Topological rules for membrane protein assembly in eukaryotic cells.
ABSTRACT Insertion into the endoplasmic reticulum membrane of model proteins with one, two, and four transmembrane segments and different distributions of positively charged residues in the N-terminal tail and the polar loops has been studied both in vitro and in vivo. Membrane insertion of these same constructs has previously been analyzed in Escherichia coli, thus making possible a detailed comparison between the topological rules for membrane protein assembly in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. In general, we find that positively charged residues have similar effects on the membrane topology in both systems when they are placed in the N-terminal tail but that the effects of charged residues in internal loops clearly differ. Our results rule out a sequential start-stop transfer model where successive hydrophobic segments insert with alternating orientations starting from the most N-terminal one as the only mechanism for membrane protein insertion in eukaryotic cells.
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The chloride intracellular channel protein 1 (CLIC1) is unique among eukaryotic ion channels in that it can exist as either a soluble monomer or an integral membrane channel. CLIC1 contains no known membrane-targeting signal sequences and the environmental factors which promote membrane binding of the transmembrane domain (TMD) are poorly understood. Here we report a positively charged motif at the C-terminus of the TMD and show that it enhances membrane partitioning and insertion. A 30-mer TMD peptide was synthesized in which the positively charged motif was replaced by three glutamate residues. The peptide was examined in 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol (TFE), sodium dodecyl sulfate micelles and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine liposomes using size-exclusion chromatography, far-UV CD, and fluorescence spectroscopy. The motif appears to enhance membrane interaction via electrostatic contacts and functions as an electrostatic plug to anchor the TMD in membranes. In addition, the motif is also involved in orientating the TMD with respect to the cis and trans faces of the membrane. These findings shed light on the intrinsic and environmental factors that promote the spontaneous conversion of CLIC1 from a water-soluble to a membrane-bound protein.European Biophysics Journal 06/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00249-014-0972-y · 2.47 Impact Factor