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Sample records for membrane protein crystallization

  1. Biomolecular membrane protein crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  2. Crystal Dehydration in Membrane Protein Crystallography.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Weatherby, Juan; Moraes, Isabel

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Crystallization and Structure Analysis of Membrane Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, Richard

    In recent years, there has been great progress in the determination of high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) structures of membrane proteins. The first major breakthrough came with the crystallization (1) and X-ray crystallography (2,3) of the bacterial photosynthetic reaction center (see refs. 4 and 5 for reviews). The structure of another, entirely different membrane protein, the bacterial outer membrane porin from Rhodobacter capsulatus, has now been determined by X-ray crystallography (6). Recent results by electron crystallography of two-dimensional (2D) crystals have been most encouraging. The high-resolution 3D structure of bacteriorhodopsin (7) plant light-harvesting complex (8) and projection maps of several other membrane proteins at similar resolutions (9-11) have been obtained by this technique. Electron crystallography seems particularly appropriate for membrane proteins that are prone to form 2D crystals, and it is hoped that many more structures will be determined in this way.

  4. Crystallization of Membrane protein under Microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  5. Crystallization of Membrane Proteins by Vapor Diffusion

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Crystallizing Membrane Proteins Using Lipidic Mesophases

    PubMed Central

    Caffrey, Martin; Cherezov, Vadim

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Detergent-Specific Membrane Protein Crystallization Screens

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiener, Michael

    2007-01-01

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

  8. The growth and characterization of membrane protein crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garavito, R. Michael; Markovic-Housley, Zora; Jenkins, John A.

    1986-08-01

    A major advance in the study of integral membrane protein structure has been the development of methods for crystallizing these amphiphilic protein species. The crystals were obtained from isotropic solutions of protein and nonionic detergents and contain a substantial amount of detergent bound within the crystal lattice. Standard techniques for crystallizing water-soluble proteins can be applied to membrane proteins if the physical characteristics and behavior of the detergent system used for protein solubilization are adequately controlled. In this report we present the results of some crystallization experiments on porin, a protein forming transmembrane channels in the outer membrane of E. coli, and discuss the detergent-related phenomena which seem to affect the crystallization process.

  9. NMR of Membrane Proteins: Beyond Crystals.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. NMR of Membrane Proteins: Beyond Crystals.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Vinothkumar, Kutti R

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Membrane protein crystallization: Current trends and future perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Joanne L.; Newstead, Simon

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Generation of recombinant antibody fragments for membrane protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Mir, Syed H; Escher, Claudia; Kao, Wei-Chun; Birth, Dominic; Wirth, Christophe; Hunte, Carola

    2015-01-01

    Membrane proteins are challenging targets for crystallization and structure determination by X-ray crystallography. Hurdles can be overcome by antibody-mediated crystallization. More than 25 unique structures of membrane protein:antibody complexes have already been determined. In the majority of cases, hybridoma-derived antibody fragments either in Fab or Fv fragment format were employed for these complexes. We will briefly introduce the background and current status of the strategy and describe in detail the current protocols of well-established methods for the immunization, the selection, and the characterization of antibodies, as well as the cloning, the production, and the purification of recombinant antibodies useful for structural analysis of membrane proteins.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Sparse and incomplete factorial matrices to screen membrane protein 2D crystallization.

    PubMed

    Lasala, R; Coudray, N; Abdine, A; Zhang, Z; Lopez-Redondo, M; Kirshenbaum, R; Alexopoulos, J; Zolnai, Z; Stokes, D L; Ubarretxena-Belandia, I

    2015-02-01

    Electron crystallography is well suited for studying the structure of membrane proteins in their native lipid bilayer environment. This technique relies on electron cryomicroscopy of two-dimensional (2D) crystals, grown generally by reconstitution of purified membrane proteins into proteoliposomes under conditions favoring the formation of well-ordered lattices. Growing these crystals presents one of the major hurdles in the application of this technique. To identify conditions favoring crystallization a wide range of factors that can lead to a vast matrix of possible reagent combinations must be screened. However, in 2D crystallization these factors have traditionally been surveyed in a relatively limited fashion. To address this problem we carried out a detailed analysis of published 2D crystallization conditions for 12 β-barrel and 138 α-helical membrane proteins. From this analysis we identified the most successful conditions and applied them in the design of new sparse and incomplete factorial matrices to screen membrane protein 2D crystallization. Using these matrices we have run 19 crystallization screens for 16 different membrane proteins totaling over 1300 individual crystallization conditions. Six membrane proteins have yielded diffracting 2D crystals suitable for structure determination, indicating that these new matrices show promise to accelerate the success rate of membrane protein 2D crystallization.

  19. Sparse and incomplete factorial matrices to screen membrane protein 2D crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Lasala, R.; Coudray, N.; Abdine, A.; Zhang, Z.; Lopez-Redondo, M.; Kirshenbaum, R.; Alexopoulos, J.; Zolnai, Z.; Stokes, D.L.; Ubarretxena-Belandia, I.

    2014-01-01

    Electron crystallography is well suited for studying the structure of membrane proteins in their native lipid bilayer environment. This technique relies on electron cryomicroscopy of two-dimensional (2D) crystals, grown generally by reconstitution of purified membrane proteins into proteoliposomes under conditions favoring the formation of well-ordered lattices. Growing these crystals presents one of the major hurdles in the application of this technique. To identify conditions favoring crystallization a wide range of factors that can lead to a vast matrix of possible reagent combinations must be screened. However, in 2D crystallization these factors have traditionally been surveyed in a relatively limited fashion. To address this problem we carried out a detailed analysis of published 2D crystallization conditions for 12 β-barrel and 138 α-helical membrane proteins. From this analysis we identified the most successful conditions and applied them in the design of new sparse and incomplete factorial matrices to screen membrane protein 2D crystallization. Using these matrices we have run 19 crystallization screens for 16 different membrane proteins totaling over 1,300 individual crystallization conditions. Six membrane proteins have yielded diffracting 2D crystals suitable for structure determination, indicating that these new matrices show promise to accelerate the success rate of membrane protein 2D crystallization. PMID:25478971

  20. Sparse and incomplete factorial matrices to screen membrane protein 2D crystallization.

    PubMed

    Lasala, R; Coudray, N; Abdine, A; Zhang, Z; Lopez-Redondo, M; Kirshenbaum, R; Alexopoulos, J; Zolnai, Z; Stokes, D L; Ubarretxena-Belandia, I

    2015-02-01

    Electron crystallography is well suited for studying the structure of membrane proteins in their native lipid bilayer environment. This technique relies on electron cryomicroscopy of two-dimensional (2D) crystals, grown generally by reconstitution of purified membrane proteins into proteoliposomes under conditions favoring the formation of well-ordered lattices. Growing these crystals presents one of the major hurdles in the application of this technique. To identify conditions favoring crystallization a wide range of factors that can lead to a vast matrix of possible reagent combinations must be screened. However, in 2D crystallization these factors have traditionally been surveyed in a relatively limited fashion. To address this problem we carried out a detailed analysis of published 2D crystallization conditions for 12 β-barrel and 138 α-helical membrane proteins. From this analysis we identified the most successful conditions and applied them in the design of new sparse and incomplete factorial matrices to screen membrane protein 2D crystallization. Using these matrices we have run 19 crystallization screens for 16 different membrane proteins totaling over 1300 individual crystallization conditions. Six membrane proteins have yielded diffracting 2D crystals suitable for structure determination, indicating that these new matrices show promise to accelerate the success rate of membrane protein 2D crystallization. PMID:25478971

  1. 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.

  2. Preparation of 2D crystals of membrane proteins for high-resolution electron crystallography data collection.

    PubMed

    Abeyrathne, Priyanka D; Chami, Mohamed; Pantelic, Radosav S; Goldie, Kenneth N; Stahlberg, Henning

    2010-01-01

    Electron crystallography is a powerful technique for the structure determination of membrane proteins as well as soluble proteins. Sample preparation for 2D membrane protein crystals is a crucial step, as proteins have to be prepared for electron microscopy at close to native conditions. In this review, we discuss the factors of sample preparation that are key to elucidating the atomic structure of membrane proteins using electron crystallography.

  3. 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

  4. Liposomes on a streptavidin crystal: a system to study membrane proteins by cryo-EM

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Liguo; Sigworth, Fred J.

    2013-01-01

    In this chapter we describe the preparation of cryo-EM specimens for random spherically-constrained (RSC) single-particle reconstruction of membrane proteins. The specimen consists of liposomes into which the purified membrane protein is reconstituted at low density. The substrate is a 2D streptavidin crystal, which serves as an affinity surface that tethers the liposomes, which are doped with biotinylated lipids; the crystal also can serve as an image-quality and image-calibration reference. After subtraction of the crystal and lipid membrane contributions to the image, the remaining particle images can be used for 3D reconstruction. PMID:20887857

  5. Membrane proteins: functional and structural studies using reconstituted proteoliposomes and 2-D crystals.

    PubMed

    Rigaud, J-L

    2002-07-01

    Reconstitution of membrane proteins into lipid bilayers is a powerful tool to analyze functional as well as structural areas of membrane protein research. First, the proper incorporation of a purified membrane protein into closed lipid vesicles, to produce proteoliposomes, allows the investigation of transport and/or catalytic properties of any membrane protein without interference by other membrane components. Second, the incorporation of a large amount of membrane proteins into lipid bilayers to grow crystals confined to two dimensions has recently opened a new way to solve their structure at high resolution using electron crystallography. However, reconstitution of membrane proteins into functional proteoliposomes or 2-D crystallization has been an empirical domain, which has been viewed for a long time more like "black magic" than science. Nevertheless, in the last ten years, important progress has been made in acquiring knowledge of lipid-protein-detergent interactions and has permitted to build upon a set of basic principles that has limited the empirical approach of reconstitution experiments. Reconstitution strategies have been improved and new strategies have been developed, facilitating the success rate of proteoliposome formation and 2-D crystallization. This review deals with the various strategies available to obtain proteoliposomes and 2-D crystals from detergent-solubilized proteins. It gives an overview of the methods that have been applied, which may be of help for reconstituting more proteins into lipid bilayers in a form suitable for functional studies at the molecular level and for high-resolution structural analysis.

  6. Overview of electron crystallography of membrane proteins: crystallization and screening strategies using negative stain electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Nannenga, Brent L; Iadanza, Matthew G; Vollmar, Breanna S; Gonen, Tamir

    2013-01-01

    Electron cryomicroscopy, or cryoEM, is an emerging technique for studying the three-dimensional structures of proteins and large macromolecular machines. Electron crystallography is a branch of cryoEM in which structures of proteins can be studied at resolutions that rival those achieved by X-ray crystallography. Electron crystallography employs two-dimensional crystals of a membrane protein embedded within a lipid bilayer. The key to a successful electron crystallographic experiment is the crystallization, or reconstitution, of the protein of interest. This unit describes ways in which protein can be expressed, purified, and reconstituted into well-ordered two-dimensional crystals. A protocol is also provided for negative stain electron microscopy as a tool for screening crystallization trials. When large and well-ordered crystals are obtained, the structures of both protein and its surrounding membrane can be determined to atomic resolution.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Membrane protein crystallization: observations and use of short chain phospholipids as amphiphiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eiselé, Jean-Luc; Keller, Thomas A.; König, Nicola; Stauffer, Kathrin A.; Rosenbusch, Jürg P.; Low, Philip S.

    1991-03-01

    An integral membrane protein, porin OmpF located in E. coli outer membrane, has been crystallized in the sole presence of short chain phospholipids. Although the amphiphilic characteristics of these molecules are comparable to those of conventional detergents, they appear to be unique probes for the study of the phospholipid-protein interactions by crystallographic methods. Here we also discuss the influence of the detergent head group on the crystal packing, and the role of additives. The stabilization of crystals after termination of growth in protein-free buffer is described.

  10. Large-scale identification of membrane proteins with properties favorable for crystallization.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jared; Kagawa, Allison; Kurasaki, Kellie; Ataie, Niloufar; Cho, Il Kyu; Li, Qing X; Ng, Ho Leung

    2015-11-01

    Membrane protein crystallography is notoriously difficult due to challenges in protein expression and issues of degradation and structural stability. We have developed a novel method for large-scale screening of native sources for integral membrane proteins that have intrinsic biochemical properties favorable for crystallization. Highly expressed membrane proteins that are thermally stable and nonaggregating in detergent solutions were identified by mass spectrometry from Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Sus scrofa cerebrum. Many of the membrane proteins identified had been crystallized previously, supporting the promise of the approach. Most identified proteins have known functions and include high-value targets such as transporters and ATPases. To validate the method, we recombinantly expressed and purified the yeast protein, Yop1, which is responsible for endoplasmic reticulum curvature. We demonstrate that Yop1 can be purified with the detergent dodecylmaltoside without aggregating.

  11. Crystallization of the large membrane protein complex photosystem I in a microfluidic channel.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-23

    Traditional macroscale protein crystallization is accomplished nontrivially 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.

  12. Lipid patches in membrane protein oligomers: crystal structure of the bacteriorhodopsin-lipid complex.

    PubMed

    Essen, L; Siegert, R; Lehmann, W D; Oesterhelt, D

    1998-09-29

    Heterogenous nucleation on small molecule crystals causes a monoclinic crystal form of bacteriorhodopsin (BR) in which trimers of this membrane protein pack differently than in native purple membranes. Analysis of single crystals by nano-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry demonstrated a preservation of the purple membrane lipid composition in these BR crystals. The 2.9-A x-ray structure shows a lipid-mediated stabilization of BR trimers where the glycolipid S-TGA-1 binds into the central compartment of BR trimers. The BR trimer/lipid complex provides an example of local membrane thinning as the lipid head-group boundary of the central lipid patch is shifted by 5 A toward the membrane center. Nonbiased electron density maps reveal structural differences to previously reported BR structures, especially for the cytosolic EF loop and the proton exit pathway. The terminal proton release complex now comprises an E194-E204 dyad as a diffuse proton buffer.

  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. Self-interaction chromatography as a tool for optimizing conditions for membrane protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Gabrielsen, Mads; Nagy, Lisa A; DeLucas, Lawrence J; Cogdell, Richard J

    2010-01-01

    The second virial coefficient, or B value, is a measurement of how well a protein interacts with itself in solution. These interactions can lead to protein crystallization or precipitation, depending on their strength, with a narrow range of B values (the 'crystallization slot') being known to promote crystallization. A convenient method of determining the B value is by self-interaction chromatography. This paper describes how the light-harvesting complex 1-reaction centre core complex from Allochromatium vinosum yielded single straight-edged crystals after iterative cycles of self-interaction chromatography and crystallization. This process allowed the rapid screening of small molecules and detergents as crystallization additives. Here, a description is given of how self-interaction chromatography has been utilized to improve the crystallization conditions of a membrane protein.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Magnetically Directed Two-Dimensional Crystallization of OmpF Membrane Proteins in Block Copolymers.

    PubMed

    Klara, Steven S; Saboe, Patrick O; Sines, Ian T; Babaei, Mahnoush; Chiu, Po-Lin; DeZorzi, Rita; Dayal, Kaushik; Walz, Thomas; Kumar, Manish; Mauter, Meagan S

    2016-01-13

    Two-dimensional (2D) alignment and crystallization of membrane proteins (MPs) is increasingly important in characterizing their three-dimensional (3D) structure, in designing pharmacological agents, and in leveraging MPs for biomimetic devices. Large, highly ordered MP 2D crystals in block copolymer (BCP) matrices are challenging to fabricate, but a facile and scalable technique for aligning and crystallizing MPs in thin-film geometries would rapidly translate into applications. This work introduces a novel method to grow larger and potentially better ordered 2D crystals by performing the crystallization process in the presence of a strong magnetic field. We demonstrate the efficacy of this approach using a β-barrel MP, outer membrane protein F (OmpF), in short-chain polybutadiene-poly(ethylene oxide) (PB-PEO) membranes. Crystals grown in a magnetic field were up to 5 times larger than conventionally grown crystals, and a signal-to-noise (SNR) analysis of diffraction peaks in Fourier transforms of specimens imaged by negative-stain electron microscopy (EM) and cryo-EM showed twice as many high-SNR diffraction peaks, indicating that the magnetic field also improves crystal order. PMID:26677866

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Recording high-resolution images of two-dimensional crystals of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Avila-Sakar, Agustin; Li, Xueming; Zheng, Shawn Q; Cheng, Yifan

    2013-01-01

    Principles underlying the recording of high-quality/resolution images of two-dimensional crystals of membrane proteins are discussed in the context of instrumental conditions and operational procedures. A detailed example of low-dose microscope settings is provided along with an overview of a program that implements a computer-aided data acquisition procedure.

