genes in the human genome, 30% code for membrane proteins (Krogh et al. J. Mol. Biol.2001, 305, 567). Furthermore, many FDA-approved drugs target such proteins (Overington et al. Nat. Rev. Drug Discovery 2006, 5, 993). However, the structure-function relationships of these are notably sparse because of difficulties in their purification and handling outside of their membranous environment. Methods that permit the manipulation of membrane components while they are still in the membrane would find widespread application in separation, purification, and eventual structure-function determination of these species (Poo et al. Nature 1977, 265, 602). Here we show that asymmetrically patterned supported lipid bilayers in combination with AC electric fields can lead to efficient manipulation of charged components. We demonstrate the concentration and trapping of such components through the use of a "nested trap" and show that this method is capable of yielding an approximately 30-fold increase in the average protein concentration. Upon removal of the field, the material remains trapped for several hours as a result of topographically restricted diffusion. Our results indicate that this method can be used for concentrating and trapping charged membrane components while they are still within their membranous environment. We anticipate that our approach could find widespread application in the manipulation and study of membrane proteins.

  19. Membrane protein production in Escherichia coli cell-free lysates.

    PubMed

    Henrich, Erik; Hein, Christopher; Dötsch, Volker; Bernhard, Frank

    2015-07-08

    Cell-free protein production has become a core technology in the rapidly spreading field of synthetic biology. In particular the synthesis of membrane proteins, highly problematic proteins in conventional cellular production systems, is an ideal application for cell-free expression. A large variety of artificial as well as natural environments for the optimal co-translational folding and stabilization of membrane proteins can rationally be designed. The high success rate of cell-free membrane protein production allows to focus on individually selected targets and to modulate their functional and structural properties with appropriate supplements. The efficiency and robustness of lysates from Escherichia coli strains allow a wide diversity of applications and we summarize current strategies for the successful production of high quality membrane protein samples.

  20. Phenotypic effects of membrane protein overexpression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melén, Karin; Blomberg, Anders; von Heijne, Gunnar

    2006-07-01

    Large-scale protein overexpression phenotype screens provide an important complement to the more common gene knockout screens. Here, we have targeted the so far poorly understood Saccharomyces cerevisiae membrane proteome and report growth phenotypes for a strain collection overexpressing 600 C-terminally tagged integral membrane proteins grown both under normal and three different stress conditions. Although overexpression of most membrane proteins reduce the growth rate in synthetic defined medium, we identify a large number of proteins that, when overexpressed, confer specific resistance to various stress conditions. Our data suggest that regulation of glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor biosynthesis and the Na+/K+ homeostasis system constitute major downstream targets of the yeast PKA/RAS pathway and point to a possible connection between the early secretory pathway and the cells' response to oxidative stress. We also have quantified the expression levels for >550 membrane proteins, facilitating the choice of well expressing proteins for future functional and structural studies. caffeine | paraquat | salt tolerance | yeast

  1. Protein Synthesis and Deoxyribonucleic Acid-Membrane Attachment During Thymineless Death in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Dankberg, Frances; Cummings, Donald J.

    1973-01-01

    The proteins synthesized during thymineless death in Escherichia coli B and B/r were analyzed by polyacrylamide gel elctrophoresis. It was found that the amount of a protein of molecular weight 80,000 to 88,000 is greatly increased during thymineless death compared to the amounts of other cell proteins. A technique for the isolation of cell membrane-deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-nascent ribonucleic acid (RNA) complex on detergent crystals was used to determine whether DNA might be detached from the cell membrane as a result of thymineless death. It was found that under no conditions of thymineless death or immunity to thymineless death was there any change in the attachment of DNA or pulse-labeled RNA to cell membrane. Images PMID:4570604

  2. Single-particle electron microscopy in the study of membrane protein structure.

    PubMed

    De Zorzi, Rita; Mi, Wei; Liao, Maofu; Walz, Thomas

    2016-02-01

    Single-particle electron microscopy (EM) provides the great advantage that protein structure can be studied without the need to grow crystals. However, due to technical limitations, this approach played only a minor role in the study of membrane protein structure. This situation has recently changed dramatically with the introduction of direct electron detection device cameras, which allow images of unprecedented quality to be recorded, also making software algorithms, such as three-dimensional classification and structure refinement, much more powerful. The enhanced potential of single-particle EM was impressively demonstrated by delivering the first long-sought atomic model of a member of the biomedically important transient receptor potential channel family. Structures of several more membrane proteins followed in short order. This review recounts the history of single-particle EM in the study of membrane proteins, describes the technical advances that now allow this approach to generate atomic models of membrane proteins and provides a brief overview of some of the membrane protein structures that have been studied by single-particle EM to date.

