Article

Crystallizing Transmembrane Peptides in Lipidic Mesophases

Membrane Structural and Functional Biology Group, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, and School of Medicine, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
Biophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 3.83). 08/2010; 99(3):L23-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2010.05.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Structure determination of membrane proteins by crystallographic means has been facilitated by crystallization in lipidic mesophases. It has been suggested, however, that this so-called in meso method, as originally implemented, would not apply to small protein targets having </=4 transmembrane crossings. In our study, the hypothesis that the inherent flexibility of the mesophase would enable crystallogenesis of small proteins was tested using a transmembrane pentadecapeptide, linear gramicidin, which produced structure-grade crystals. This result suggests that the in meso method should be considered as a viable means for high-resolution structure determination of integral membrane peptides, many of which are predicted to be coded for in the human genome.

1 Follower
 · 
104 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: 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 structures that have been obtained using in meso-grown crystals are given. Recommendations for conducting the screening process to give a more productive outcome are summarized. The fact that the in meso method also works with soluble proteins should not be overlooked. Recent applications of the method for in situ serial crystallography at X-ray free-electron lasers and synchrotrons are described. The review ends with a view to the future and to the bright prospects for the method, which continues to contribute to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of some of nature's most valued proteinaceous robots.
    Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 01/2015; 71(Pt 1):3-18. DOI:10.1107/S2053230X14026843 · 0.57 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The 93-residue transmembrane protein CrgA in Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a central component of the divisome, a large macromolecular machine responsible for cell division. Through interactions with multiple other components including FtsZ, FtsQ, FtsI (PBPB), PBPA, and CwsA, CrgA facilitates the recruitment of the proteins essential for peptidoglycan synthesis to the divisome and stabilizes the divisome. CrgA is predicted to have two transmembrane helices. Here, the structure of CrgA was determined in a liquid-crystalline lipid bilayer environment by solid-state NMR spectroscopy. Oriented-sample data yielded orientational restraints, whereas magic-angle spinning data yielded interhelical distance restraints. These data define a complete structure for the transmembrane domain and provide rich information on the conformational ensembles of the partially disordered N-terminal region and interhelical loop. The structure of the transmembrane domain was refined using restrained molecular dynamics simulations in an all-atom representation of the same lipid bilayer environment as in the NMR samples. The two transmembrane helices form a left-handed packing arrangement with a crossing angle of 24° at the conserved Gly39 residue. This helix pair exposes other conserved glycine and alanine residues to the fatty acyl environment, which are potential sites for binding CrgA's partners such as CwsA and FtsQ. This approach combining oriented-sample and magic-angle spinning NMR spectroscopy in native-like lipid bilayers with restrained molecular dynamics simulations represents a powerful tool for structural characterization of not only isolated membrane proteins, but their complexes, such as those that form macromolecular machines.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2014; 112(2). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1415908112 · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In vitro studies of membrane proteins are of interest only if their structure and function are significantly preserved. One approach is to insert them into the lipid bilayers of highly viscous cubic phases rendering the insertion and manipulation of proteins difficult. Less viscous lipid sponge phases are sometimes used, but their relatively narrow domain of existence can be easily disrupted by protein insertion. We present here a sponge phase consisting of nonionic surfactant bilayers. Its extended domain of existence and its low viscosity allow easy insertion and manipulation of membrane proteins. We show for the first time, to our knowledge, that transmembrane proteins, such as bacteriorhodopsin, sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ATPase (SERCA1a), and its associated enzymes, are fully active in a surfactant phase.
    Biophysical Journal 09/2014; 107(5):1129–1135. DOI:10.1016/j.bpj.2014.07.016 · 3.83 Impact Factor

Preview

Download
1 Download
Available from