  3. 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

  4. Automated electron microscopy for evaluating two-dimensional crystallization of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Two-dimensional crystallization of integral membrane proteins for electron crystallography.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

    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 microscopy.

  7. 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

  8. Use of a robot for high-throughput crystallization of membrane proteins in lipidic mesophases.

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

    Structure-function studies of membrane proteins greatly benefit from having available high-resolution 3-D structures of the type provided through macromolecular X-ray crystallography (MX). An essential ingredient of MX is a steady supply of ideally diffraction-quality crystals. The in meso or lipidic cubic phase (LCP) method for crystallizing membrane proteins is one of several methods available for crystallizing membrane proteins. It makes use of a bicontinuous mesophase in which to grow crystals. As a method, it has had some spectacular successes of late and has attracted much attention with many research groups now interested in using it. One of the challenges associated with the method is that the hosting mesophase is extremely viscous and sticky, reminiscent of a thick toothpaste. Thus, dispensing it manually in a reproducible manner in small volumes into crystallization wells requires skill, patience and a steady hand. A protocol for doing just that was developed in the Membrane Structural & Functional Biology (MS&FB) Group(1-3). JoVE video articles describing the method are available(1,4). The manual approach for setting up in meso trials has distinct advantages with specialty applications, such as crystal optimization and derivatization. It does however suffer from being a low throughput method. Here, we demonstrate a protocol for performing in meso crystallization trials robotically. A robot offers the advantages of speed, accuracy, precision, miniaturization and being able to work continuously for extended periods under what could be regarded as hostile conditions such as in the dark, in a reducing atmosphere or at low or high temperatures. An in meso robot, when used properly, can greatly improve the productivity of membrane protein structure and function research by facilitating crystallization which is one of the slow steps in the overall structure determination pipeline. In this video article, we demonstrate the use of three commercially available

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

    PubMed Central

    Misquitta, Y.; Caffrey, M.

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Steroid-based facial amphiphiles for stabilization and crystallization of membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sung Chang; Bennett, Brad C.; Hong, Wen-Xu; Fu, Yu; Baker, Kent A.; Marcoux, Julien; Robinson, Carol V.; Ward, Andrew B.; Halpert, James R.; Stevens, Raymond C.; Stout, Charles David; Yeager, Mark J.; Zhang, Qinghai

    2013-01-01

    Amphiphile selection is a critical step for structural studies of membrane proteins (MPs). We have developed a family of steroid-based facial amphiphiles (FAs) that are structurally distinct from conventional detergents and previously developed FAs. The unique FAs stabilize MPs and form relatively small protein–detergent complexes (PDCs), a property considered favorable for MP crystallization. We attempted to crystallize several MPs belonging to different protein families, including the human gap junction channel protein connexin 26, the ATP binding cassette transporter MsbA, the seven-transmembrane G protein-coupled receptor-like bacteriorhodopsin, and cytochrome P450s (peripheral MPs). Using FAs alone or mixed with other detergents or lipids, we obtained 3D crystals of the above proteins suitable for X-ray crystallographic analysis. The fact that FAs enhance MP crystallizability compared with traditional detergents can be attributed to several properties, including increased protein stability, formation of small PDCs, decreased PDC surface flexibility, and potential to mediate crystal lattice contacts. PMID:23479627

  11. Single particle 3D reconstruction for 2D crystal images of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Scherer, Sebastian; Arheit, Marcel; Kowal, Julia; Zeng, Xiangyan; Stahlberg, Henning

    2014-03-01

    In cases where ultra-flat cryo-preparations of well-ordered two-dimensional (2D) crystals are available, electron crystallography is a powerful method for the determination of the high-resolution structures of membrane and soluble proteins. However, crystal unbending and Fourier-filtering methods in electron crystallography three-dimensional (3D) image processing are generally limited in their performance for 2D crystals that are badly ordered or non-flat. Here we present a single particle image processing approach, which is implemented as an extension of the 2D crystallographic pipeline realized in the 2dx software package, for the determination of high-resolution 3D structures of membrane proteins. The algorithm presented, addresses the low single-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 2D crystal images by exploiting neighborhood correlation between adjacent proteins in the 2D crystal. Compared with conventional single particle processing for randomly oriented particles, the computational costs are greatly reduced due to the crystal-induced limited search space, which allows a much finer search space compared to classical single particle processing. To reduce the considerable computational costs, our software features a hybrid parallelization scheme for multi-CPU clusters and computer with high-end graphic processing units (GPUs). We successfully apply the new refinement method to the structure of the potassium channel MloK1. The calculated 3D reconstruction shows more structural details and contains less noise than the map obtained by conventional Fourier-filtering based processing of the same 2D crystal images.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-05-14

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

  13. Membrane protein dynamics and detergent interactions within a crystal: A simulation study of OmpA

    PubMed Central

    Bond, Peter J.; Faraldo-Gómez, José D.; Deol, Sundeep S.; Sansom, Mark S. P.

    2006-01-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are used to explore the dynamics of a membrane protein in its crystal environment. A 50-ns-duration simulation (at a temperature of 300 K) is performed for the crystallographic unit cell of the bacterial outer membrane protein OmpA. The unit cell contains four protein molecules, plus detergent molecules and water. An excellent correlation between simulated and experimental values of crystallographic B factors is observed. Effectively, 0.2 μs of protein trajectories are obtained, allowing a critical assessment of simulation quality. Some deficiency in conformational sampling is demonstrated, but averaging over multiple trajectories improves this limitation. The previously undescribed structure and dynamics of detergent molecules in a unit cell are reported here, providing insight into the interactions important in the formation and stabilization of the crystalline environment at room temperature. In particular, we show that at room temperature the detergent molecules form a dynamic, extended micellar structure spreading over adjacent OmpA monomers within the crystal. PMID:16766663

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Nanoliter microfluidic hybrid method for simultaneous screening and optimization validated with crystallization of membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Li, Liang; Mustafi, Debarshi; Fu, Qiang; Tereshko, Valentina; Chen, Delai L.; Tice, Joshua D.; Ismagilov, Rustem F.

    2006-01-01

    High-throughput screening and optimization experiments are critical to a number of fields, including chemistry and structural and molecular biology. The separation of these two steps may introduce false negatives and a time delay between initial screening and subsequent optimization. Although a hybrid method combining both steps may address these problems, miniaturization is required to minimize sample consumption. This article reports a “hybrid” droplet-based microfluidic approach that combines the steps of screening and optimization into one simple experiment and uses nanoliter-sized plugs to minimize sample consumption. Many distinct reagents were sequentially introduced as ≈140-nl plugs into a microfluidic device and combined with a substrate and a diluting buffer. Tests were conducted in ≈10-nl plugs containing different concentrations of a reagent. Methods were developed to form plugs of controlled concentrations, index concentrations, and incubate thousands of plugs inexpensively and without evaporation. To validate the hybrid method and demonstrate its applicability to challenging problems, crystallization of model membrane proteins and handling of solutions of detergents and viscous precipitants were demonstrated. By using 10 μl of protein solution, ≈1,300 crystallization trials were set up within 20 min by one researcher. This method was compatible with growth, manipulation, and extraction of high-quality crystals of membrane proteins, demonstrated by obtaining high-resolution diffraction images and solving a crystal structure. This robust method requires inexpensive equipment and supplies, should be especially suitable for use in individual laboratories, and could find applications in a number of areas that require chemical, biochemical, and biological screening and optimization. PMID:17159147

  17. Refolding, crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic studies of the β-barrel domain of BamA, a membrane protein essential for outer membrane protein biogenesis.

    PubMed

    Ni, Dongchun; Yang, Kun; Huang, Yihua

    2014-03-01

    In Gram-negative bacteria, the assembly of outer membrane proteins (OMPs) requires a five-protein β-barrel assembly machinery (BAM) complex, of which BamA is an essential and evolutionarily conserved integral outer membrane protein. Here, the refolding, crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic characterization of the β-barrel domain of BamA from Escherichia coli (EcBamA) are reported. Native and selenomethionine-substituted EcBamA proteins were crystallized at 16°C and X-ray diffraction data were collected to 2.6 and 3.7 Å resolution, respectively. The native crystals belonged to space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 118.492, b = 159.883, c = 56.000 Å and two molecules in one asymmetric unit; selenomethionine-substituted protein crystals belonged to space group P4322, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 163.162, c = 46.388 Å and one molecule in one asymmetric unit. Initial phases for EcBamA β-barrel domain were obtained from a SeMet SAD data set. These preliminary X-ray crystallographic studies paved the way for further structural determination of the β-barrel domain of EcBamA.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Production, crystallization and neutron diffraction of fully deuterated human myelin peripheral membrane protein P2.

    PubMed

    Laulumaa, Saara; Blakeley, Matthew P; Raasakka, Arne; Moulin, Martine; Härtlein, Michael; Kursula, Petri

    2015-11-01

    The molecular details of the formation of the myelin sheath, a multilayered membrane in the nervous system, are to a large extent unknown. P2 is a peripheral membrane protein from peripheral nervous system myelin, which is believed to play a role in this process. X-ray crystallographic studies and complementary experiments have provided information on the structure-function relationships in P2. In this study, a fully deuterated sample of human P2 was produced. Crystals that were large enough for neutron diffraction were grown by a ten-month procedure of feeding, and neutron diffraction data were collected to a resolution of 2.4 Å from a crystal of 0.09 mm(3) in volume. The neutron crystal structure will allow the positions of H atoms in P2 and its fatty-acid ligand to be visualized, as well as shedding light on the fine details of the hydrogen-bonding networks within the P2 ligand-binding cavity.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Assessing two-dimensional crystallization trials of small membrane proteins for structural biology studies by electron crystallography.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Matthew C; Rudolph, Frederik; Dreaden, Tina M; Zhao, Gengxiang; Barry, Bridgette A; Schmidt-Krey, Ingeborg

    2010-10-29

    Electron crystallography has evolved as a method that can be used either alternatively or in combination with three-dimensional crystallization and X-ray crystallography to study structure-function questions of membrane proteins, as well as soluble proteins. Screening for two-dimensional (2D) crystals by transmission electron microscopy (EM) is the critical step in finding, optimizing, and selecting samples for high-resolution data collection by cryo-EM. Here we describe the fundamental steps in identifying both large and ordered, as well as small 2D arrays, that can potentially supply critical information for optimization of crystallization conditions. By working with different magnifications at the EM, data on a range of critical parameters is obtained. Lower magnification supplies valuable data on the morphology and membrane size. At higher magnifications, possible order and 2D crystal dimensions are determined. In this context, it is described how CCD cameras and online-Fourier Transforms are used at higher magnifications to assess proteoliposomes for order and size. While 2D crystals of membrane proteins are most commonly grown by reconstitution by dialysis, the screening technique is equally applicable for crystals produced with the help of monolayers, native 2D crystals, and ordered arrays of soluble proteins. In addition, the methods described here are applicable to the screening for 2D crystals of even smaller as well as larger membrane proteins, where smaller proteins require the same amount of care in identification as our examples and the lattice of larger proteins might be more easily identifiable at earlier stages of the screening.

  5. 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.

  6. Crystal structures of the trimeric human immunodeficiency virus type 1 matrix protein: implications for membrane association and assembly.

    PubMed Central

    Hill, C P; Worthylake, D; Bancroft, D P; Christensen, A M; Sundquist, W I

    1996-01-01

    The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) matrix protein forms a structural shell associated with the inner viral membrane and performs other essential functions throughout the viral life cycle. The crystal structure of the HIV-1 matrix protein, determined at 2.3 angstrom resolution, reveals that individual matrix molecules are composed of five major helices capped by a three-stranded mixed beta-sheet. Unexpectedly, the protein assembles into a trimer in three different crystal lattices, burying 1880 angstrom2 of accessible surface area at the trimer interfaces. Trimerization appears to create a large, bipartite membrane binding surface in which exposed basic residues could cooperate with the N-terminal myristoyl groups to anchor the protein on the acidic inner membrane of the virus. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 PMID:8610175

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Host Lipid and Temperature as Important Screening Variables for Crystallizing Integral Membrane Proteins in Lipidic Mesophases. Trials with Diacylglycerol Kinase

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dianfan; Shah, Syed T. A.; Caffrey, Martin

    2013-01-01

    A systematic study of the crystallization of an α-helical, integral membrane enzyme, diacylglycerol kinase, DgkA, using the lipidic cubic mesophase or in meso method is described. These trials have resulted in the production of blocky, rhombohedron-shaped crystals of diffraction quality currently in use for structure determination. Dramatic improvements in crystal quality were obtained when the identity of the lipid used to form the mesophase bilayer into which the protein was reconstituted as a prelude to crystallogenesis was varied. These monoacylglycerol lipids incorporated fatty acyl chains ranging from 14 to 18 carbon atoms long with cis olefinic bonds located toward the middle of the chain. Best crystals were obtained with a lipid that had an acyl chain 15 carbon atoms long with the double bond between carbons 7 and 8. It is speculated that the effectiveness of this lipid derives from hydrophobic mismatch between the target integral membrane protein and the bilayer of the host mesophase. Low temperature (4 °C) worked in concert with the short chain lipid to provide high quality crystals. Recommended screening strategies for crystallizing membrane proteins that include host lipid type and low temperature are made on the basis of this and related in meso crystallization trials. PMID:23956688

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Caffrey, Martin

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  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." PMID:25331944

  2. 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."

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The influence of poly(ethylene glycol) on the micelle formation of alkyl maltosides used in membrane protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Müh, Frank; DiFiore, Dörte; Zouni, Athina

    2015-05-01

    With the aim of better understanding the phase behavior of alkyl maltosides (n-alkyl-β-d-maltosides, CnG2) under the conditions of membrane protein crystallization, we studied the influence of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) 2000, a commonly used precipitating agent, on the critical micelle concentration (CMC) of the alkyl maltosides by systematic variation of the number n of carbon atoms in the alkyl chain (n = 10, 11, and 12) and the concentration of PEG2000 (χ) in a buffer suitable for the crystallization of cyanobacterial photosystem II. CMC measurements were based on established fluorescence techniques using pyrene and 8-anilinonaphthalene-1-sulfonate (ANS). We found an increase of the CMC with increasing PEG concentration according to ln(CMC/CMC0) = kPχ, where CMC0 is the CMC in the absence of PEG and kP is a constant that we termed the "polymer constant". In parallel, we measured the influence of PEG2000 on the surface tension of detergent-free buffer solutions. At PEG concentrations χ > 1% w/v, the surface pressure πs(χ) = γ(0) - γ(χ) was found to depend linearly on the PEG concentration according to πs(χ) = κχ + πs(0), where γ(0) is the surface tension in the absence of PEG. Based on a molecular thermodynamic modeling, CMC shifts and surface pressure due to PEG are related, and it is shown that kP = κc(n) + η, where c(n) is a detergent-specific constant depending inter alia on the alkyl chain length n and η is a correction for molarity. Thus, knowledge of the surface pressure in the absence of a detergent allows for the prediction of the CMC shift. The PEG effect on the CMC is discussed concerning its molecular origin and its implications for membrane protein solubilization and crystallization.

  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. Serial Femtosecond Crystallography of Membrane Proteins.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Single Crystal Membranes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stormont, R. W.; Morrison, A.

    1974-01-01

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

  13. Protein crystallization with paper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  14. Dielectrophoretic sorting of membrane protein nanocrystals.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-22

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

  15. Structures of membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Vinothkumar, Kutti R.; Henderson, Richard

    2010-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Use of dynamic light scattering and small-angle X-ray scattering to characterize new surfactants in solution conditions for membrane-protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Dahani, Mohamed; Barret, Laurie Anne; Raynal, Simon; Jungas, Colette; Pernot, Pétra; Polidori, Ange; Bonneté, Françoise

    2015-07-01

    The structural and interactive properties of two novel hemifluorinated surfactants, F2H9-β-M and F4H5-β-M, the syntheses of which were based on the structure and hydrophobicity of the well known dodecyl-β-maltoside (DD-β-M), are described. The shape of their micellar assemblies was characterized by small-angle X-ray scattering and their intermicellar interactions in crystallizing conditions were measured by dynamic light scattering. Such information is essential for surfactant phase-diagram determination and membrane-protein crystallization.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1992-08-01

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

  2. Protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Membrane protein secretases.

    PubMed Central

    Hooper, N M; Karran, E H; Turner, A J

    1997-01-01

    A diverse range of membrane proteins of Type 1 or Type II topology also occur as a circulating, soluble form. These soluble forms are often derived from the membrane form by proteolysis by a group of enzymes referred to collectively as 'secretases' or 'sheddases'. The cleavage generally occurs close to the extracellular face of the membrane, releasing physiologically active protein. This secretion process also provides a mechanism for down-regulating the protein at the cell surface. Examples of such post-translational proteolysis are seen in the Alzheimer's amyloid precursor protein, the vasoregulatory enzyme angiotensin converting enzyme, transforming growth factor-alpha, the tumour necrosis factor ligand and receptor superfamilies, certain cytokine receptors, and others. Since the proteins concerned are involved in pathophysiological processes such as neurodegeneration, apoptosis, oncogenesis and inflammation, the secretases could provide novel therapeutic targets. Recent characterization of these individual secretases has revealed common features, particularly sensitivity to certain metalloprotease inhibitors and upregulation of activity by phorbol esters. It is therefore likely that a closely related family of metallosecretases controls the surface expression of multiple integral membrane proteins. Current knowledge of the various secretases are compared in this Review, and strategies for cell-free assays of such proteases are outlined as a prelude to their ultimate purification and cloning. PMID:9020855

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Overexpression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of the periplasmic domain of outer membrane protein A from Acinetobacter baumannii.