  3. The Origin and Early Evolution of Membrane Proteins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Schweighofer, Karl; Wilson, Michael A.

    2005-01-01

    Membrane proteins mediate functions that are essential to all cells. These functions include transport of ions, nutrients and waste products across cell walls, capture of energy and its transduction into the form usable in chemical reactions, transmission of environmental signals to the interior of the cell, cellular growth and cell volume regulation. In the absence of membrane proteins, ancestors of cell (protocells), would have had only very limited capabilities to communicate with their environment. Thus, it is not surprising that membrane proteins are quite common even in simplest prokaryotic cells. Considering that contemporary membrane channels are large and complex, both structurally and functionally, a question arises how their presumably much simpler ancestors could have emerged, perform functions and diversify in early protobiological evolution. Remarkably, despite their overall complexity, structural motifs in membrane proteins are quite simple, with a-helices being most common. This suggests that these proteins might have evolved from simple building blocks. To explain how these blocks could have organized into functional structures, we performed large-scale, accurate computer simulations of folding peptides at a water-membrane interface, their insertion into the membrane, self-assembly into higher-order structures and function. The results of these simulations, combined with analysis of structural and functional experimental data led to the first integrated view of the origin and early evolution of membrane proteins.

  4. Automating the application of smart materials for protein crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    Khurshid, Sahir; Govada, Lata; EL-Sharif, Hazim F.; Reddy, Subrayal M.; Chayen, Naomi E.

    2015-03-01

    The first semi-liquid, non-protein nucleating agent for automated protein crystallization trials is described. This ‘smart material’ is demonstrated to induce crystal growth and will provide a simple, cost-effective tool for scientists in academia and industry. The fabrication and validation of the first semi-liquid nonprotein nucleating agent to be administered automatically to crystallization trials is reported. This research builds upon prior demonstration of the suitability of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs; known as ‘smart materials’) for inducing protein crystal growth. Modified MIPs of altered texture suitable for high-throughput trials are demonstrated to improve crystal quality and to increase the probability of success when screening for suitable crystallization conditions. The application of these materials is simple, time-efficient and will provide a potent tool for structural biologists embarking on crystallization trials.

  5. Membrane protein insertion: mixing eukaryotic and prokaryotic concepts.

    PubMed

    Schleiff, Enrico; Soll, Jürgen

    2005-11-01

    Proteins are translocated across or inserted into membranes by machines that are composed of soluble and membrane-anchored subunits. The molecular action of these machines and their evolutionary origin are at present the focus of intense research. For instance, our understanding of the mode of insertion of beta-barrel membrane proteins into the outer membrane of endosymbiotically derived organelles has increased rapidly during the past few years. In particular, the identification of the Omp85/YaeT-involving pathways in Neisseria meningitidis, Escherichia coli and cyanobacteria, and homologues of Omp85/YaeT in chloroplasts and mitochondria, has provided new clues about the ancestral beta-barrel protein insertion pathway. This review focuses on recent advances in the elucidation of the evolutionarily conserved concepts that underlie the translocation and insertion of beta-barrel membrane proteins.

  6. Amyloid Aggregation and Membrane Disruption by Amyloid Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramamoorthy, Ayyalusamy

    2013-03-01

    Amyloidogenesis has been the focus of intense basic and clinical research, as an increasing number of amyloidogenic proteins have been linked to common and incurable degenerative diseases including Alzheimer's, type II diabetes, and Parkinson's. Recent studies suggest that the cell toxicity is mainly due to intermediates generated during the assembly process of amyloid fibers, which have been proposed to attack cells in a variety of ways. Disruption of cell membranes is believed to be one of the key components of amyloid toxicity. However, the mechanism by which this occurs is not fully understood. Our research in this area is focused on the investigation of the early events in the aggregation and membrane disruption of amyloid proteins, Islet amyloid polypeptide protein (IAPP, also known as amylin) and amyloid-beta peptide, on the molecular level. Structural insights into the mechanisms of membrane disruption by these amyloid proteins and the role of membrane components on the membrane disruption will be presented.

