Transmembrane Peptides Influence the Affinity of Sterols for Phospholipid Bilayers

Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacy, Abo Akademi University, Turku, Finland.
Biophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 3.97). 07/2010; 99(2):526-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2010.04.052
Source: PubMed


Cholesterol is distributed unevenly between different cellular membrane compartments, and the cholesterol content increases from the inner bilayers toward the plasma membrane. It has been suggested that this cholesterol gradient is important in the sorting of transmembrane proteins. Cholesterol has also been to shown play an important role in lateral organization of eukaryotic cell membranes. In this study the aim was to determine how transmembrane proteins influence the lateral distribution of cholesterol in phospholipid bilayers. Insight into this can be obtained by studying how cholesterol interacts with bilayer membranes of different composition in the presence of designed peptides that mimic the transmembrane helices of proteins. For this purpose we developed an assay in which the partitioning of the fluorescent cholesterol analog CTL between LUVs and mbetaCD can be measured. Comparison of how cholesterol and CTL partitioning between mbetaCD and phospholipid bilayers with different composition suggests that CTL sensed changes in bilayer composition similarly as cholesterol. Therefore, the results obtained with CTL can be used to understand cholesterol distribution in lipid bilayers. The effect of WALP23 on CTL partitioning between DMPC bilayers and mbetaCD was measured. From the results it was clear that WALP23 increased both the order in the bilayers (as seen from CTL and DPH anisotropy) and the affinity of the sterol for the bilayer in a concentration dependent way. Although WALP23 also increased the order in DLPC and POPC bilayers the effects on CTL partitioning was much smaller with these lipids. This indicates that proteins have the largest effect on sterol interactions with phospholipids that have longer and saturated acyl chains. KALP23 did not significantly affect the acyl chain order in the phospholipid bilayers, and inclusion of KALP23 into DMPC bilayers slightly decreased CTL partitioning into the bilayer. This shows that transmembrane proteins can both decrease and increase the affinity of sterols for the lipid bilayers surrounding proteins. This is likely to affect the sterol distribution within the bilayer and thereby the lateral organization in biomembranes.

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Available from: Thomas K M Nyholm,
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    • "2.2. CTL partitioning between bilayers and methyl-β-cyclodextrin CTL partitioning between large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) and methyl-β-cyclodextrin was measured as described previously [15] [19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Lipid self-organization is believed to be essential for shaping the lateral structure of membranes, but it is becoming increasingly clear that also membrane proteins can be involved in the maintenance of membrane architecture. Cholesterol is thought to be important for the lateral organization of eukaryotic cell membranes and has also been implicated to take part in the sorting of cellular transmembrane proteins. Hence, it is a good starting point for studying the influence of lipid-protein interactions on membrane trafficking is to find out how transmembrane proteins influence the lateral sorting of cholesterol in phospholipid bilayers. By measuring equilibrium partitioning of the fluorescent cholesterol analog cholestatrienol between large unilamellar vesicles and methyl-β-cyclodextrin the effect of hydrophobic matching on the affinity of sterols for phospholipid bilayers was determined. Sterol partitioning was measured in DLPC, DMPC and DPPC bilayers with and without WALP19, WALP23 or WALP27 peptides. The results showed that the affinity of the sterol for the bilayers was affected by hydrophobic matching. An increasing positive hydrophobic mismatch led to stronger sterol binding to the bilayers (except in extreme situations), and a large negative hydrophobic mismatch decreased the affinity of the sterol for the bilayer. In addition, peptide insertion into the phospholipid bilayers was observed to depend on hydrophobic matching. In conclusion, the results showed that hydrophobic matching can affect lipid-protein interactions in a way that may facilitate the formation of lateral domains in cell membranes. This could be of importance in membrane trafficking.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 12/2012; 1828(3). DOI:10.1016/j.bbamem.2012.11.034 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    • "The aligned phase is typically formed at low temperatures and even at high lipid concentrations. Nyström et al. (2010) found that the lateral distribution of cholesterol in DMPC membrane is affected by transmembrane proteins. The latter can either decrease or increase the affinity of sterols for the lipid bilayers surrounding proteins. "
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    ABSTRACT: We have studied equilibrium morphologies of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine lipid solution and cholesterol solution confined to nanotubes using dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations. Phase diagrams regarding monomer concentration c versus radius of nanotube r for both solutions are attained. Three types of the inner surface of nanotubes, namely hydrophobic, hydrophilic, and hydroneutral are considered in the DPD simulations. A number of phases and molecular assemblies for the confined solutions are revealed, among others, such as the spiral wetting and bilayer helix. Several phases and assemblies have not been reported in the literature, and some are non-existence in bulk solutions. The ability to control the morphologies and self-assemblies within nanoscale confinement can be exploited for patterning interior surface of nanochannels for application in nanofluidics and nanomedical devices.
    Microfluidics and Nanofluidics 06/2012; 14(6). DOI:10.1007/s10404-012-1107-3 · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    • "Cholesterol was used as the bulk sterol, and cholesta-5,7,9-trien-3 beta-ol (at 1 mol%; CTL) was our cholesterol mimic, whose lateral distribution and bilayer partitioning was directly measured. We and others have previously shown that CTL is the best fluorescent cholesterol mimic available [17,35–37], and although CTL is slightly more polar than cholesterol, its relative membrane partitioning into different phospholipid bilayer is very similar to that observed for e.g., radiolabeled cholesterol [36] [37] [38]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sphingomyelin (SM) is a major phospholipid in most cell membranes. SMs are composed of a long-chain base (often sphingosine, 18:1(Δ4t)), and N-linked acyl chains (often 16:0, 18:0 or 24:1(Δ15c)). Cholesterol interacts with SM in cell membranes, but the acyl chain preference of this interaction is not fully elucidated. In this study we have examined the effects of hydrophobic mismatch and interdigitation on cholesterol/sphingomyelin interaction in complex bilayer membranes. We measured the capacity of cholestatrienol (CTL) and cholesterol to form sterol-enriched ordered domains with saturated SM species having different chain lengths (14 to 24 carbons) in ternary bilayer membranes. We also determined the equilibrium bilayer partitioning coefficient of CTL with 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) membranes containing 20mol% of saturated SM analogs. Ours results show that while CTL and cholesterol formed sterol-enriched domains with both short and long-chain SM species, the sterols preferred interaction with 16:0-SM over any other saturated chain length SM analog. When CTL membrane partitioning was determined with fluid POPC bilayers containing 20mol% of a saturated chain length SM analog, the highest affinity was seen with 16:0-SM (both at 23 and 37°C). These results indicate that hydrophobic mismatch and/or interdigitation attenuate sterol/SM association and thus affect lateral distribution of sterols in the bilayer membrane.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 07/2011; 1808(7):1940-5. DOI:10.1016/j.bbamem.2011.04.004 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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