    PubMed

    Park, Jeong Soon; Lee, Woo Cheol; Choi, Saehae; Yeo, Kwon Joo; Song, Jung Hyun; Han, Young Hyun; Lee, Je Chul; Kim, Seung Il; Jeon, Young Ho; Cheong, Chaejoon; Kim, Hye Yeon

    2011-12-01

    Outer membrane protein A from Acinetobacter baumannii (AbOmpA) is a major outer membrane protein and a key player in the bacterial pathogenesis that induces host cell death. AbOmpA is presumed to consist of an N-terminal β-barrel transmembrane domain and a C-terminal periplasmic OmpA-like domain. In this study, the recombinant C-terminal periplasmic domain of AbOmpA was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized using the vapour-diffusion method. A native diffraction data set was collected to a resolution of 2.0 Å using synchrotron radiation. The space group of the crystal was P2(1), with unit-cell parameters a = 58.24, b = 98.59, c = 97.96 Å, β = 105.92°. The native crystal contained seven or eight molecules per asymmetric unit and had a calculated Matthews coefficient of 2.93 or 2.56 Å(3) Da(-1).

  11. Membrane protein structure determination - the next generation.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24260038

  15. Post-expression strategies for structural investigations of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Columbus, Linda

    2015-06-01

    Currently, membrane proteins only comprise 1.5% of the protein data bank and, thus, still remain a challenge for structural biologists. Expression, stabilization in membrane mimics (e.g. detergent), heterogeneity (conformational and chemical), and crystallization in the presence of a membrane mimic are four major bottlenecks encountered. In response, several post-expression protein modifications have been utilized to facilitate structure determination of membrane proteins. This review highlights four approaches: limited proteolysis, deglycosylation, cysteine alkylation, and lysine methylation. Combined these approaches have facilitated the structure determination of more than 40 membrane proteins and, therefore, are a useful addition to the membrane protein structural biologist's toolkit.

  16. Expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray studies of the outer membrane efflux proteins OprM and OprN from Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Broutin, Isabelle; Benabdelhak, Houssain; Moreel, Xavier; Lascombe, Marie-Bernard; Lerouge, Dimitri; Ducruix, Arnaud

    2005-03-01

    OprM and OprN belong to the outer membrane factor family proteins. These approximately 52 kDa proteins are part of the tripartite efflux pumps found in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and are responsible in part for the antibiotic resistance observed in these bacteria. Both proteins have been expressed in Escherichia coli as His-tag proteins and purified accordingly by affinity chromatography in the presence of n-octyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside detergent. OprM and OprN were crystallized using PEG 20 000/ammonium citrate and ammonium sulfate as precipitating agents, respectively. Crystals belong to space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 152.6, b = 87.9, c = 355.9 A, beta = 98.9 degrees and a = 151.3, b = 87.6, c = 356.5 A, beta = 98.1 degrees for OprM and OprN, respectively. Using the ESRF synchrotron-radiation source, OprM diffraction data extended to 3.4 A.

  17. Expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray studies of the outer membrane efflux proteins OprM and OprN from Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Broutin, Isabelle; Benabdelhak, Houssain; Moreel, Xavier; Lascombe, Marie-Bernard; Lerouge, Dimitri; Ducruix, Arnaud

    2005-01-01

    OprM and OprN belong to the outer membrane factor family proteins. These ∼52 kDa proteins are part of the tripartite efflux pumps found in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and are responsible in part for the antibiotic resistance observed in these bacteria. Both proteins have been expressed in Escherichia coli as His-tag proteins and purified accordingly by affinity chromatography in the presence of n-octyl-β-d-glucopyranoside detergent. OprM and OprN were crystallized using PEG 20 000/ammonium citrate and ammonium sulfate as precipitating agents, respectively. Crystals belong to space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 152.6, b = 87.9, c = 355.9 Å, β = 98.9° and a = 151.3, b = 87.6, c = 356.5 Å, β = 98.1° for OprM and OprN, respectively. Using the ESRF synchrotron-radiation source, OprM diffraction data extended to 3.4 Å. PMID:16511029

  18. Tracking Membrane Protein Association in Model Membranes

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Proteins causing membrane fouling in membrane bioreactors.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of inner membrane complex (IMC) subcompartment protein 1 (ISP1) from Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Tonkin, Michelle L; Brown, Shannon; Beck, Josh R; Bradley, Peter J; Boulanger, Martin J

    2012-07-01

    The protozoan parasites of the Apicomplexa phylum are devastating global pathogens. Their success is largely due to phylum-specific proteins found in specialized organelles and cellular structures. The inner membrane complex (IMC) is a unique apicomplexan structure that is essential for motility, invasion and replication. The IMC subcompartment proteins (ISP) have recently been identified in Toxoplasma gondii and shown to be critical for replication, although their specific mechanisms are unknown. Structural characterization of TgISP1 was pursued in order to identify the fold adopted by the ISPs and to generate detailed insight into how this family of proteins functions during replication. An N-terminally truncated form of TgISP1 was purified from Escherichia coli, crystallized and subjected to X-ray diffraction analysis. Two crystal forms of TgISP1 belonging to space groups P4(1)32 or P4(3)32 and P2(1)2(1)2(1) diffracted to 2.05 and 2.1 Å resolution, respectively.

  4. Protein crystal growth in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  5. Introduction to protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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

  7. Characterizing protein crystal nucleation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akella, Sathish V.

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

  8. 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

  9. Microtechnologies for membrane protein studies

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Hiroaki

    2008-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Crystal structure of CD59: implications for molecular recognition of the complement proteins C8 and C9 in the membrane-attack complex.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yuxiang; Fedarovich, Alena; Tomlinson, Stephen; Davies, Christopher

    2007-06-01

    Human CD59 is a small membrane-bound glycoprotein that functions as an inhibitor of the membrane-attack complex (MAC) of the complement system by binding the complement proteins C8 and C9. The crystal structure of a soluble construct of CD59 has been determined to 2.1 A resolution. When compared with previous models of CD59 determined using NMR, some interesting differences are noted, including the position of helix alpha1, which contributes to the binding surface for C8 and C9. Interestingly, the crystal structure superimposes more closely with an updated NMR model of CD59 that was produced using Monte Carlo minimization, including helix alpha1. Mapping of mutations associated with enhanced or lowered inhibitory function of CD59 show the binding region to be located in a crevice between alpha1 and a three-stranded beta-sheet, as has been identified previously. Residues in the core of this region are well ordered in the electron density, in part owing to a network of stabilizing covalent and noncovalent interactions, and manifest an interesting 'striped' distribution of hydrophobic and basic residues. Docking of the same peptide that was modeled previously into the NMR structure shows that Arg55, which has been postulated to exist in 'open' and 'closed' positions, is intermediate in position between these two and is well placed to contact the peptide. Further clues regarding how CD59 interacts with small peptides arise from the crystal packing of this structure, which shows that a symmetry-related loop comprising residues 20-24 occupies a spatially similar position to the modeled peptide. This higher resolution structure of CD59 will facilitate a more precise dissection of its interactions with C8 and C9 and thus increase the likelihood of designing enhanced CD59-based therapeutics. PMID:17505110

  12. Protein crystal growth in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:24579057

  15. 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.

  16. Path to protein crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Protein Crystal Isocitrate Lyase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Practical considerations of membrane protein instability during purification and crystallisation.

    PubMed

    Tate, Christopher G

    2010-01-01

    Crystallisation of integral membranes requires milligrams of purified protein in a homogeneous, monodisperse state, and crucially, the membrane protein must also be fully functional and stable. The stability of membrane proteins in solution is dependent on the type of detergents used, but unfortunately the use of the most stabilising detergent can often decrease the probability of obtaining crystals that diffract to high resolution, especially of small membrane proteins. A number of strategies have been developed to facilitate the purification of membrane proteins in a functional form, which have led to new possibilities for structure determination.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Expression, purification, and crystallisationof membrane proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, Bernadette

    Approximately, 29,000 protein structures are deposited in the Protein Databank (January 2005), but only about 90 of which are independent membrane protein structures. This represents a significant increase in knowledge compared with a matter of only 5 years ago when a mere handful of membrane protein structures were available. Despite the advances, our understanding of the structure-function relationships and mechanism of action of many membrane proteins is still lacking. This is particularly true of many of the more clinically relevant membrane proteins, such as the G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The GPCRs regulate cellular responses to a wide range of biologically active molecules including hormones and drugs and are thus important targets for therapeutic intervention in a number of disease states. However, the increasing number of membrane protein structures has provided a critical mass of information which has yielded a more rational approach to the process of obtaining diffraction quality crystals. It is the different stages of this process; expression, solubilisation, purification, and crystallisation that will be covered in this lecture.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Exploiting Microbeams for Membrane Protein Structure Determination.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Protein Crystals of Raf Kinase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Fusion-protein-assisted protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Kobe, Bostjan; Ve, Thomas; Williams, Simon J

    2015-07-01

    Fusion proteins can be used directly in protein crystallization to assist crystallization in at least two different ways. In one approach, the `heterologous fusion-protein approach', the fusion partner can provide additional surface area to promote crystal contact formation. In another approach, the `fusion of interacting proteins approach', protein assemblies can be stabilized by covalently linking the interacting partners. The linker connecting the proteins plays different roles in the two applications: in the first approach a rigid linker is required to reduce conformational heterogeneity; in the second, conversely, a flexible linker is required that allows the native interaction between the fused proteins. The two approaches can also be combined. The recent applications of fusion-protein technology in protein crystallization from the work of our own and other laboratories are briefly reviewed.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Protein crystal growth in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delucas, Lawrence J.; Bugg, Charles E.

    1991-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. (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.

  17. Serial Millisecond Crystallography of Membrane Proteins.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Lipidic phase membrane protein serial femtosecond crystallography

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Lipidic phase membrane protein serial femtosecond crystallography.

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  20. Lipidic phase membrane protein serial femtosecond crystallography.

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  1. Molecular dynamics of membrane proteins.

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-10-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Plant Plasma Membrane Proteins 1

    PubMed Central

    Grimes, Howard D.; Breidenbach, R. William

    1987-01-01

    A major 75 kD protein group from the tomato plasma membrane was semipurified on polyacrylamide gels and used to raise a rabbit antiserum. The resulting antiserum recognized a single 75 kilodalton band from phase partitioned tomato plasma membrane (from both suspension cells and mature, green fruit) after resolution on one-dimensional polyacrylamide gels. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel analysis of proteins from tomato plasma membrane showed that the 75 kilodalton antiserum recognized a group of proteins ranging from 63.1 to 88.2 kilodaltons (mean = 75.6 kilodaltons) and with isoelectric point values ranging from 5.7 to 6.3. No other spots were visible on the two-dimensional blots. This antiserum was shown to bind protoplast surface epitopes by indirect immunofluorescence. The presence of this protein group in both monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants was established by immunoblotting the tomato 75 kilodalton antiserum against proteins obtained from plasma membrane-enriched fractions from corn roots and soybean roots. The data suggest that this 75 kilodalton protein group is a major proteinaceous component of the plant plasma membrane. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 PMID:16665801

  6. 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.

  7. The interactions of peripheral membrane proteins with biological membranes

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Johs, Alexander; Whited, A. M.

    2015-01-01

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

  8. The interactions of peripheral membrane proteins with biological membranes.

    PubMed

    Whited, A M; Johs, A

    2015-11-01

    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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. The Physics of Protein Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vekilov, P. G.; Chernov, A. A.

    2002-01-01

    This paper covers review of recent research on protein crystal properties, nucleation, growth and perfection. Mechanical properties of crystals built of molecules strongly exceeding the range of molecular forces are very different from conventional ones. Similar scaling is responsible for specificity of phase equilibrium for macromolecular systems of which thermodynamics is discussed. Nucleation and growth peculiarity and similarity in protein solutions as compared to inorganic solutions is addressed. Hypotheses on why and when microgravity (lack of convection) conditions may result in more perfect crystals are discussed.

  14. Two different centered monoclinic crystals of the E. coli outer-membrane protein OmpF originate from the same building block.

    PubMed

    Chaptal, Vincent; Kilburg, Arnaud; Flot, David; Wiseman, Benjamin; Aghajari, Nushin; Jault, Jean-Michel; Falson, Pierre

    2016-02-01

    Macromolecule crystal formation can be divided in two major steps: 1. the formation of a nucleus and 2. the growth of this nucleus into a full mature crystal. The latter is well described and understood, while the former remains elusive due to the difficulty to study it and is described by nucleation theories. Here we report the structure of the Escherichia coli outer membrane porin OmpF in two centered monoclinic space groups. Strikingly, the two crystals originate from the same building block, made of two trimers of OmpF interacting via their rough side. The different crystallization conditions trigger the formation of distinct arrangement of these building blocks, leading to the formation of translational non-crystallographic symmetry (tNCS) in one case, made possible by the loose lateral packing mediated by detergents. In light of nucleation theories, these results allow us to speculate that these two crystals originate from nuclei made of either clusters of building blocks, or already forming columns that later associate laterally using detergents as glue.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Protein crystallization in hydrogel beads.

    PubMed

    Willaert, Ronnie; Zegers, Ingrid; Wyns, Lode; Sleutel, Mike

    2005-09-01

    The use of hydrogel beads for the crystallization of proteins is explored in this contribution. The dynamic behaviour of the internal precipitant, protein concentration and relative supersaturation in a gel bead upon submerging the bead in a precipitant solution is characterized theoretically using a transient diffusion model. Agarose and calcium alginate beads have been used for the crystallization of a low-molecular-weight (14.4 kDa, hen egg-white lysozyme) and a high-molecular-weight (636.0 kDa, alcohol oxidase) protein. Entrapment of the protein in the agarose-gel matrix was accomplished using two methods. In the first method, a protein solution is mixed with the agarose sol solution. Gel beads are produced by immersing drops of the protein-agarose sol mixture in a cold paraffin solution. In the second method (which was used to produce calcium alginate and agarose beads), empty gel beads are first produced and subsequently filled with protein by diffusion from a bulk solution into the bead. This latter method has the advantage that a supplementary purification step is introduced (for protein aggregates and large impurities) owing to the diffusion process in the gel matrix. Increasing the precipitant, gel concentration and protein loading resulted in a larger number of crystals of smaller size. Consequently, agarose as well as alginate gels act as nucleation promoters. The supersaturation in a gel bead can be dynamically controlled by changing the precipitant and/or the protein concentration in the bulk solution. Manipulation of the supersaturation allowed the nucleation rate to be varied and led to the production of large crystals which were homogeneously distributed in the gel bead.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Membrane proteins in senescent erythrocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, T; Dale, G L

    1989-01-01

    The examination of erythrocyte senescence has been facilitated by recent advances in techniques for the isolation of aged red cells. One of these methods, which uses biotinylated rabbit erythrocytes, has been used to examine the state of membrane proteins in effete cells. These aged red cells were found to have normal ratios of alpha-spectrin and beta-spectrin as well as normal levels of ankyrin. The observation concerning ankyrin is particularly important due to the sensitivity of this protein to proteolysis and the postulated action of proteinases in the aging process. The senescent erythrocytes were also found to have an altered ratio of bands 4.1a and 4.1b without any apparent change in the total level of 4.1. In addition, the analysis of the aged cell membranes did not show any large-molecular-mass aggregated protein at the origin of the SDS/polyacrylamide gels, indicating a lack of transglutaminase activity in the senescence process for rabbit erythrocytes. These results indicate that aging of the rabbit erythrocyte is not accompanied by gross proteolytic degradation or transglutaminase-catalysed cross-linking of membrane components. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. PMID:2522000

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Determination of Phase Diagrams for Soluble and Membrane Protein Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Talreja, S.; Perry, S; Guha, S; Zukoski, C; Kenis, P