  7. Polyclonal Antibody Production for Membrane Proteins via Genetic Immunization

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Debra T.; Robida, Mark D.; Craciunescu, Felicia M.; Loskutov, Andrey V.; Dörner, Katerina; Rodenberry, John-Charles; Wang, Xiao; Olson, Tien L.; Patel, Hetal; Fromme, Petra; Sykes, Kathryn F.

    2016-01-01

    Antibodies are essential for structural determinations and functional studies of membrane proteins, but antibody generation is limited by the availability of properly-folded and purified antigen. We describe the first application of genetic immunization to a structurally diverse set of membrane proteins to show that immunization of mice with DNA alone produced antibodies against 71% (n = 17) of the bacterial and viral targets. Antibody production correlated with prior reports of target immunogenicity in host organisms, underscoring the efficiency of this DNA-gold micronanoplex approach. To generate each antigen for antibody characterization, we also developed a simple in vitro membrane protein expression and capture method. Antibody specificity was demonstrated upon identifying, for the first time, membrane-directed heterologous expression of the native sequences of the FopA and FTT1525 virulence determinants from the select agent Francisella tularensis SCHU S4. These approaches will accelerate future structural and functional investigations of therapeutically-relevant membrane proteins. PMID:26908053

  8. Metaproteomic analysis of biocake proteins to understand membrane fouling in a submerged membrane bioreactor.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zhongbo; Meng, Fangang; He, Xiang; Chae, So-Ryong; An, Yujia; Jia, Xiaoshan

    2015-01-20

    Metaproteomic analyses, including two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) separation and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)-time-of-flight (TOF)/TOF mass spectrometer (MS) detection, were used to trace and identify biocake proteins on membranes in a bench-scale submerged membrane bioreactor (MBR). 2D-PAGE images showed that proteins in the biocake (S3) at a low transmembrane pressure (TMP) level (i.e., before the TMP jump) had larger gray intensities in the pH 5.5–7.0 region regardless of the membrane flux, similar to soluble microbial product (SMP) proteins. However, the biocake (S2 and S4) at a high TMP level (i.e., after the TMP jump) had many more proteins in the pH range of 4.0–5.5, similar to extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) proteins. Such similarities between biocake proteins and SMP or EPS proteins can be useful for tracing the sources of proteins resulting in membrane fouling. In total, 183 differentially abundant protein spots were marked in the three biocakes (S2, S3, and S4). However, only 32 protein spots co-occurred in the 2D gels of the three biocakes, indicating that membrane fluxes and TMP evolution levels had significant effects on the abundance of biocake proteins. On the basis of the MS and MS/MS data, 23 of 71 protein spots were successfully identified. Of the 23 proteins, outer membrane proteins (Omp) were a major contributor (60.87%). These Omps were mainly from potential surface colonizers such as Aeromonas, Enterobacter, Pseudomonas, and Thauera. Generally, the metaproteomic analysis is a useful alternative to trace the sources and compositions of biocake proteins on the levels of molecules and bacteria species that can provide new insight into membrane fouling.

  9. Proteomic analysis of protein adsorption capacity of different haemodialysis membranes.

    PubMed

    Urbani, Andrea; Lupisella, Santina; Sirolli, Vittorio; Bucci, Sonia; Amoroso, Luigi; Pavone, Barbara; Pieroni, Luisa; Sacchetta, Paolo; Bonomini, Mario

    2012-04-01

    Protein-adsorptive properties are a key feature of membranes used for haemodialysis treatment. Protein adsorption is vital to the biocompatibility of a membrane material and influences membrane's performance. The object of the present study is to investigate membrane biocompatibility by correlating the adsorbed proteome repertoire with chemical feature of the membrane surfaces. Dialyzers composed of either cellulose triacetate (Sureflux 50 L, effective surface area 0.5 m(2); Nipro Corporation, Japan) or the polysulfone-based helixone (FX40, effective surface area 0.4 m(2); Fresenius Medical Care AG, Germany) materials were employed to develop an ex vivo apparatus to study protein adsorption. Adsorbed proteins were eluted by a strong chaotropic buffer condition and investigated by a proteomic approach. The profiling strategy was based on 2D-electrophoresis separation of desorbed protein coupled to MALDI-TOF/TOF analysis. The total protein adsorption was not significantly different between the two materials. An average of 179 protein spots was visualised for helixone membranes while a map of retained proteins of cellulose triacetate membranes was made up of 239 protein spots. The cellulose triacetate material showed a higher binding capacity for albumin and apolipoprotein. In fact, a number of different protein spots belonging to the gene transcript of albumin were visible in the cellulose triacetate map. In contrast, helixone bound only a small proportion of albumin, while proved to be particularly active in retaining protein associated with the coagulation cascade, such as the fibrinogen isoforms. Our data indicate that proteomic techniques are a useful approach for the investigation of proteins surface-adsorbed onto haemodialysis membranes, and may provide a molecular base for the interpretation of the efficacy and safety of anticoagulation treatment during renal replacement therapy.

