Solution NMR study of integral membrane proteins.
ABSTRACT Signals between a cell and its environment are often transmitted through membrane proteins; therefore, many membrane proteins, including G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and ion channels, are important drug targets. Structural information about membrane proteins remains limited owing to challenges in protein expression, purification and the selection of membrane-mimicking systems that will retain protein structure and function. This review describes recent advances in solution NMR applied to the structural study of integral membrane proteins. The examples herein demonstrate that solution NMR spectroscopy will play a unique role not only in structural analysis, but also drug discovery of membrane proteins.
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ABSTRACT: CLC transporters catalyze the exchange of Cl(-) for H(+) across cellular membranes. To do so, they must couple Cl(-) and H(+) binding and unbinding to protein conformational change. However, the sole conformational changes distinguished crystallographically are small movements of a glutamate side chain that locally gates the ion-transport pathways. Therefore, our understanding of whether and how global protein dynamics contribute to the exchange mechanism has been severely limited. To overcome the limitations of crystallography, we used solution-state (13)C-methyl NMR with labels on methionine, lysine, and engineered cysteine residues to investigate substrate (H(+)) dependent conformational change outside the restraints of crystallization. We show that methyl labels in several regions report H(+)-dependent spectral changes. We identify one of these regions as Helix R, a helix that extends from the center of the protein, where it forms the part of the inner gate to the Cl(-)-permeation pathway, to the extracellular solution. The H(+)-dependent spectral change does not occur when a label is positioned just beyond Helix R, on the unstructured C-terminus of the protein. Together, the results suggest that H(+) binding is mechanistically coupled to closing of the intracellular access-pathway for Cl(-).Journal of Biomolecular NMR 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10858-015-9898-7 · 3.31 Impact Factor