    2010-01-01

    Methods to efficiently determine the phase behavior of novel proteins have the potential to significantly benefit structural biology efforts. Here, we present protocols to determine both the solubility boundary and the supersolubility boundary for protein/precipitant systems using an evaporation-based crystallization platform. This strategy takes advantage of the well-defined rates of evaporation that occur in this platform to determine the state of the droplet at any point in time without relying on an equilibrium-based end point. The dynamic nature of this method efficiently traverses phase space along a known path, such that a solubility diagram can be mapped out for both soluble and membrane proteins while using a smaller amount of protein than what is typically used in optimization screens. Furthermore, a variation on this method can be used to decouple crystal nucleation and growth events, so fewer and larger crystals can be obtained within a given droplet. The latter protocol can be used to rescue a crystallization trial where showers of tiny crystals were observed. We validated both of the protocols to determine the phase behavior and the protocol to optimize crystal quality using the soluble proteins lysozyme and ribonuclease A as well as the membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Orientation and conformation of lipids in crystals of transmembrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Derek; Páli, Tibor

    2013-03-01

    Orientational order parameters and individual dihedral torsion angles are evaluated for phospholipid and glycolipid molecules that are resolved in X-ray structures of integral transmembrane proteins in crystals. The order parameters of the lipid chains and glycerol backbones in protein crystals are characterised by a much wider distribution of orientational order than is found in fluid lipid bilayers and reconstituted lipid-protein membranes. This indicates that the lipids that are resolved in crystals of membrane proteins are mostly not representative of the entire lipid-protein interface. Much of the chain configurational disorder of the membrane-bound lipids in crystals arises from C-C bonds in energetically disallowed skew conformations. This suggests configurational heterogeneity of the lipids at a single binding site: eclipsed conformations occur also in the glycerol backbone torsion angles and the C-C torsion angles of the lipid head groups. Conformations of the lipid glycerol backbone in protein crystals are not restricted to the gauche C1-C2 rotamers found invariably in phospholipid bilayer crystals. Lipid head-group conformations in the protein crystals also do not conform solely to the bent-down conformation, with gauche-gauche configuration of the phosphodiester, that is characteristic of phospholipid bilayer membranes. Stereochemical violations in the protein-bound lipids are evidenced by ester carboxyl groups in non-planar configurations, and even in the cis configuration. Some lipids have the incorrect enantiomeric configuration of the glycerol backbone, and many of the branched methyl groups in the phytanyl chains associated with bacteriorhodopsin have the incorrect S configuration. PMID:22644500

  19. How membrane surface affects protein structure.

    PubMed

    Bychkova, V E; Basova, L V; Balobanov, V A

    2014-12-01

    The immediate environment of the negatively charged membrane surface is characterized by decreased dielectric constant and pH value. These conditions can be modeled by water-alcohol mixtures at moderately low pH. Several globular proteins were investigated under these conditions, and their conformational behavior in the presence of phospholipid membranes was determined, as well as under conditions modeling the immediate environment of the membrane surface. These proteins underwent conformational transitions from the native to a molten globule-like state. Increased flexibility of the protein structure facilitated protein functioning. Our experimental data allow understanding forces that affect the structure of a protein functioning near the membrane surface (in other words, in the membrane field). Similar conformational states are widely reported in the literature. This indicates that the negatively charged membrane surface can serve as a moderately denaturing agent in the cell. We conclude that the effect of the membrane field on the protein structure must be taken into account.

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

    PubMed

    Newman, Justin A; Simpson, Garth J

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Computational analysis of membrane proteins: the largest class of drug targets

    PubMed Central

    Arinaminpathy, Yalini; Khurana, Ekta; Engelman, Donald M.; Gerstein, Mark B.

    2009-01-01

    Given the key roles of integral membrane proteins as transporters and channels, it is necessary to understand their structures and, hence, mechanisms and regulation at the molecular level. Membrane proteins represent ~30% of all proteins of currently sequenced genomes. Paradoxically, however, only ~2% of crystal structures deposited in the protein data bank are of membrane proteins, and very few of these are at high resolution (better than 2 Å). The great disparity between our understanding of soluble proteins and our understanding of membrane proteins is because of the practical problems of working with membrane proteins – specifically, difficulties in expression, purification and crystallization. Thus, computational modeling has been utilized extensively to make crucial advances in understanding membrane protein structure and function. PMID:19733256

  2. Protein-Induced Membrane Curvature Alters Local Membrane Tension

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Tuning microbial hosts for membrane protein production

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    The last four years have brought exciting progress in membrane protein research. Finally those many efforts that have been put into expression of eukaryotic membrane proteins are coming to fruition and enable to solve an ever-growing number of high resolution structures. In the past, many skilful optimization steps were required to achieve sufficient expression of functional membrane proteins. Optimization was performed individually for every membrane protein, but provided insight about commonly encountered bottlenecks and, more importantly, general guidelines how to alleviate cellular limitations during microbial membrane protein expression. Lately, system-wide analyses are emerging as powerful means to decipher cellular bottlenecks during heterologous protein production and their use in microbial membrane protein expression has grown in popularity during the past months. This review covers the most prominent solutions and pitfalls in expression of eukaryotic membrane proteins using microbial hosts (prokaryotes, yeasts), highlights skilful applications of our basic understanding to improve membrane protein production. Omics technologies provide new concepts to engineer microbial hosts for membrane protein production. PMID:20040113

  12. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Horse Serum Albumin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

  14. Detection of proteins on blot transfer membranes.

    PubMed

    Sasse, Joachim; Gallagher, Sean R

    2008-11-01

    Staining of blot transfer membranes permits visualization of proteins and allows the extent of transfer to be monitored. In the protocols described in this unit, proteins are stained after electroblotting from one-dimensional or two-dimensional polyacrylamide gels to blot membranes such as polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF), nitrocellulose, or nylon membranes. Protocols are provided for the use of six general protein stains: Amido black, Coomassie blue, Ponceau S, colloidal gold, colloidal silver, and India ink. In addition, the fluorescent stains fluorescamine and IAEDANS, which covalently react with bound proteins, are described. Approximate detection limits for each nonfluorescent stain are indicated along with membrane compatibilities.

  15. Detection of proteins on blot membranes.

    PubMed

    Harper, S; Speicher, D W

    2001-05-01

    Staining of blot transfer membranes permits visualization of proteins and allows the extent of transfer to be monitored. In the protocols described in this unit, proteins are stained after electroblotting from one-dimensional or two-dimensional polyacrylamide gels to blot membranes such as polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF), nitrocellulose, or nylon membranes. Protocols are provided for the use of six general protein stains: amido black, Coomassie blue, Ponceau S, colloidal gold, colloidal silver, and India ink. In addition, the fluorescent stains fluorescamine and IAEDANS, which covalently react with bound proteins, are described. Approximate detection limits for each nonfluorescent stain are indicated along with membrane compatibilities. PMID:18429099

  16. Detection of proteins on blot transfer membranes.

    PubMed

    Sasse, Joachim; Gallagher, Sean R

    2008-11-01

    Staining of blot transfer membranes permits visualization of proteins and allows the extent of transfer to be monitored. In the protocols described in this unit, proteins are stained after electroblotting from one-dimensional or two-dimensional polyacrylamide gels to blot membranes such as polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF), nitrocellulose, or nylon membranes. Protocols are provided for the use of six general protein stains: Amido black, Coomassie blue, Ponceau S, colloidal gold, colloidal silver, and India ink. In addition, the fluorescent stains fluorescamine and IAEDANS, which covalently react with bound proteins, are described. Approximate detection limits for each nonfluorescent stain are indicated along with membrane compatibilities. PMID:19016450

  17. Overexpression of membrane proteins in mammalian cells for structural studies

    PubMed Central

    Andréll, Juni

    2013-01-01

    The number of structures of integral membrane proteins from higher eukaryotes is steadily increasing due to a number of innovative protein engineering and crystallization strategies devised over the last few years. However, it is sobering to reflect that these structures represent only a tiny proportion of the total number of membrane proteins encoded by a mammalian genome. In addition, the structures determined to date are of the most tractable membrane proteins, i.e., those that are expressed functionally and to high levels in yeast or in insect cells using the baculovirus expression system. However, some membrane proteins that are expressed inefficiently in these systems can be produced at sufficiently high levels in mammalian cells to allow structure determination. Mammalian expression systems are an under-used resource in structural biology and represent an effective way to produce fully functional membrane proteins for structural studies. This review will discuss examples of vertebrate membrane protein overexpression in mammalian cells using a variety of viral, constitutive or inducible expression systems. PMID:22963530

  18. Mapping membrane protein structure with fluorescence

    PubMed Central

    Taraska, Justin W.

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Membrane Protein Insertion at the Endoplasmic Reticulum

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Sichen; Hegde, Ramanujan S.

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Shape matters in protein mobility within membranes

    PubMed Central

    Quemeneur, François; Sigurdsson, Jon K.; Renner, Marianne; Atzberger, Paul J.; Bassereau, Patricia; Lacoste, David

    2014-01-01

    The lateral mobility of proteins within cell membranes is usually thought to be dependent on their size and modulated by local heterogeneities of the membrane. Experiments using single-particle tracking on reconstituted membranes demonstrate that protein diffusion is significantly influenced by the interplay of membrane curvature, membrane tension, and protein shape. We find that the curvature-coupled voltage-gated potassium channel (KvAP) undergoes a significant increase in protein mobility under tension, whereas the mobility of the curvature-neutral water channel aquaporin 0 (AQP0) is insensitive to it. Such observations are well explained in terms of an effective friction coefficient of the protein induced by the local membrane deformation. PMID:24706877

  1. Sensing Membrane Stresses by Protein Insertions

    PubMed Central

    Campelo, Felix; Kozlov, Michael M.

    2014-01-01

    Protein domains shallowly inserting into the membrane matrix are ubiquitous in peripheral membrane proteins involved in various processes of intracellular membrane shaping and remodeling. It has been suggested that these domains sense membrane curvature through their preferable binding to strongly curved membranes, the binding mechanism being mediated by lipid packing defects. Here we make an alternative statement that shallow protein insertions are universal sensors of the intra-membrane stresses existing in the region of the insertion embedding rather than sensors of the curvature per se. We substantiate this proposal computationally by considering different independent ways of the membrane stress generation among which some include changes of the membrane curvature whereas others do not alter the membrane shape. Our computations show that the membrane-binding coefficient of shallow protein insertions is determined by the resultant stress independently of the way this stress has been produced. By contrast, consideration of the correlation between the insertion binding and the membrane curvature demonstrates that the binding coefficient either increases or decreases with curvature depending on the factors leading to the curvature generation. To validate our computational model, we treat quantitatively the experimental results on membrane binding by ALPS1 and ALPS2 motifs of ArfGAP1. PMID:24722359

  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. 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.

  4. Circular dichroism spectroscopy of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Miles, A J; Wallace, B A

    2016-09-21

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

  5. Circular dichroism spectroscopy of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Miles, A J; Wallace, B A

    2016-09-21

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

  6. 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.

  7. Phosphoinositide Control of Membrane Protein Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Protein single crystal growth under microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Littke, Walter; John, Christina

    1986-08-01

    Crystal growth conditions for proteins under microgravity were investigated with two model compounds (β-galactosidase and lysozyme). The single crystals obtained have been found to be significantly larger than those prepared in the same environment on earth.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  10. Integral Membrane Proteins and Bilayer Proteomics

    PubMed Central

    Whitelegge, Julian P.

    2013-01-01

    Integral membrane proteins reside within the bilayer membranes that surround cells and organelles, playing critical roles in movement of molecules across them and the transduction of energy and signals. While their extreme amphipathicity presents technical challenges, biological mass spectrometry has been applied to all aspects of membrane protein chemistry and biology, including analysis of primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure, as well as the dynamics that accompany functional cycles and catalysis. PMID:23301778

  11. High-throughput protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Stevens, R C

    2000-10-01

    The combinatorial chemistry industry has made major advances in the handling and mixing of small volumes, and in the development of robust liquid-handling systems. In addition, developments have been made in the area of material handling for the high-throughput drug screening and combinatorial chemistry fields. Lastly, improvements in beamline optics at synchrotron sources have enabled the use of flash-frozen micron-sized (10-50 microm) crystals. The combination of these and other recent advances will make high-throughput protein crystallography possible. Further advances in high-throughput methods of protein crystallography will require application of the above developments and the accumulation of success/failure data in a more systematic manner. Major changes in crystallography technology will emerge based on the data collected by first-generation high-throughput systems.

  12. Rapid protein crystallization by a micro osmotic screening system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, Po-Hsiung; Su, Yu-Chuan

    2007-03-01

    This work presents a micro osmotic screening system that grows protein crystals in hours while consuming only micrograms of samples. Throughout the crystallization process, water can be driven in or out of a protein solution (across a semi-permeable membrane) to adjust its concentrations as desired. With the bi-directional and adjustable flow control realized by osmosis, each protein sample can be screened for crystallization conditions over a highly extended range. In the prototype demonstration, 6 × 8 screening arrays having an overall size of 20 × 24 × 2.5 mm3 were fabricated and characterized with crystallization experiments. In these experiments, crystallization conditions for four proteins, including lysozyme, catalase, thaumatin and xylanase, were identified within 2-6 h while consuming less than 20 µl of sample solution for each protein. Furthermore, it was also demonstrated that diffraction-quality crystals may be grown and harvested from the prototype system. As such, this osmotic system pioneers a new class of rapid screening schemes for high-throughput protein crystallization. A portion of this paper was presented at the 10th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences, Tokyo, Japan, November 2006.

  13. Structural analysis of membrane-bound retrovirus capsid proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Barklis, E; McDermott, J; Wilkens, S; Schabtach, E; Schmid, M F; Fuller, S; Karanjia, S; Love, Z; Jones, R; Rui, Y; Zhao, X; Thompson, D

    1997-01-01

    We have developed a system for analysis of histidine-tagged (His-tagged) retrovirus core (Gag) proteins, assembled in vitro on lipid monolayers consisting of egg phosphatidylcholine (PC) plus the novel lipid DHGN. DHGN was shown to chelate nickel by atomic absorption spectrometry, and DHGN-containing monolayers specifically bound gold conjugates of His-tagged proteins. Using PC + DHGN monolayers, we examined membrane-bound arrays of an N-terminal His-tagged Moloney murine leukemia virus (M-MuLV) capsid (CA) protein, His-MoCA, and in vivo studies suggest that in vitro-derived His-MoCA arrays reflect some of the Gag protein interactions which occur in assembling virus particles. The His-MoCA proteins formed extensive two-dimensional (2D) protein crystals, with reflections out to 9.5 A resolution. The image-analyzed 2D projection of His-MoCA arrays revealed a distinct cage-like network. The asymmetry of the individual building blocks of the network led to the formation of two types of hexamer rings, surrounding protein-free cage holes. These results predict that Gag hexamers constitute a retrovirus core substructure, and that cage hole sizes define an exclusion limit for entry of retrovirus envelope proteins, or other plasma membrane proteins, into virus particles. We believe that the 2D crystallization method will permit the detailed analysis of retroviral Gag proteins and other His-tagged proteins. PMID:9135137

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  15. 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 crystallization facilitated by molecularly imprinted polymers

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, William W.; DeLucas, Lawrence J.

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Outer membrane protein profiles of Haemophilus pleuropneumoniae.