  10. Host membrane proteins involved in the replication of tobamovirus RNA.

    PubMed

    Ishibashi, Kazuhiro; Miyashita, Shuhei; Katoh, Etsuko; Ishikawa, Masayuki

    2012-12-01

    Eukaryotic positive-strand RNA viruses replicate their genomes in membrane-bound replication complexes composed of viral replication proteins and negative-strand RNA templates. These replication proteins are programmed to exhibit RNA polymerase and other replication-related activities only in replication complexes to avoid inducing double-stranded RNA-mediated host defenses. Host membrane components (e.g. proteins and lipids) should play important roles in the activation of replication proteins. Two host membrane proteins are components of the replication complex and activate the replication proteins of tobamoviruses. Interaction analyses using deletion mutants constructed based on structural information suggest a conformational change in replication proteins during the formation of a protein complex with RNA 5'-capping activity.

  11. Methods for Mapping of Interaction Networks Involving Membrane Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Hooker, Brian S.; Bigelow, Diana J.; Lin, Chiann Tso

    2007-11-23

    Numerous approaches have been taken to study protein interactions, such as tagged protein complex isolation followed by mass spectrometry, yeast two-hybrid methods, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, surface plasmon resonance, site-directed mutagenesis, and crystallography. Membrane protein interactions pose significant challenges due to the need to solubilize membranes without disrupting protein-protein interactions. Traditionally, analysis of isolated protein complexes by high-resolution 2D gel electrophoresis has been the main method used to obtain an overall picture of proteome constituents and interactions. However, this method is time consuming, labor intensive, detects only abundant proteins and is not suitable for the coverage required to elucidate large interaction networks. In this review, we discuss the application of various methods to elucidate interactions involving membrane proteins. These techniques include methods for the direct isolation of single complexes or interactors as well as methods for characterization of entire subcellular and cellular interactomes.

  12. Growth of protein crystals in hydrogels prevents osmotic shock.

    PubMed

    Sugiyama, Shigeru; Maruyama, Mihoko; Sazaki, Gen; Hirose, Mika; Adachi, Hiroaki; Takano, Kazufumi; Murakami, Satoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi

    2012-04-04

    High-throughput protein X-ray crystallography offers a significant opportunity to facilitate drug discovery. The most reliable approach is to determine the three-dimensional structure of the protein-ligand complex by soaking the ligand in apo crystals. However, protein apo crystals produced by conventional crystallization in a solution are fatally damaged by osmotic shock during soaking. To overcome this difficulty, we present a novel technique for growing protein crystals in a high-concentration hydrogel that is completely gellified and exhibits high strength. This technique allowed us essentially to increase the mechanical stability of the crystals, preventing serious damage to the crystals caused by osmotic shock. Thus, this method may accelerate structure-based drug discoveries.

  13. MALDI tissue profiling of integral membrane proteins from ocular tissues.

    PubMed

    Thibault, Danielle B; Gillam, Christopher J; Grey, Angus C; Han, Jun; Schey, Kevin L

    2008-06-01

    MALDI tissue profiling and imaging have become valuable tools for rapid, direct analysis of tissues to investigate spatial distributions of proteins, potentially leading to an enhanced understanding of the molecular basis of disease. Sample preparation methods developed to date for these techniques produce protein expression profiles from predominantly hydrophilic, soluble proteins. The ability to obtain information about the spatial distribution of integral membrane proteins is critical to more fully understand their role in physiological processes, including transport, adhesion, and signaling. In this article, a sample preparation method for direct tissue profiling of integral membrane proteins is presented. Spatially resolved profiles for the abundant lens membrane proteins aquaporin 0 (AQP0) and MP20, and the retinal membrane protein opsin, were obtained using this method. MALDI tissue profiling results were validated by analysis of dissected tissue prepared by traditional membrane protein processing methods. Furthermore, direct tissue profiling of lens membrane proteins revealed age related post-translational modifications, as well as a novel modification that had not been detected using conventional tissue homogenization methods.