    PubMed Central

    Rapp, V J; Munson, R S; Ross, R F

    1986-01-01

    Outer membrane protein profiles of Haemophilus pleuropneumoniae were examined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Cells were disrupted by sonication, and outer membrane-enriched fractions were prepared by differential centrifugation and selective solubilization of the inner membrane with sodium N-lauroyl sarcosinate. Colony type, growth medium, time of harvest, and in vitro or in vivo passage had no appreciable effect on the protein profiles of the strains examined. Seven patterns were distinguished among the reference strains of the nine capsular serotypes. These patterns were based on the mobility of the major outer membrane proteins migrating in the 39,000- to 44,000-molecular-weight region of the gel, a 16K to 16.5K protein, and a heat-modifiable 29K protein. Strains of serotypes 1 and 9 had identical outer membrane protein profiles, as did strains of serotypes 2 and 6. The reference strains of the remaining five serotypes each had a distinct pattern. The outer membrane protein profiles of 95 field isolates belonging to serotypes 1, 5, 7, and 9 from swine in the midwestern United States were determined and compared with the reference patterns. The results indicate that the population of H. pleuropneumoniae is clonal, with three predominant clones distinguished by both serotype and outer membrane protein profile responsible for the majority of H. pleuropneumoniae disease occurring in swine in the United States. Images PMID:3699889

  20. Genome-wide Membrane Protein Structure Prediction

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Further advances in the production of membrane proteins in Pichia pastoris

    PubMed Central

    Hedfalk, Kristina

    2013-01-01

    Membrane proteins have essential cellular functions and are therefore of high interest in both academia and industry. Many efforts have been made on producing those targets in yields allowing crystallization experiments aiming for high resolution structures and mechanistic understanding. The first step of production provides a crucial barrier to overcome, but what we now see, is great progress in membrane protein structural determination in a relatively short time. Achievements on recombinant protein production have been essential for this development and the yeast Pichia pastoris is the most commonly used host for eukaryotic membrane proteins. High-resolution structures nicely illustrate the successes in protein production, and this is the measure used by Ramón and Marin in their review “Advances in the production of membrane proteins in Pichia pastoris” from 2011. Here, additional advances on production and crystallization of eukaryotic membrane proteins are described and reflected on. PMID:23507631

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Active Nuclear Import of Membrane Proteins Revisited.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Active Nuclear Import of Membrane Proteins Revisited

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Gold nanoparticle capture within protein crystal scaffolds.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Helical Membrane Protein Conformations and their Environment

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Membrane protein expression in Lactococcus lactis.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Biophysical EPR Studies Applied to Membrane Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Sahu, Indra D; Lorigan, Gary A

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Accelerated protein crystal growth by protein thin film template

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pechkova, Eugenia; Nicolini, Claudio

    2001-11-01

    A new method based on Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technology is presented for the template stimulation of protein crystal growth. The new approach allows the acceleration of the hen egg white lysozyme (HEWL) crystal growth rate in comparison with such a classical vapour diffusion method as hanging drop. Protein thin films were coated on the cover slide of the common crystallization plates. Lysozyme crystal growth was observed on the LB thin films of HEWL.

  14. Growth of shaped single crystals of proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1996-09-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Flagellar membrane proteins in kinetoplastid parasites.

    PubMed

    Landfear, Scott M; Tran, Khoa D; Sanchez, Marco A

    2015-09-01

    All kinetoplastid parasites, including protozoa such as Leishmania species, Trypanosoma brucei, and Trypanosoma cruzi that cause devastating diseases in humans and animals, are flagellated throughout their life cycles. Although flagella were originally thought of primarily as motility organelles, flagellar functions in other critical processes, especially in sensing and signal transduction, have become more fully appreciated in the recent past. The flagellar membrane is a highly specialized subdomain of the surface membrane, and flagellar membrane proteins are likely to be critical components for all the biologically important roles of flagella. In this review, we summarize recent discoveries relevant to flagellar membrane proteins in these parasites, including the identification of such proteins, investigation of their biological functions, and mechanisms of selective trafficking to the flagellar membrane. Prospects for future investigations and current unsolved problems are highlighted.

  17. Membrane proteins: is the future disc shaped?

    PubMed

    Lee, Sarah C; Pollock, Naomi L

    2016-08-15

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

  18. Flagellar membrane proteins in kinetoplastid parasites.

    PubMed

    Landfear, Scott M; Tran, Khoa D; Sanchez, Marco A

    2015-09-01

    All kinetoplastid parasites, including protozoa such as Leishmania species, Trypanosoma brucei, and Trypanosoma cruzi that cause devastating diseases in humans and animals, are flagellated throughout their life cycles. Although flagella were originally thought of primarily as motility organelles, flagellar functions in other critical processes, especially in sensing and signal transduction, have become more fully appreciated in the recent past. The flagellar membrane is a highly specialized subdomain of the surface membrane, and flagellar membrane proteins are likely to be critical components for all the biologically important roles of flagella. In this review, we summarize recent discoveries relevant to flagellar membrane proteins in these parasites, including the identification of such proteins, investigation of their biological functions, and mechanisms of selective trafficking to the flagellar membrane. Prospects for future investigations and current unsolved problems are highlighted. PMID:26599841

  19. Flagellar Membrane Proteins in Kinetoplastid Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Landfear, Scott M.; Tran, Khoa D.; Sanchez, Marco A.

    2015-01-01

    All kinetoplastid parasites, including protozoa such as Leishmania species, Trypanosoma brucei, and Trypanosoma cruzi that cause devastating diseases in humans and animals, are flagellated throughout their life cycles. While flagella were originally thought of primarily as motility organelles, flagellar functions in other critical processes, especially in sensing and signal transduction, have become more fully appreciated in the recent past. The flagellar membrane is a highly specialized subdomain of the surface membrane, and flagellar membrane proteins are likely to be critical components for all the biologically important roles of flagella. In this review, we summarize recent discoveries relevant to flagellar membrane proteins in these parasites including the identification of such proteins, investigation of their biological functions, and mechanisms of selective trafficking to the flagellar membrane. Prospects for future investigations and current unsolved problems are highlighted. PMID:26599841

  20. 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

  1. Approaches to automated protein crystal harvesting.

    PubMed

    Deller, Marc C; Rupp, Bernhard

    2014-02-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Applications of the BLEND Software to Crystallographic Data from Membrane Proteins.

    PubMed

    Aller, Pierre; Geng, Tian; Evans, Gwyndaf; Foadi, James

    2016-01-01

    X-ray diffraction from crystals of membrane proteins very often yields incomplete datasets due to, among other things, severe radiation damage. Multiple crystals are thus required to form complete datasets, provided the crystals themselves are isomorphous. Selection and combination of data from multiple crystals is a difficult and tedious task that can be facilitated by purpose-built software. BLEND, in the CCP4 suite of programs for macromolecular crystallography (MX), has been created exactly for this reason. In this chapter the program is described and its workings illustrated by means of data from two membrane proteins. PMID:27553239

  8. 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.

  9. Detergents in Membrane Protein Purification and Crystallisation.

    PubMed

    Anandan, Anandhi; Vrielink, Alice

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Detergents in Membrane Protein Purification and Crystallisation.

    PubMed

    Anandan, Anandhi; Vrielink, Alice

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Mass Spectrometry of Intact Membrane Protein Complexes

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Detergent-Free Membrane Protein Purification.

    PubMed

    Rothnie, Alice J

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Protein-Centric N-Glycoproteomics Analysis of Membrane and Plasma Membrane Proteins

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The advent of proteomics technology has transformed our understanding of biological membranes. The challenges for studying membrane proteins have inspired the development of many analytical and bioanalytical tools, and the techniques of glycoproteomics have emerged as an effective means to enrich and characterize membrane and plasma-membrane proteomes. This Review summarizes the development of various glycoproteomics techniques to overcome the hurdles formed by the unique structures and behaviors of membrane proteins with a focus on N-glycoproteomics. Example contributions of N-glycoproteomics to the understanding of membrane biology are provided, and the areas that require future technical breakthroughs are discussed. PMID:24754784

  14. Solid-state NMR structures of integral membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Patching, Simon G

    2015-01-01

    Solid-state NMR is unique for its ability to obtain three-dimensional structures and to measure atomic-resolution structural and dynamic information for membrane proteins in native lipid bilayers. An increasing number and complexity of integral membrane protein structures have been determined by solid-state NMR using two main methods. Oriented sample solid-state NMR uses macroscopically aligned lipid bilayers to obtain orientational restraints that define secondary structure and global fold of embedded peptides and proteins and their orientation and topology in lipid bilayers. Magic angle spinning (MAS) solid-state NMR uses unoriented rapidly spinning samples to obtain distance and torsion angle restraints that define tertiary structure and helix packing arrangements. Details of all current protein structures are described, highlighting developments in experimental strategy and other technological advancements. Some structures originate from combining solid- and solution-state NMR information and some have used solid-state NMR to refine X-ray crystal structures. Solid-state NMR has also validated the structures of proteins determined in different membrane mimetics by solution-state NMR and X-ray crystallography and is therefore complementary to other structural biology techniques. By continuing efforts in identifying membrane protein targets and developing expression, isotope labelling and sample preparation strategies, probe technology, NMR experiments, calculation and modelling methods and combination with other techniques, it should be feasible to determine the structures of many more membrane proteins of biological and biomedical importance using solid-state NMR. This will provide three-dimensional structures and atomic-resolution structural information for characterising ligand and drug interactions, dynamics and molecular mechanisms of membrane proteins under physiological lipid bilayer conditions.

  15. Solid-state NMR structures of integral membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Patching, Simon G

    2015-01-01

    Solid-state NMR is unique for its ability to obtain three-dimensional structures and to measure atomic-resolution structural and dynamic information for membrane proteins in native lipid bilayers. An increasing number and complexity of integral membrane protein structures have been determined by solid-state NMR using two main methods. Oriented sample solid-state NMR uses macroscopically aligned lipid bilayers to obtain orientational restraints that define secondary structure and global fold of embedded peptides and proteins and their orientation and topology in lipid bilayers. Magic angle spinning (MAS) solid-state NMR uses unoriented rapidly spinning samples to obtain distance and torsion angle restraints that define tertiary structure and helix packing arrangements. Details of all current protein structures are described, highlighting developments in experimental strategy and other technological advancements. Some structures originate from combining solid- and solution-state NMR information and some have used solid-state NMR to refine X-ray crystal structures. Solid-state NMR has also validated the structures of proteins determined in different membrane mimetics by solution-state NMR and X-ray crystallography and is therefore complementary to other structural biology techniques. By continuing efforts in identifying membrane protein targets and developing expression, isotope labelling and sample preparation strategies, probe technology, NMR experiments, calculation and modelling methods and combination with other techniques, it should be feasible to determine the structures of many more membrane proteins of biological and biomedical importance using solid-state NMR. This will provide three-dimensional structures and atomic-resolution structural information for characterising ligand and drug interactions, dynamics and molecular mechanisms of membrane proteins under physiological lipid bilayer conditions. PMID:26857803

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

    PubMed

    Javanainen, Matti; Martinez-Seara, Hector

    2016-10-01

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

  17. An improved tripod amphiphile for membrane protein solubilization.

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Protein Stains to Detect Antigen on Membranes.

    PubMed

    Dsouza, Anil; Scofield, R Hal

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Protein stains to detect antigen on membranes.

    PubMed

    D'souza, Anil; Scofield, R Hal

    2009-01-01

    Western blotting (protein blotting/electroblotting) is the gold standard in the analysis of complex protein mixtures. Electroblotting drives protein molecules from a polyacrylamide (or less commonly, of an agarose) gel to the surface of a binding membrane, thereby facilitating an increased availability of the sites with affinity for both general and specific protein reagents. The analysis of these complex protein mixtures is achieved by the detection of specific protein bands on a membrane, which in turn is made possible by the visualization of protein bands either by chemical staining or by reaction with an antibody of a conjugated ligand. Chemical methods employ staining with organic dyes, metal chelates, autoradiography, fluorescent dyes, complexing with silver, or prelabeling with fluorophores. All of these methods have differing sensitivities and quantitative determinations vary significantly. This review will describe the various protein staining methods applied to membranes after electrophoresis. "Detection" precedes and is a prerequisite to obtaining qualitative and quantitative data on the proteins in a sample, as much as to comparing the protein composition of different samples. Detection is often synonymous to staining, i.e., the reversible or irreversible binding by the proteins of a colored organic or inorganic chemical. PMID:19378080

  8. Biophysical Characterization of Membrane Proteins in Nanodiscs

    PubMed Central

    Inagaki, Sayaka; Ghirlando, Rodolfo; Grisshammer, Reinhard

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Polymer single crystal membrane from liquid/liquid interface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  15. Weakly Stable Regions and Protein-Protein Interactions in Beta-Barrel Membrane Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Naveed, Hammad; Liang, Jie

    2014-01-01

    We briefly discuss recent progress in computational characterization of the sequence and structural properties of β-barrel membrane properties. We discuss the emerging concept of weakly stable regions in β-barrel membrane proteins, computational methods to identify these regions and mechanisms adopted by β-barrel membrane proteins in nature to stabilize them. We further discuss computational methods to identify protein-protein interactions in β-barrel membrane proteins and recent experimental studies that aim at altering the biophysical properties including oligomerization state and stability of β-barrel membrane proteins based on the emerging organization principles of these proteins from recent computational studies. PMID:23713778

  16. Present and future of membrane protein structure determination by electron crystallography.

    PubMed

    Ubarretxena-Belandia, Iban; Stokes, David L

    2010-01-01

    Membrane proteins are critical to cell physiology, playing roles in signaling, trafficking, transport, adhesion, and recognition. Despite their relative abundance in the proteome and their prevalence as targets of therapeutic drugs, structural information about membrane proteins is in short supply. This chapter describes the use of electron crystallography as a tool for determining membrane protein structures. Electron crystallography offers distinct advantages relative to the alternatives of X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. Namely, membrane proteins are placed in their native membranous environment, which is likely to favor a native conformation and allow changes in conformation in response to physiological ligands. Nevertheless, there are significant logistical challenges in finding appropriate conditions for inducing membrane proteins to form two-dimensional arrays within the membrane and in using electron cryo-microscopy to collect the data required for structure determination. A number of developments are described for high-throughput screening of crystallization trials and for automated imaging of crystals with the electron microscope. These tools are critical for exploring the necessary range of factors governing the crystallization process. There have also been recent software developments to facilitate the process of structure determination. However, further innovations in the algorithms used for processing images and electron diffraction are necessary to improve throughput and to make electron crystallography truly viable as a method for determining atomic structures of membrane proteins.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-17

    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.

  18. 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

  19. (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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

  2. Rotavirus Capsid Protein VP5* Permeabilizes Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Denisova, Evgeniya; Dowling, William; LaMonica, Rachel; Shaw, Robert; Scarlata, Suzanne; Ruggeri, Franco; Mackow, Erich R.

    1999-01-01

    Proteolytic cleavage of the VP4 outer capsid spike protein into VP8* and VP5* proteins is required for rotavirus infectivity and for rotavirus-induced membrane permeability. In this study we addressed the function of the VP5* cleavage fragment in permeabilizing membranes. Expressed VP5* and truncated VP5* proteins were purified by nickel affinity chromatography and assayed for their ability to permeabilize large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) preloaded with carboxyfluorescein (CF). VP5* and VP5* truncations, but not VP4 or VP8*, permeabilized LUVs as measured by fluorescence dequenching of released CF. Similar to virus-induced CF release, VP5*-induced CF release was concentration and temperature dependent, with a pH optimum of 7.35 at 37°C, but independent of the presence of divalent cations or cholesterol. VP5*-induced permeability was completely inhibited by VP5*-specific neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (2G4, M2, or M7) which recognize conformational epitopes on VP5* but was not inhibited by VP8*-specific neutralizing antibodies. In addition, N-terminal and C-terminal VP5* truncations including residues 265 to 474 are capable of permeabilizing LUVs. These findings demonstrate that VP5* permeabilizes membranes in the absence of other rotavirus proteins and that membrane-permeabilizing VP5* truncations contain the putative fusion region within predicted virion surface domains. The ability of recombinant expressed VP5* to permeabilize membranes should permit us to functionally define requirements for VP5*-membrane interactions. These findings indicate that VP5* is a specific membrane-permeabilizing capsid protein which is likely to play a role in the cellular entry of rotaviruses. PMID:10074166

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirsa, A.

    2005-11-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Transmembrane protein sorting driven by membrane curvature

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Two puzzling aspects of protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Hendrickson, Wayne A

    2016-06-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Parker, Joanne L; Newstead, Simon

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. Cellular Mechanisms of Membrane Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Skach, William R.

    2010-01-01

    The membrane protein folding problem can be articulated by two central questions. How is protein topology established by selective peptide transport to opposite sides of the cellular membrane? And how are transmembrane segments inserted, integrated and folded within the lipid bilayer? In eukaryotes, this process usually takes place in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) coincident with protein synthesis, and is facilitated by the translating Ribosome and the Sec61 Translocon Complex (RTC). At its core, the RTC forms a dynamic pathway through which the elongating nascent polypeptide moves as it is delivered into cytosolic, lumenal and lipid compartments. This perspective will focus on emerging evidence that the RTC functions as a protein folding machine that restricts conformational space by establishing transmembrane topology and yet provides a permissive environment that enables nascent transmembrane domains to efficiently progress down their folding energy landscape. PMID:19491932

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

    SciTech Connect

    Straatsma, TP; Soares, Thereza A.

    2009-02-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Converting a marginally hydrophobic soluble protein into a membrane protein.

    PubMed

    Nørholm, Morten H H; Cunningham, Fiona; Deber, Charles M; von Heijne, Gunnar

    2011-03-18

    δ-Helices are marginally hydrophobic α-helical segments in soluble proteins that exhibit certain sequence characteristics of transmembrane (TM) helices [Cunningham, F., Rath, A., Johnson, R. M. & Deber, C. M. (2009). Distinctions between hydrophobic helices in globular proteins and TM segments as factors in protein sorting. J. Biol. Chem., 284, 5395-402]. In order to better understand the difference between δ-helices and TM helices, we have studied the insertion of five TM-like δ-helices into dog pancreas microsomal membranes. Using model constructs in which an isolated δ-helix is engineered into a bona fide membrane protein, we find that, for two δ-helices originating from secreted proteins, at least three single-nucleotide mutations are necessary to obtain efficient membrane insertion, whereas one mutation is sufficient in a δ-helix from the cytosolic protein P450BM-3. We further find that only when the entire upstream region of the mutated δ-helix in the intact cytochrome P450BM-3 is deleted does a small fraction of the truncated protein insert into microsomes. Our results suggest that upstream portions of the polypeptide, as well as embedded charged residues, protect δ-helices in globular proteins from being recognized by the signal recognition particle-Sec61 endoplasmic-reticulum-targeting machinery and that δ-helices in secreted proteins are mutationally more distant from TM helices than δ-helices in cytosolic proteins.

  1. 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

  2. A critical evaluation of in silico methods for detection of membrane protein intrinsic disorder.

    PubMed

    Pryor, Edward E; Wiener, Michael C

    2014-04-15

    Intrinsically disordered regions in proteins possess important biological roles including transcriptional regulation, molecular recognition, and provision of sites for posttranslational modification. In three-dimensional crystallization of both soluble and membrane proteins, identification and removal of disordered regions is often necessary for obtaining crystals possessing sufficient long-range order for structure determination. Disordered regions can be identified experimentally, with techniques such as limited proteolysis coupled with mass spectrometry, or computationally, by using disorder prediction programs, of which many are available. Although these programs use various methods to predict disorder from a protein's primary sequence, they all were developed using information derived from soluble protein structures. Therefore, their performance and accuracy when applied to integral membrane proteins remained an open question. We evaluated the performance of 13 disorder prediction programs on a dataset containing 343 membrane proteins, and upon subdatasets containing only α-helical or β-barrel proteins. These programs were ranked using multiple metrics, including metrics specifically created for membrane proteins. Analysis of these data shows a clear distinction between programs that accurately predict disordered regions in membrane proteins and programs which perform poorly, and allows for the robust integration of in silico disorder prediction into our PSI:Biology membrane protein structural genomics pipeline.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Super-thin single crystal diamond membrane radiation detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Pomorski, Michal; Caylar, Benoit; Bergonzo, Philippe

    2013-09-09

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

  10. 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.

  11. Mapping lipid and detergent molecules at the surface of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Cogdell, Richard J; Gardiner, Alastair T; Roszak, Aleksander W; Stončius, Sigitas; Kočovský, Pavel; Isaacs, Neil W

    2011-06-01

    Electron-density maps for the crystal structures of membrane proteins often show features suggesting binding of lipids and/or detergent molecules on the hydrophobic surface, but usually it is difficult to identify the bound molecules. In our studies, heavy-atom-labelled phospholipids and detergents have been used to unequivocally identify these binding sites at the surfaces of test membrane proteins, the reaction centres from Rhodobacter sphaeroides and Blastochloris viridis. The generality of this method is discussed in the present article.

  12. Natural Products at Work: Structural Insights into Inhibition of the Bacterial Membrane Protein MraY.

    PubMed

    Koppermann, Stefan; Ducho, Christian

    2016-09-19

    Natural(ly) fit: The X-ray crystal structure of the bacterial membrane protein MraY in complex with its natural product inhibitor muraymycin D2 is discussed. MraY catalyzes one of the membrane-associated steps in peptidoglycan biosynthesis and, therefore, represents a promising target for novel antibiotics. Structural insights derived from the protein-inhibitor complex might now pave the way for the development of new antimicrobial drugs. PMID:27511599

  13. 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.

  14. Helix-packing motifs in membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Walters, R F S; DeGrado, W F

    2006-09-12

    The fold of a helical membrane protein is largely determined by interactions between membrane-imbedded helices. To elucidate recurring helix-helix interaction motifs, we dissected the crystallographic structures of membrane proteins into a library of interacting helical pairs. The pairs were clustered according to their three-dimensional similarity (rmsd membrane proteins.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Identification of extracellularly phosphorylated membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Burghoff, Sandra; Willberg, Wibke; Schrader, Jürgen

    2015-10-01

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

  19. Protein permeation through an electrically tunable membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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. PMID:26030844

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-12

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

  8. Manipulation of Subunit Stoichiometry in Heteromeric Membrane Proteins.

    PubMed

    Morales-Perez, Claudio L; Noviello, Colleen M; Hibbs, Ryan E

    2016-05-01

    The ability of oligomeric membrane proteins to assemble in different functional ratios of subunits is a common feature across many systems. Recombinant expression of hetero-oligomeric proteins with defined stoichiometries facilitates detailed structural and functional analyses, but remains a major challenge. Here we present two methods for overcoming this challenge: one for rapid virus titration and another for stoichiometry determination. When these methods are coupled, they allow for efficient dissection of the heteromer stoichiometry problem and optimization of homogeneous protein expression. We demonstrate the utility of the methods in a system that to date has proved resistant to atomic-scale structural study, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Leveraging these two methods, we have successfully expressed, purified, and grown diffraction-quality crystals of this challenging target.

  9. 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

  10. Membrane association of presynaptic cytomatrix protein bassoon.

    PubMed

    Sanmartí-Vila, L; tom Dieck, S; Richter, K; Altrock, W; Zhang, L; Volknandt, W; Zimmermann, H; Garner, C C; Gundelfinger, E D; Dresbach, T

    2000-08-18

    Components of the specialized cytomatrix at active zones of presynaptic nerve terminals are thought to be involved in organizing synaptic events such as immobilisation or translocation of synaptic vesicles and assemblingactive zone components. The 420-kDa non-transmembraneprotein Bassoon is a specific componentof the presynaptic cytomatrix that shares features with both cytoskeleton-associated and peripheral-membrane proteins. Using immunogold electron microscopy we show here that synapse associated Bassoon is distributed in a subregion of active zones. Using a biochemical assay we show that a fraction of Bassoon is membrane associated. Electron microscopy performed on the same biochemical fraction further revealed that Bassoon is associated with vesicular structures. Together these data suggest that at least a fraction of Bassoon is associated with a membraneous compartment in neurons.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Membrane Compartmentalization Reducing the Mobility of Lipids and Proteins within a Model Plasma Membrane.

    PubMed

    Koldsø, Heidi; Reddy, Tyler; Fowler, Philip W; Duncan, Anna L; Sansom, Mark S P

    2016-09-01

    The cytoskeleton underlying cell membranes may influence the dynamic organization of proteins and lipids within the bilayer by immobilizing certain transmembrane (TM) proteins and forming corrals within the membrane. Here, we present coarse-grained resolution simulations of a biologically realistic membrane model of asymmetrically organized lipids and TM proteins. We determine the effects of a model of cytoskeletal immobilization of selected membrane proteins using long time scale coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. By introducing compartments with varying degrees of restraints within the membrane models, we are able to reveal how compartmentalization caused by cytoskeletal immobilization leads to reduced and anomalous diffusional mobility of both proteins and lipids. This in turn results in a reduced rate of protein dimerization within the membrane and of hopping of membrane proteins between compartments. These simulations provide a molecular realization of hierarchical models often invoked to explain single-molecule imaging studies of membrane proteins.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Mammalian plasma membrane proteins as potential biomarkers and drug targets.

    PubMed

    Rucevic, Marijana; Hixson, Douglas; Josic, Djuro

    2011-06-01

    Defining the plasma membrane proteome is crucial to understand the role of plasma membrane in fundamental biological processes. Change in membrane proteins is one of the first events that take place under pathological conditions, making plasma membrane proteins a likely source of potential disease biomarkers with prognostic or diagnostic potential. Membrane proteins are also potential targets for monoclonal antibodies and other drugs that block receptors or inhibit enzymes essential to the disease progress. Despite several advanced methods recently developed for the analysis of hydrophobic proteins and proteins with posttranslational modifications, integral membrane proteins are still under-represented in plasma membrane proteome. Recent advances in proteomic investigation of plasma membrane proteins, defining their roles as diagnostic and prognostic disease biomarkers and as target molecules in disease treatment, are presented.

  20. Membrane-associated proteins and peptides.

    PubMed

    Lensink, Marc F

    2015-01-01

    This chapter discusses the practical aspects of setting up molecular dynamics simulations of membrane-associated proteins and peptides, and the analysis thereof. Topology files for selected lipids are provided and selected analysis tools presented. These include tools for the creation of lipid bilayers of mixed lipid content (DOPE) and easy extraction of lipid coordinates (g_zcoor, g_xycoor), the calculation of helical axes (g_helixaxis) and aromatic order parameters (g_arom), the determination of peptide- or protein-interacting lipids (g_under), and the investigation of lipid-specific interactions through the calculation of lipid-bridged residue-residue contacts (g_prolip). PMID:25330961

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Isocitrate Lyase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

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

  12. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Isocitrate Lysase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

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

  13. Electrophoretic transfer of proteins across polyacrylamide membranes.

    PubMed

    Rylatt, D B; Napoli, M; Ogle, D; Gilbert, A; Lim, S; Nair, C H

    1999-12-31

    The electrophoretic transfer of purified proteins has been examined in a Gradiflow "Babyflow BF100" unit. A number of factors affect protein separation within this preparative electrophoresis system. We established that the rate of protein transfer was proportional to the applied voltage. The transfer is slowest at the isoelectric point (pI) and increased the further away the pH was from the pI of the protein. Protein transfer was found to be independent of the ionic strength of the buffer, for buffers that excluded the addition of strong acids or strong bases or sodium chloride. Transfer decreased as the pore size of the membrane decreased. Finally, transfer was inhibited at high salt concentrations in the protein solution, but remained unaffected when urea and non-ionic detergents were added to the solution. To increase the speed of protein separations, buffers with low conductivity should be used. A pH for the optimal separation should be selected on the basis of the relative pI and size of the target proteins and that of the major contaminants. PMID:10674937

  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. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-02-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Hydrophobic mismatch sorts SNARE proteins into distinct membrane domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Protein crystallization image classification with elastic net

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  9. Refolding, purification and crystallization of the FrpB outer membrane iron transporter from Neisseria meningitidis.

    PubMed

    Saleem, Muhammad; Prince, Stephen M; Patel, Hema; Chan, Hannah; Feavers, Ian M; Derrick, Jeremy P

    2012-02-01

    FrpB is an integral outer membrane protein from the human pathogen Neisseria meningitidis. It is a member of the TonB-dependent transporter family and promotes the uptake of iron across the outer membrane. There is also evidence that FrpB is an antigen and hence a potential component of a vaccine against meningococcal meningitis. FrpB incorporating a polyhistidine tag was overexpressed in Escherichia coli into inclusion bodies. The protein was then solubilized in urea, refolded and purified to homogeneity. Two separate antigenic variants of FrpB were crystallized by sitting-drop vapour diffusion. Crystals of the F5-1 variant diffracted to 2.4 Å resolution and belonged to space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 176.5, b = 79.4, c = 75.9 Å, β = 98.3°. Crystal-packing calculations suggested the presence of a monomer in the asymmetric unit. Crystals of the F3-3 variant also diffracted to 2.4 Å resolution and belonged to space group P2(1)2(1)2(1), with unit-cell parameters a = 85.3, b = 104.6, c = 269.1 Å. Preliminary analysis suggested the presence of an FrpB trimer in the asymmetric unit.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-12-01

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

  11. Factorially designed crystallization trials of the full-length P0 myelin membrane glycoprotein. I. Precipitation diagram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sedzik, Jan; Kotake, Yoshiko; Uyemura, Keiichi; Ataka, Mitsuo

    2003-01-01

    P0 glycoprotein is the abundant membrane protein of myelin of the peripheral nervous system. We report now the statistical design of the crystallization experiments; based on our belief that important information regarding supersaturation of protein or its solubility nature, as well as metastable state, nucleation or precipitation, are hidden in the trials in which no crystals grow. It is possible to work out this information when the whole set of experiments is designed in such a way as to allow statistical analyses. We selected seven factors, which we believe to be important for crystallization: protein concentration, pH of buffer, nature of precipitant, concentration of precipitant, nature of detergent, additives and temperature. The experimental matrix and detailed work sheet to make 148 solutions having random but balanced combination of these levels were calculated using the program DESIGN. A visual evaluation of crystallization drops was performed using light microscopy. We were able to plot the precipitation boundary diagram. Based on this diagram we have eliminated factors (and levels) that were driving the protein into precipitation. It is known that the precipitation boundary is related to the solubility curves for protein crystals, in the neighborhood of which nucleation and further crystallization is most likely to occur. These conditions are currently being refined to identify important factors (or its levels) that can be crucial in obtaining large and well diffracting crystals. Full-length P0 protein has never been crystallized for structural determination.

  12. Femtosecond X-ray diffraction from two-dimensional protein crystals.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

    X-ray diffraction patterns from two-dimensional (2-D) protein crystals obtained using femtosecond X-ray pulses from an X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) are presented. To date, it has not been possible to acquire transmission X-ray diffraction patterns from individual 2-D protein crystals due to radiation damage. However, the intense and ultrafast pulses generated by an XFEL permit a new method of collecting diffraction data before the sample is destroyed. Utilizing a diffract-before-destroy approach at the Linac Coherent Light Source, Bragg diffraction was acquired to better than 8.5 Å resolution for two different 2-D protein crystal samples each less than 10 nm thick and maintained at room temperature. These proof-of-principle results show promise for structural analysis of both soluble and membrane proteins arranged as 2-D crystals without requiring cryogenic conditions or the formation of three-dimensional crystals.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-28

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

  14. Kinetics of sucrose crystallization in whey protein films.

    PubMed

    Dangaran, Kirsten L; Krochta, John M

    2006-09-20

    The kinetics of sucrose crystallization in whey protein isolate (WPI) films was studied at 25 degrees C in four different relative humidity environments: 23, 33, 44, and 53%. The effects of protein matrix, crystallization inhibitors, and storage environment on the rate constants of sucrose crystallization were determined using the Avrami model of crystallization. It was found that a cross-linked, denatured whey protein (WP) matrix more effectively hindered sucrose crystallization than a protein matrix of native WP. The crystallization inhibitors tested were lactose, raffinose, modified starch (Purity 69), and polyvinylpyrrolidone (Plasdone C15). Raffinose and modified starch were determined to be the more effective inhibitors of sucrose crystallization. At lower relative humidities (23, 33, and 44%), the cross-linked protein matrix played a more important role in sucrose crystallization than the inhibitors. As relative humidity increased (53%), the crystallization inhibitors were more central to controlling sucrose crystallization in WPI films.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Large-scale proteomic analysis of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Ahram, Mamoun; Springer, David L

    2004-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cheng, Chi-Yuan; Han, Songi

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Chi-Yuan; Han, Songi

    2013-04-01

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

  19. The Biological Macromolecule Crystallization Database and NASA Protein Crystal Growth Archive.

    PubMed

    Gilliland, G L; Tung, M; Ladner, J

    1996-01-01

    The NIST/NASA/CARB Biological Macromolecule Crystallization Database (BMCD), NIST Standard Reference Database 21, contains crystal data and crystallization conditions for biological macromolecules. The database entries include data abstracted from published crystallographic reports. Each entry consists of information describing the biological macromolecule crystallized and crystal data and the crystallization conditions for each crystal form. The BMCD serves as the NASA Protein Crystal Growth Archive in that it contains protocols and results of crystallization experiments undertaken in microgravity (space). These database entries report the results, whether successful or not, from NASA-sponsored protein crystal growth experiments in microgravity and from microgravity crystallization studies sponsored by other international organizations. The BMCD was designed as a tool to assist x-ray crystallographers in the development of protocols to crystallize biological macromolecules, those that have previously been crystallized, and those that have not been crystallized.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Proteopolymersomes: in vitro production of a membrane protein in polymersome membranes.