  14. Some implications of colloid stability theory for protein crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, C. C.; De Mattei, R. C.; Feigelson, R. S.; Tiller, W. A.

    1988-01-01

    Colloid stability theory has been applied to protein crystallization and predicts a narrow range of conditions under which crystals can be grown without the agglomeration of protein molecules (colloids) in the bulk solution. It also predicts a critical electrolyte concentration above which agglomeration will always occur. Using this theory, the rapid protein agglomeration occurring during Schlieren experiments as well as a terminal crystal size effect in a fixed container were explained. Following this concept, the supposed 'terminal' crystal size has been at least doubled.

  15. Actin Skeletons at the Membrane as Liquid Crystal Elastomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Discher, Dennis; Dalhaimer, Paul; Levine, Alex; Lubensky, Tom

    2002-03-01

    Actin filaments crosslinked by proteins such as spectrin form plasma membrane networks in a number of cell-types, including the red blood cell and the outer hair cell of the inner ear. Actin filaments are stiff compared to spectrin and can be considered hard rods. We statistically simulate network phase behavior at finite temperature by Monte Carlo methods, and explore the effects of spectrin and actin length as well as isotropic and shear stresses. Relative lengths required for a zero pressure nematic phase are determined, for exmaple, and indicate structural requirements for obtaining a 2D anisotropic elastomer. Emerging studies of network elasticity examine the anisotropic state and begin to probe the relevance of hyper-soft modes to hearing.

  16. β-Barrel membrane protein assembly by the Bam complex.

    PubMed

    Hagan, Christine L; Silhavy, Thomas J; Kahne, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    β-barrel membrane proteins perform important functions in the outer membranes (OMs) of Gram-negative bacteria and of the mitochondria and chloroplasts of eukaryotes. The protein complexes that assemble these proteins in their respective membranes have been identified and shown to contain a component that has been conserved from bacteria to humans. β-barrel proteins are handled differently from α-helical membrane proteins in the cell in order to efficiently transport them to their final locations in unfolded but folding-competent states. The mechanism by which the assembly complex then binds, folds, and inserts β-barrels into the membrane is not well understood, but recent structural, biochemical, and genetic studies have begun to elucidate elements of how the complex provides a facilitated pathway for β-barrel assembly. Ultimately, studies of the mechanism of β-barrel assembly and comparison to the better-understood process of α-helical membrane protein assembly will reveal whether there are general principles that guide the folding and insertion of all membrane proteins.

  17. Crystallization of fluorescent quantum dots within a three-dimensional bio-organic template of actin filaments and lipid membranes.

    PubMed

    Henry, Etienne; Dif, Aurélien; Schmutz, Marc; Legoff, Loic; Amblard, François; Marchi-Artzner, Valérie; Artzner, Franck

    2011-12-14

    Biological molecules and molecular self-assemblies are promising templates to organize well-defined inorganic nanostructures. We demonstrate the ability of a self-assembled three-dimensional crystal template of helical actin protein filaments and lipids bilayers to generate a hierarchical self-assembly of quantum dots. Functionnalized tricystein peptidic quantum dots (QDs) are incorporated during the dynamical self-assembly of this actin/lipid template resulting in the formation of crystalline fibers. The crystal parameters, 26.5×18.9×35.5 nm3, are imposed by the membrane thickness, the diameter, and the pitch of the actin self-assembly. This process ensures the high quality of the crystal and results in unexpected fluorescence properties. This method of preparation offers opportunities to generate crystals with new symmetries and a large range of distance parameters.

  18. High-resolution Structures of Protein-Membrane Complexes by Neutron Reflection and MD Simulation: Membrane Association of the PTEN Tumor Suppressor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lösche, Matthias