    PubMed

    Nallani, Madhavan; Andreasson-Ochsner, Mirjam; Tan, Cherng-Wen Darren; Sinner, Eva-Kathrin; Wisantoso, Yudi; Geifman-Shochat, Susana; Hunziker, Walter

    2011-12-01

    Polymersomes are stable self-assembled architectures which mimic cell membranes. For characterization, membrane proteins can be incorporated into such bio-mimetic membranes by reconstitution methods, leading to so-called proteopolymersomes. In this work, we demonstrate the direct incorporation of a membrane protein into polymersome membranes by a cell-free expression system. Firstly, we demonstrate pore formation in the preformed polymersome membrane using α-hemolysin. Secondly, we use claudin-2, a protein involved in cell-cell interactions, to demonstrate the in vitro expression of a membrane protein into these polymersomes. Surface plasmon resonance (Biacore) binding studies with the claudin-2 proteopolymersomes and claudin-2 specific antibodies are performed to show the presence of the in vitro expressed protein in polymersome membranes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Biogenesis of inner membrane proteins in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Luirink, Joen; Yu, Zhong; Wagner, Samuel; de Gier, Jan-Willem

    2012-06-01

    The inner membrane proteome of the model organism Escherichia coli is composed of inner membrane proteins, lipoproteins and peripherally attached soluble proteins. Our knowledge of the biogenesis of inner membrane proteins is rapidly increasing. This is in particular true for the early steps of biogenesis - protein targeting to and insertion into the membrane. However, our knowledge of inner membrane protein folding and quality control is still fragmentary. Furthering our knowledge in these areas will bring us closer to understand the biogenesis of individual inner membrane proteins in the context of the biogenesis of the inner membrane proteome of Escherichia coli as a whole. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Biogenesis/Assembly of Respiratory Enzyme Complexes.

  6. 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

  7. Hydrophobic mismatch sorts SNARE proteins into distinct membrane domains

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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).

  11. Sensitivity Enhancement of Separated Local Field Experiments: Application to Membrane Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Gopinath, T.; Verardi, Raffaello; Traaseth, Nathaniel J.; Veglia, Gianluigi

    2010-01-01

    Separated local field (SLF) experiments have been used for almost three decades to obtain structural information in solid-state NMR. These experiments resolve chemical shift anisotropy (CSA) from dipole-dipole interactions (dipolar couplings, DC) in isolated spin systems. Both CSA and DC data can be converted into orientational constraints to elucidate the secondary structure and topology of membrane proteins in oriented lipid bilayers. Here, we propose a new suite of sensitivity enhanced SLF pulse sequences to measure CSA and DC for aligned membrane proteins and liquid crystalline molecules that will decrease the time needed for data acquisition. We demonstrate the efficacy of these new sensitivity enhanced experiments using both a single crystal of N-acetyl leucine and a single pass membrane protein sarcolipin reconstituted in aligned lipid bicelles. These results lay the groundwork for the routine application of these methods for studying the structure and topology of membrane proteins. PMID:20349983

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Pressure sensor based on flexible photonic crystal membrane.

    PubMed

    Karrock, Torben; Gerken, Martina

    2015-12-01

    We demonstrate a pressure sensor based on deformation of a periodically nanostructured Bragg grating waveguide on a flexible 50 µm polydimethylsiloxane membrane and remote optical read out. A pressure change causes deformation of this 2 mm diameter photonic crystal membrane sealing a reference volume. The resulting shift of the guided mode resonances is observed by a remote camera as localized color change. Crossed polarization filters are employed for enhancing the visibility of the guided mode resonances. Pressure values are calculated from the intensity change in the green color channel using a calibration curve in the range of 2000 Pa to 4000 Pa. A limit of detection (LOD) of 160 Pa is estimated. This LOD combined with the small size of the sensor and its biocompatibility render it promising for application as an implantable intraocular pressure sensor. PMID:26713204

  16. Pressure sensor based on flexible photonic crystal membrane.

    PubMed

    Karrock, Torben; Gerken, Martina

    2015-12-01

    We demonstrate a pressure sensor based on deformation of a periodically nanostructured Bragg grating waveguide on a flexible 50 µm polydimethylsiloxane membrane and remote optical read out. A pressure change causes deformation of this 2 mm diameter photonic crystal membrane sealing a reference volume. The resulting shift of the guided mode resonances is observed by a remote camera as localized color change. Crossed polarization filters are employed for enhancing the visibility of the guided mode resonances. Pressure values are calculated from the intensity change in the green color channel using a calibration curve in the range of 2000 Pa to 4000 Pa. A limit of detection (LOD) of 160 Pa is estimated. This LOD combined with the small size of the sensor and its biocompatibility render it promising for application as an implantable intraocular pressure sensor.

  17. Pressure sensor based on flexible photonic crystal membrane

    PubMed Central

    Karrock, Torben; Gerken, Martina

    2015-01-01

    We demonstrate a pressure sensor based on deformation of a periodically nanostructured Bragg grating waveguide on a flexible 50 µm polydimethylsiloxane membrane and remote optical read out. A pressure change causes deformation of this 2 mm diameter photonic crystal membrane sealing a reference volume. The resulting shift of the guided mode resonances is observed by a remote camera as localized color change. Crossed polarization filters are employed for enhancing the visibility of the guided mode resonances. Pressure values are calculated from the intensity change in the green color channel using a calibration curve in the range of 2000 Pa to 4000 Pa. A limit of detection (LOD) of 160 Pa is estimated. This LOD combined with the small size of the sensor and its biocompatibility render it promising for application as an implantable intraocular pressure sensor. PMID:26713204

  18. Optical monitoring of protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choudry, A.

    1988-01-01

    The possibility of using various optical techniques for detecting the onset of nucleation in protein crystal growth was investigated. Direct microscopy, general metrologic techniques, light scattering, ultraviolet absorption, and interferometry are addressed along with techniques for determining pH value. The necessity for collecting basic data on the optical properties of the growth solution as a prerequisite to the evaluation of monitoring techniques is pointed out.

  19. (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.

  20. 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.

  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. Lattice Dynamics of a Protein Crystal

    SciTech Connect

    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{sub V}) and thermal diffuse scattering are all consistent with available experimental data. C{sub V}{proportional_to}T{sup 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  5. 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

  6. When proteins are completely hydrated in crystals.

    PubMed

    Carugo, Oliviero

    2016-08-01

    In the crystalline state, protein surface patches that do not form crystal packing contacts are exposed to the solvent and one or more layers of hydration water molecules can be observed. It is well known that these water molecules cannot be observed at very low resolution, when the scarcity of experimental information precludes the observation of several parts of the protein molecule, like for example side-chains at the protein surface. On the contrary, more details are observable at high resolution. Here it is shown that it is necessary to reach a resolution of about 1.5-1.6Å to observe a continuous hydration layer at the protein surface. This contrasts previous estimations, which were more tolerant and according to which a resolution of 2.5Å was sufficient to describe at the atomic level the structure of the hydration layer. These results should prove useful in guiding a more rigorous selection of structural data to study protein hydration and in interpreting new crystal structures. PMID:27112977

  7. 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.

  8. Promoting protein crystallization using a plate with simple geometry.

    PubMed

    Chen, Rui-Qing; Yin, Da-Chuan; Liu, Yong-Ming; Lu, Qin-Qin; He, Jin; Liu, Yue

    2014-03-01

    Increasing the probability of obtaining protein crystals in crystallization screening is always an important goal for protein crystallography. In this paper, a new method called the cross-diffusion microbatch (CDM) method is presented, which aims to efficiently promote protein crystallization and increase the chance of obtaining protein crystals. In this method, a very simple crystallization plate was designed in which all crystallization droplets are in one sealed space, so that a variety of volatile components from one droplet can diffuse into any other droplet via vapour diffusion. Crystallization screening and reproducibility tests indicate that this method could be a potentially powerful technique in practical protein crystallization screening. It can help to obtain crystals with higher probability and at a lower cost, while using a simple and easy procedure.

  9. Systematically Ranking the Tightness of Membrane Association for Peripheral Membrane Proteins (PMPs)*

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Liyan; Ge, Haitao; Huang, Xiahe; Liu, Kehui; Zhang, Yuanya; Xu, Wu; Wang, Yingchun

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale quantitative evaluation of the tightness of membrane association for nontransmembrane proteins is important for identifying true peripheral membrane proteins with functional significance. Herein, we simultaneously ranked more than 1000 proteins of the photosynthetic model organism Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 for their relative tightness of membrane association using a proteomic approach. Using multiple precisely ranked and experimentally verified peripheral subunits of photosynthetic protein complexes as the landmarks, we found that proteins involved in two-component signal transduction systems and transporters are overall tightly associated with the membranes, whereas the associations of ribosomal proteins are much weaker. Moreover, we found that hypothetical proteins containing the same domains generally have similar tightness. This work provided a global view of the structural organization of the membrane proteome with respect to divergent functions, and built the foundation for future investigation of the dynamic membrane proteome reorganization in response to different environmental or internal stimuli. PMID:25505158

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

    PubMed Central

    Caffrey, Martin; Li, Dianfan; Dukkipati, Abhiram

    2012-01-01

    The crystal structure of the β2-adrenergic receptor in complex with an agonist and its cognate G protein has just recently been solved. It is now possible to explore in molecular detail the means by which this paradigmatic transmembrane receptor binds agonist, communicates the impulse or signalling event across the membrane and sets in motion a series of G protein-directed intracellular responses. The structure was determined using crystals of the ternary complex grown in a rationally designed lipidic mesophase by the so-called in meso method. The method is proving to be particularly useful in the G protein-coupled receptor field where the structures of thirteen distinct receptor types have been solved in the past five years. In addition to receptors, the method has proven useful with a wide variety of integral membrane protein classes that include bacterial and eukaryotic rhodopsins, a light harvesting complex II (LHII), photosynthetic reaction centers, cytochrome oxidases, β-barrels, an exchanger, and an integral membrane peptide. This attests to the versatility and range of the method and supports the view that the in meso method should be included in the arsenal of the serious membrane structural biologist. For this to happen however, the reluctance in adopting it attributable, in part, to the anticipated difficulties associated with handling the sticky, viscous cubic mesophase in which crystals grow must be overcome. Harvesting and collecting diffraction data with the mesophase-grown crystals is also viewed with some trepidation. It is acknowledged that there are challenges associated with the method. Over the years, we have endeavored to establish how the method works at a molecular level and to make it user-friendly. To these ends, tools for handling the mesophase in the pico- to nano-liter volume range have been developed for highly efficient crystallization screening in manual and robotic modes. Methods have been implemented for evaluating the functional

  11. 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

  12. Large-scale crystallization of proteins for purification and formulation.

    PubMed

    Hekmat, Dariusch

    2015-07-01

    Since about 170 years, salts were used to create supersaturated solutions and crystallize proteins. The dehydrating effect of salts as well as their kosmotropic or chaotropic character was revealed. Even the suitability of organic solvents for crystallization was already recognized. Interestingly, what was performed during the early times is still practiced today. A lot of effort was put into understanding the underlying physico-chemical interaction mechanisms leading to protein crystallization. However, it was understood that already the solvation of proteins is a highly complex process not to mention the intricate interrelation of electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions taking place. Although many basic questions are still unanswered, preparative protein crystallization was attempted as illustrated in the presented case studies. Due to the highly variable nature of crystallization, individual design of the crystallization process is needed in every single case. It was shown that preparative crystallization from impure protein solutions as a capture step is possible after applying adequate pre-treatment procedures like precipitation or extraction. Protein crystallization can replace one or more chromatography steps. It was further shown that crystallization can serve as an attractive alternative means for formulation of therapeutic proteins. Crystalline proteins can offer enhanced purity and enable highly concentrated doses of the active ingredient. Easy scalability of the proposed protein crystallization processes was shown using the maximum local energy dissipation as a suitable scale-up criterion. Molecular modeling and target-oriented protein engineering may allow protein crystallization to become part of a platform purification process in the near future.

  13. Do protein crystals nucleate within dense liquid clusters?

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Protein-dense liquid clusters are regions of high protein concentration that have been observed in solutions of several proteins. The typical cluster size varies from several tens to several hundreds of nanometres and their volume fraction remains below 10−3 of the solution. According to the two-step mechanism of nucleation, the protein-rich clusters serve as locations for and precursors to the nucleation of protein crystals. While the two-step mechanism explained several unusual features of protein crystal nucleation kinetics, a direct observation of its validity for protein crystals has been lacking. Here, two independent observations of crystal nucleation with the proteins lysozyme and glucose isomerase are discussed. Firstly, the evolutions of the protein-rich clusters and nucleating crystals were characterized simultaneously by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and confocal depolarized dynamic light scattering (cDDLS), respectively. It is demonstrated that protein crystals appear following a significant delay after cluster formation. The cDDLS correlation functions follow a Gaussian decay, indicative of nondiffusive motion. A possible explanation is that the crystals are contained inside large clusters and are driven by the elasticity of the cluster surface. Secondly, depolarized oblique illumination dark-field microscopy reveals the evolution from liquid clusters without crystals to newly nucleated crystals contained in the clusters to grown crystals freely diffusing in the solution. Collectively, the observations indicate that the protein-rich clusters in lysozyme and glucose isomerase solutions are locations for crystal nucleation. PMID:26144225

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. An approach to crystallizing proteins by synthetic symmetrization.

    PubMed

    Banatao, D Rey; Cascio, Duilio; Crowley, Christopher S; Fleissner, Mark R; Tienson, Heather L; Yeates, Todd O

    2006-10-31

    Previous studies of symmetry preferences in protein crystals suggest that symmetric proteins, such as homodimers, might crystallize more readily on average than asymmetric, monomeric proteins. Proteins that are naturally monomeric can be made homodimeric artificially by forming disulfide bonds between individual cysteine residues introduced by mutagenesis. Furthermore, by creating a variety of single-cysteine mutants, a series of distinct synthetic dimers can be generated for a given protein of interest, with each expected to gain advantage from its added symmetry and to exhibit a crystallization behavior distinct from the other constructs. This strategy was tested on phage T4 lysozyme, a protein whose crystallization as a monomer has been studied exhaustively. Experiments on three single-cysteine mutants, each prepared in dimeric form, yielded numerous novel crystal forms that cannot be realized by monomeric lysozyme. Six new crystal forms have been characterized. The results suggest that synthetic symmetrization may be a useful approach for enlarging the search space for crystallizing proteins.

  17. IR laser-induced protein crystal transformation.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    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.

  1. Synthesis and Properties of Dodecyl Trehaloside Detergents for Membrane Protein Studies

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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-carboned 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 analog, β- D-dodecylmaltoside (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. PMID:22780816

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. An Integrated Framework Advancing Membrane Protein Modeling and Design.

    PubMed

    Alford, Rebecca F; Koehler Leman, Julia; Weitzner, Brian D; Duran, Amanda M; Tilley, Drew C; Elazar, Assaf; Gray, Jeffrey J

    2015-09-01

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

  6. Growth of high-strength protein crystals with nanofibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    Here, we present a novel method of growing protein crystals with nanofibers. Protein crystals were grown by incorporating nanofibers. No obvious differences were observed in diffraction data between fiber-containing and as-grown crystals. The fiber-containing crystals displayed an increased tolerance to osmotic shock caused by soaking in 25% ethanol or 40% dimethyl sulfoxide. This means that the method allowed us to easily increase the crystal mechanical stability. Because the method is very simple, it will provide a variety of possibilities for protein crystallization.

  7. Membrane interacting regions of Dengue virus NS2A protein.

    PubMed

    Nemésio, Henrique; Villalaín, José

    2014-08-28

    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.

  8. A topological and conformational stability alphabet for multipass membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Feng, Xiang; Barth, Patrick

    2016-03-01

    Multipass membrane proteins perform critical signal transduction and transport across membranes. How transmembrane helix (TMH) sequences encode the topology and conformational flexibility regulating these functions remains poorly understood. Here we describe a comprehensive analysis of the sequence-structure relationships at multiple interacting TMHs from all membrane proteins with structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). We found that membrane proteins can be deconstructed in interacting TMH trimer units, which mostly fold into six distinct structural classes of topologies and conformations. Each class is enriched in recurrent sequence motifs from functionally unrelated proteins, revealing unforeseen consensus and evolutionary conserved networks of stabilizing interhelical contacts. Interacting TMHs' topology and local protein conformational flexibility were remarkably well predicted in a blinded fashion from the identified binding-hotspot motifs. Our results reveal universal sequence-structure principles governing the complex anatomy and plasticity of multipass membrane proteins that may guide de novo structure prediction, design, and studies of folding and dynamics. PMID:26780406

  9. Reshaping biological membranes in endocytosis: crossing the configurational space of membrane-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Simunovic, Mijo; Bassereau, Patricia

    2014-03-01

    Lipid membranes are highly dynamic. Over several decades, physicists and biologists have uncovered a number of ways they can change the shape of membranes or alter their phase behavior. In cells, the intricate action of membrane proteins drives these processes. Considering the highly complex ways proteins interact with biological membranes, molecular mechanisms of membrane remodeling still remain unclear. When studying membrane remodeling phenomena, researchers often observe different results, leading them to disparate conclusions on the physiological course of such processes. Here we discuss how combining research methodologies and various experimental conditions contributes to the understanding of the entire phase space of membrane-protein interactions. Using the example of clathrin-mediated endocytosis we try to distinguish the question 'how can proteins remodel the membrane?' from 'how do proteins remodel the membrane in the cell?' In particular, we consider how altering physical parameters may affect the way membrane is remodeled. Uncovering the full range of physical conditions under which membrane phenomena take place is key in understanding the way cells take advantage of membrane properties in carrying out their vital tasks.

  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. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystal Nucleation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Sumida, John

    2000-01-01

    One of the most powerful and versatile methods for studying molecules in solution is fluorescence. Crystallization typically takes place in a concentrated solution environment, whereas fluorescence typically has an upper concentration limit of approximately 1 x 10(exp -5)M, thus intrinsic fluorescence cannot be employed, but a fluorescent probe must be added to a sub population of the molecules. However the fluorescent species cannot interfere with the self-assembly process. This can be achieved with macromolecules, where fluorescent probes can be covalently attached to a sub population of molecules that are subsequently used to track the system as a whole. We are using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to study the initial solution phase self-assembly process of tetragonal lysozyme crystal nucleation, using covalent fluorescent derivatives which crystallize in the characteristic P432121 space group. FRET studies are being carried out between cascade blue (CB-lys, donor, Ex 376 nm, Em 420 nm) and lucifer yellow (LY-lys, acceptor, Ex 425 nm, Em 520 nm) asp101 derivatives. The estimated R0 for this probe pair, the distance where 50% of the donor energy is transferred to the acceptor, is approximately 1.2 nm, compared to 2.2 nm between the side chain carboxyls of adjacent asp101's in the crystalline 43 helix. The short CB-lys lifetime (approximately 5 ns), coupled with the large average distances between the molecules ((sup 3) 50 nm) in solution, ensure that any energy transfer observed is not due to random diffusive interactions. Addition of LY-lys to CB-lys results in the appearance of a second, shorter lifetime (approximately 0.2 ns). Results from these and other ongoing studies will be discussed in conjunction with a model for how tetragonal lysozyme crystals nucleate and grow, and the relevance of that model to microgravity protein crystal growth

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. A new subgroup of lectin-bound biliary proteins binds to cholesterol crystals, modifies crystal morphology, and inhibits cholesterol crystallization.

    PubMed Central

    Busch, N; Lammert, F; Marschall, H U; Matern, S

    1995-01-01

    Biliary proteins inhibiting or promoting cholesterol crystallization are assumed to play a major role in cholesterol gallstone pathogenesis. We now report a new group of biliary proteins that bind to cholesterol crystals, modify crystal morphology, and inhibit cholesterol crystallization. Various glycoprotein mixtures were extracted from abnormal human gallbladder bile using lectin affinity chromatography on concanavalin A, lentil, and Helix pomatia columns and were added to supersaturated model bile. Independent of the protein mixtures added, from the cholesterol crystals harvested, the same four GPs were isolated having molecular masses of 16, 28, 63, and 74 kD, respectively. Each protein was purified using preparative SDS-PAGE, and influence on cholesterol crystallization in model bile was tested at 10 microg/ml. Crystal growth was reduced by 76% (GP63), 65% (GP16), 55% (GP74), and 40% (GP28), respectively. Thus, these glycoproteins are the most potent biliary inhibitors of cholesterol crystallization known so far. Evidence that the inhibiting effect on cholesterol crystallization is mediated via protein-crystal interaction was further provided from scanning electron microscopy studies. Crystals grown in presence of inhibiting proteins showed significantly more ordered structures. Incidence of triclinic crystals and regular aggregates was shifted from 30 to 70% compared with controls. These observations may have important implications for understanding the role of biliary proteins in cholesterol crystallization and gallstone pathogenesis. Images PMID:8675674

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) started a high-quality protein crystal growth project, now called JAXA PCG, on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2002. Using the counter-diffusion technique, 14 sessions of experiments have been performed as of 2012 with 580 proteins crystallized in total. Over the course of these experiments, a user-friendly interface framework for high accessibility has been constructed and crystallization techniques improved; devices to maximize the use of the microgravity environment have been designed, resulting in some high-resolution crystal growth. If crystallization conditions were carefully fixed in ground-based experiments, high-quality protein crystals grew in microgravity in many experiments on the ISS, especially when a highly homogeneous protein sample and a viscous crystallization solution were employed. In this article, the current status of JAXA PCG is discussed, and a rational approach to high-quality protein crystal growth in microgravity based on numerical analyses is explained. PMID:24121350

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:25107533

  6. Visualizing active membrane protein complexes by electron cryotomography

    PubMed Central

    Gold, Vicki A.M.; Ieva, Raffaele; Walter, Andreas; Pfanner, Nikolaus; van der Laan, Martin; Kühlbrandt, Werner

    2014-01-01

    Unravelling the structural organization of membrane protein machines in their active state and native lipid environment is a major challenge in modern cell biology research. Here we develop the STAMP (Specifically TArgeted Membrane nanoParticle) technique as a strategy to localize protein complexes in situ by electron cryotomography (cryo-ET). STAMP selects active membrane protein complexes and marks them with quantum dots. Taking advantage of new electron detector technology that is currently revolutionizing cryotomography in terms of achievable resolution, this approach enables us to visualize the three-dimensional distribution and organization of protein import sites in mitochondria. We show that import sites cluster together in the vicinity of crista membranes, and we reveal unique details of the mitochondrial protein import machinery in action. STAMP can be used as a tool for site-specific labelling of a multitude of membrane proteins by cryo-ET in the future. PMID:24942077

  7. Expression strategies for structural studies of eukaryotic membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Lyons, Joseph A; Shahsavar, Azadeh; Paulsen, Peter Aasted; Pedersen, Bjørn Panyella; Nissen, Poul

    2016-06-01

    Integral membrane proteins in eukaryotes are central to various cellular processes and key targets in structural biology, biotechnology and drug development. However, the number of available structures for eukaryotic membrane protein belies their physiological importance. Recently, the number of available eukaryotic membrane protein structures has been steadily increasing due to the development of novel strategies in construct design, expression and structure determination. Here, we examine the major expression systems exploited for eukaryotic membrane proteins. Additionally we strive to tabulate and describe the recent expression strategies in eukaryotic membrane protein structural biology. We find that a majority of targets have been expressed in advanced host systems and modified from their wild-type form with distinct focus on conformation and thermostabilisation. However, strategies for native protein purification should also be considered where possible, particularly in light of the recent advances in single particle cryo electron microscopy.

  8. Expression strategies for structural studies of eukaryotic membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Lyons, Joseph A; Shahsavar, Azadeh; Paulsen, Peter Aasted; Pedersen, Bjørn Panyella; Nissen, Poul

    2016-06-01

    Integral membrane proteins in eukaryotes are central to various cellular processes and key targets in structural biology, biotechnology and drug development. However, the number of available structures for eukaryotic membrane protein belies their physiological importance. Recently, the number of available eukaryotic membrane protein structures has been steadily increasing due to the development of novel strategies in construct design, expression and structure determination. Here, we examine the major expression systems exploited for eukaryotic membrane proteins. Additionally we strive to tabulate and describe the recent expression strategies in eukaryotic membrane protein structural biology. We find that a majority of targets have been expressed in advanced host systems and modified from their wild-type form with distinct focus on conformation and thermostabilisation. However, strategies for native protein purification should also be considered where possible, particularly in light of the recent advances in single particle cryo electron microscopy. PMID:27362979

  9. Organization and Dynamics of Receptor Proteins in a Plasma Membrane.

    PubMed

    Koldsø, Heidi; Sansom, Mark S P

    2015-11-25

    The interactions of membrane proteins are influenced by their lipid environment, with key lipid species able to regulate membrane protein function. Advances in high-resolution microscopy can reveal the organization and dynamics of proteins and lipids within living cells at resolutions <200 nm. Parallel advances in molecular simulations provide near-atomic-resolution models of the dynamics of the organization of membranes of in vivo-like complexity. We explore the dynamics of proteins and lipids in crowded and complex plasma membrane models, thereby closing the gap in length and complexity between computations and experiments. Our simulations provide insights into the mutual interplay between lipids and proteins in determining mesoscale (20-100 nm) fluctuations of the bilayer, and in enabling oligomerization and clustering of membrane proteins.

  10. 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.

  11. The peripheral myelin protein 22 and epithelial membrane protein family.

    PubMed

    Jetten, A M; Suter, U

    2000-01-01

    The peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) and the epithelial membrane proteins (EMP-1, -2, and -3) comprise a subfamily of small hydrophobic membrane proteins. The putative four-transmembrane domain structure as well as the genomic structure are highly conserved among family members. PMP22 and EMPs are expressed in many tissues, and functions in cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis have been reported. EMP-1 is highly up-regulated during squamous differentiation and in certain tumors, and a role in tumorigenesis has been proposed. PMP22 is most highly expressed in peripheral nerves, where it is localized in the compact portion of myelin. It plays a crucial role in normal physiological and pathological processes in the peripheral nervous system. Progress in molecular genetics has revealed that genetic alterations in the PMP22 gene, including duplications, deletions, and point mutations, are responsible for several forms of hereditary peripheral neuropathies, including Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A (CMT1A), Dejerine-Sottas syndrome (DDS), and hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies (HNPP). The natural mouse mutants Trembler and Trembler-J contain a missense mutation in different hydrophobic domains of PMP22, resulting in demyelination and Schwann cell proliferation. Transgenic mice carrying many copies of the PMP22 gene and PMP22-null mice display a variety of defects in the initial steps of myelination and/or maintenance of myelination, whereas no pathological alterations are detected in other tissues normally expressing PMP22. Further characterization of the interactions of PMP22 and EMPs with other proteins as well as their regulation will provide additional insight into their normal physiological function and their roles in disease and possibly will result in the development of therapeutic tools. PMID:10697408

  12. Dip-pen nanolithography-assisted protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Ielasi, Francesco S; Hirtz, Michael; Sekula-Neuner, Sylwia; Laue, Thomas; Fuchs, Harald; Willaert, Ronnie G

    2015-01-14

    We demonstrate the use of dip-pen nanolithography (DPN) to crystallize proteins on surface-localized functionalized lipid layer arrays. DOPC lipid layers, containing small amounts of biotin-DOPE lipid molecules, were printed on glass substrates and evaluated in vapor diffusion and batch crystallization screening setups, where streptavidin was used as a model protein for crystallization. Independently of the crystallization system used and the geometry of the lipid layers, nucleation of streptavidin crystals occurred specifically on the DPN-printed biotinylated structures. Protein crystallization on lipid array patches is also demonstrated in a microfluidic chip, which opens the way toward high-throughput screening to find suitable nucleation and crystal growth conditions. The results demonstrate the use of DPN in directing and inducing protein crystallization on specific surface locations.

  13. Analysis of crystallization data in the Protein Data Bank

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The Protein Data Bank (PDB) is the largest available repository of solved protein structures and contains a wealth of information on successful crystallization. Many centres have used their own experimental data to draw conclusions about proteins and the conditions in which they crystallize. Here, data from the PDB were used to reanalyse some of these results. The most successful crystallization reagents were identified, the link between solution pH and the isoelectric point of the protein was investigated and the possibility of predicting whether a protein will crystallize was explored. PMID:26457511

  14. Analysis of crystallization data in the Protein Data Bank.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  15. Analysis of crystallization data in the Protein Data Bank.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    The Protein Data Bank (PDB) is the largest available repository of solved protein structures and contains a wealth of information on successful crystallization. Many centres have used their own experimental data to draw conclusions about proteins and the conditions in which they crystallize. Here, data from the PDB were used to reanalyse some of these results. The most successful crystallization reagents were identified, the link between solution pH and the isoelectric point of the protein was investigated and the possibility of predicting whether a protein will crystallize was explored. PMID:26457511

  16. Protein crystallization: from HTS to kilogram-scale.

    PubMed

    Klyushnichenko, Vadim

    2003-11-01

    The first experiments on protein crystallization started randomly during the 19th century. This technique has been widely used for the determination of the tertiary structure of proteins since the 1950s, when an understanding of the physics of protein crystallization began to emerge. In the 1980s and 1990s, research focused on the study of protein crystal growth processes in microgravity environments, which were created in space shuttle experiments. High-throughput screening (HTS) systems were developed that later found broader laboratory applications. The combination of HTS with an engineering approach opens new opportunities for the protein crystallization process to become a robust, scalable, reproducible and economically viable industrial unit operation.

  17. 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.

  18. Membrane Protein Mobility and Orientation Preserved in Supported Bilayers Created Directly from Cell Plasma Membrane Blebs.

    PubMed

    Richards, Mark J; Hsia, Chih-Yun; Singh, Rohit R; Haider, Huma; Kumpf, Julia; Kawate, Toshimitsu; Daniel, Susan

    2016-03-29

    Membrane protein interactions with lipids are crucial for their native biological behavior, yet traditional characterization methods are often carried out on purified protein in the absence of lipids. We present a simple method to transfer membrane proteins expressed in mammalian cells to an assay-friendly, cushioned, supported lipid bilayer platform using cell blebs as an intermediate. Cell blebs, expressing either GPI-linked yellow fluorescent proteins or neon-green fused transmembrane P2X2 receptors, were induced to rupture on glass surfaces using PEGylated lipid vesicles, which resulted in planar supported membranes with over 50% mobility for multipass transmembrane proteins and over 90% for GPI-linked proteins. Fluorescent proteins were tracked, and their diffusion in supported bilayers characterized, using single molecule tracking and moment scaling spectrum (MSS) analysis. Diffusion was characterized for individual proteins as either free or confined, revealing details of the local lipid membrane heterogeneity surrounding the protein. A particularly useful result of our bilayer formation process is the protein orientation in the supported planar bilayer. For both the GPI-linked and transmembrane proteins used here, an enzymatic assay revealed that protein orientation in the planar bilayer results in the extracellular domains facing toward the bulk, and that the dominant mode of bleb rupture is via the "parachute" mechanism. Mobility, orientation, and preservation of the native lipid environment of the proteins using cell blebs offers advantages over proteoliposome reconstitution or disrupted cell membrane preparations, which necessarily result in significant scrambling of protein orientation and typically immobilized membrane proteins in SLBs. The bleb-based bilayer platform presented here is an important step toward integrating membrane proteomic studies on chip, especially for future studies aimed at understanding fundamental effects of lipid interactions

  19. Membrane Protein Mobility and Orientation Preserved in Supported Bilayers Created Directly from Cell Plasma Membrane Blebs.

    PubMed

    Richards, Mark J; Hsia, Chih-Yun; Singh, Rohit R; Haider, Huma; Kumpf, Julia; Kawate, Toshimitsu; Daniel, Susan

    2016-03-29

    Membrane protein interactions with lipids are crucial for their native biological behavior, yet traditional characterization methods are often carried out on purified protein in the absence of lipids. We present a simple method to transfer membrane proteins expressed in mammalian cells to an assay-friendly, cushioned, supported lipid bilayer platform using cell blebs as an intermediate. Cell blebs, expressing either GPI-linked yellow fluorescent proteins or neon-green fused transmembrane P2X2 receptors, were induced to rupture on glass surfaces using PEGylated lipid vesicles, which resulted in planar supported membranes with over 50% mobility for multipass transmembrane proteins and over 90% for GPI-linked proteins. Fluorescent proteins were tracked, and their diffusion in supported bilayers characterized, using single molecule tracking and moment scaling spectrum (MSS) analysis. Diffusion was characterized for individual proteins as either free or confined, revealing details of the local lipid membrane heterogeneity surrounding the protein. A particularly useful result of our bilayer formation process is the protein orientation in the supported planar bilayer. For both the GPI-linked and transmembrane proteins used here, an enzymatic assay revealed that protein orientation in the planar bilayer results in the extracellular domains facing toward the bulk, and that the dominant mode of bleb rupture is via the "parachute" mechanism. Mobility, orientation, and preservation of the native lipid environment of the proteins using cell blebs offers advantages over proteoliposome reconstitution or disrupted cell membrane preparations, which necessarily result in significant scrambling of protein orientation and typically immobilized membrane proteins in SLBs. The bleb-based bilayer platform presented here is an important step toward integrating membrane proteomic studies on chip, especially for future studies aimed at understanding fundamental effects of lipid interactions

  20. Double-membraned Liposomes Sculpted by Poliovirus 3AB Protein*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jing; Ptacek, Jennifer B.; Kirkegaard, Karla; Bullitt, Esther

    2013-01-01

    Infection with many positive-strand RNA viruses dramatically remodels cellular membranes, resulting in the accumulation of double-membraned vesicles that resemble cellular autophagosomes. In this study, a single protein encoded by poliovirus, 3AB, is shown to be sufficient to induce the formation of double-membraned liposomes via the invagination of single-membraned liposomes. Poliovirus 3AB is a 109-amino acid protein with a natively unstructured N-terminal domain. HeLa cells transd