    2012-02-01

    The lipid matrix of biomembranes is an in-plane fluid, thermally and compositionally disordered leaflet of 5 nm thickness and notoriously difficult to characterize in structural terms. Yet, biomembranes are ubiquitous in the cell, and membrane-bound proteins are implicated in a variety of signaling pathways and intra-cellular transport. We developed methodology to study proteins associated with model membranes using neutron reflection measurements and showed recently that this approach can resolve the penetration depth and orientation of membrane proteins with ångstrom resolution if their crystal or NMR structure is known. Here we apply this technology to determine the membrane bindung and unravel functional details of the PTEN phosphatase, a key player in the PI3K apoptosis pathway. PTEN is an important regulatory protein and tumor suppressor that performs its phosphatase activity as an interfacial enzyme at the plasma membrane-cytoplasm boundary. Acting as an antagonist to phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) in cell signaling, it is deleted in many human cancers. Despite its importance in regulating the levels of the phosphoinositoltriphosphate PI(3,4,5)P3, there is little understanding of how PTEN binds to membranes, is activated and then acts as a phosphatase. We investigated the structure and function of PTEN by studying its membrane affinity and localization on in-plane fluid, thermally disordered synthetic membrane models. The membrane association of the protein depends strongly on membrane composition, where phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylinositol diphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) act synergetically in attracting the enzyme to the membrane surface. Membrane affinities depend strongly on membrane fluidity, which suggests multiple binding sites on the protein for PI(4,5)P2. Neutron reflection measurements show that the PTEN phosphatase ``scoots'' along the membrane surface (penetration < 5 å) but binds the membrane tightly with its two major domains, the C2 and

  19. Dynamic Nuclear Polarization of membrane proteins: covalently bound spin-labels at protein-protein interfaces

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    We demonstrate that dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) of membrane proteins in lipid bilayers may be achieved using a novel polarizing agent: pairs of spin labels covalently bound to a protein of interest interacting at an intermolecular interaction surface. For gramicidin A, nitroxide tags attached to the N-terminal intermolecular interface region become proximal only when bimolecular channels forms in the membrane. We obtained signal enhancements of 6-fold for the dimeric protein. The enhancement affect was comparable to that of a doubly tagged sample of gramicidin C, with intramolecular spin pairs. This approach could be a powerful and selective means for signal enhancement in membrane proteins, and for recognizing intermolecular interfaces. PMID:25828256

  20. The electrical interplay between proteins and lipids in membranes.

    PubMed

    Richens, Joanna L; Lane, Jordan S; Bramble, Jonathan P; O'Shea, Paul

    2015-09-01

    All molecular interactions that are relevant to cellular and molecular structures are electrical in nature but manifest in a rich variety of forms that each has its own range and influences on the net effect of how molecular species interact. This article outlines how electrical interactions between the protein and lipid membrane components underlie many of the activities of membrane function. Particular emphasis is placed on spatially localised behaviour in membranes involving modulation of protein activity and microdomain structure. The interactions between membrane lipids and membrane proteins together with their role within cell biology represent an enormous body of work. Broad conclusions are not easy given the complexities of the various systems and even consensus with model membrane systems containing two or three lipid types is difficult. By defining two types of broad lipid-protein interaction, respectively Type I as specific and Type II as more non-specific and focussing on the electrical interactions mostly in the extra-membrane regions it is possible to assemble broad rules or a consensus of the dominant features of the interplay between these two fundamentally important classes of membrane component. This article is part of a special issue entitled: Lipid-protein interactions.

  1. Membrane proteins of dense lysosomes from Chinese hamster ovary cells

    SciTech Connect

    Chance, S.C.

    1987-01-01

    In this work membrane proteins from lysosomes were studied in order to gain more information on the biogenesis and intracellular sorting of this class of membrane proteins. Membrane proteins were isolated from a purified population of lysosomes. These proteins were then examined for various co- and post-translational modifications which could serve as potential intracellular sorting signals. Biochemical analysis using marker enzymatic activities detected no plasma membrane, Golgi, endoplasmic reticulum, peroxisomes, mitochondria, or cytosol. Analysis after incorporation of ({sup 3}H)thymidine or ({sup 3}H)uridine detected no nuclei or ribosomes. A fraction containing integral membrane proteins was obtained from the dense lysosomes by extraction with Triton X-114. Twenty-three polypeptides which incorporated both ({sup 35}S)methionine and ({sup 3}H)leucine were detected by SDS PAGE in this membrane fraction, and ranged in molecular weight from 30-130 kDa. After incorporation by cells of various radioactive metabolic precursors, the membrane fraction from dense lysosomes was examined and was found to be enriched in mannose, galactose, fucose, palmitate, myristate, and sulfate, but was depleted in phosphate. The membrane fraction from dense lysosomes was then analyzed by SDS PAGE to determine the apparent molecular weights of modified polypepties.

  2. Genetically Encoded Protein Sensors of Membrane Potential.

    PubMed

    Storace, Douglas; Rad, Masoud Sepehri; Han, Zhou; Jin, Lei; Cohen, Lawrence B; Hughes, Thom; Baker, Bradley J; Sung, Uhna

    2015-01-01

    Organic voltage-sensitive dyes offer very high spatial and temporal resolution for imaging