Chiu-Hao Chen

University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States

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Publications (8)34.42 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The electric potential difference across cell membranes, known as the membrane potential, plays an important role in the activation of many biological processes. To investigate the effect of the membrane potential on the molecular ordering of lipids within a biomimetic membrane, a self-assembled monolayer of 1-stearoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (SOPC) lipids at an electrified 1,2 dichloroethane/water interface is studied with X-ray reflectivity and interfacial tension. Measurements over a range of electric potential differences, -150 mV to +130 mV, that encompass the range of typical bio-membrane potentials demonstrate a nearly constant and stable structure whose lipid interfacial density is comparable to that found in other biomimetic membrane systems. Measurements at higher positive potentials, up to 330 mV, illustrate a monotonic decrease in the lipid interfacial density and accompanying variations in the interfacial configuration of the lipid. Molecular dynamics simulations, designed to mimic the experimental conditions, show that the measured changes in lipid configuration are due primarily to the variation in area per lipid with increasing applied electric field. Rotation of the SOPC dipole moment by the torque from the applied electric field appears to be negligible, except at the highest measured potentials. The simulations confirm in atomistic detail the measured potential-dependent characteristics of SOPC monolayers. Our hybrid study sheds light on phospholipid monolayer stability under different membrane potentials, which is important for understanding membrane processes. This study also illustrates the use of X-ray surface scattering to probe the ordering of surfactant monolayers at an electrified aqueous-organic liquid-liquid interface.
    The journal of physical chemistry. B. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Recognition of phosphatidylserine (PS) lipids exposed on the extracellular leaflet of plasma membranes is implicated in both apoptotic cell removal and immune regulation. The PS receptor T cell immunoglobulin and mucin-domain-containing molecule 4 (Tim4) regulates T-cell immunity via phagocytosis of both apoptotic (high PS exposure) and nonapoptotic (intermediate PS exposure) activated T cells. The latter population must be removed at lower efficiency to sensitively control immune tolerance and memory cell population size, but the molecular basis for how Tim4 achieves this sensitivity is unknown. Using a combination of interfacial X-ray scattering, molecular dynamics simulations, and membrane binding assays, we demonstrate how Tim4 recognizes PS in the context of a lipid bilayer. Our data reveal that in addition to the known Ca(2+)-coordinated, single-PS binding pocket, Tim4 has four weaker sites of potential ionic interactions with PS lipids. This organization makes Tim4 sensitive to PS surface concentration in a manner capable of supporting differential recognition on the basis of PS exposure level. The structurally homologous, but functionally distinct, Tim1 and Tim3 are significantly less sensitive to PS surface density, likely reflecting the differences in immunological function between the Tim proteins. These results establish the potential for lipid membrane parameters, such as PS surface density, to play a critical role in facilitating selective recognition of PS-exposing cells. Furthermore, our multidisciplinary approach overcomes the difficulties associated with characterizing dynamic protein/membrane systems to reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying Tim4's recognition properties, and thereby provides an approach capable of providing atomic-level detail to uncover the nuances of protein/membrane interactions.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 01/2013; 104(2):363-. · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 01/2012; 102(3):495-. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this presentation we review our recent work using x-ray reflectivity to determine the configuration of membrane-bound proteins. The reflectivity data is analyzed in terms of the known crystallographic structure of proteins and a slab model representing the lipid layer to yield an electron density profile of the lipid/protein system. Our recent modified analysis methodology for the lipid/protein system is concisely described in this report. In addition, some results of the configuration of the membrane-bound proteins cPLA2α-C2, p40phox-PX, and PKCα-C2 are highlighted.
    Journal of Applied Physics 11/2011; 110(10). · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: X-ray reflectivity measurements are used to determine the configuration of the C2 domain of protein kinase Calpha (PKCalpha-C2) bound to a lipid monolayer of a 7:3 mixture of 1-stearoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine and 1-stearoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoserine supported on a buffered aqueous solution. The reflectivity is analyzed in terms of the known crystallographic structure of PKCalpha-C2 and a slab model representation of the lipid layer. The configuration of lipid-bound PKCalpha-C2 is described by two angles that define its orientation, theta = 35 degrees +/- 10 degrees and phi =210 degrees +/- 30 degrees, and a penetration depth (=7.5 +/- 2 A) into the lipid layer. In this structure, the beta-sheets of PKCalpha-C2 are nearly perpendicular to the lipid layer and the domain penetrates into the headgroup region of the lipid layer, but not into the tailgroup region. This configuration of PKCalpha-C2 determined by our x-ray reflectivity is consistent with many previous findings, particularly mutational studies, and also provides what we believe is new molecular insight into the mechanism of PKCalpha enzyme activation. Our analysis method, which allows us to test all possible protein orientations, shows that our data cannot be explained by a protein that is orientated parallel to the membrane, as suggested by earlier work.
    Biophysical Journal 11/2009; 97(10):2794-802. · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 01/2009; 96(3). · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The results of x-ray reflectivity studies of two oil/water (liquid/liquid) interfaces are inconsistent with recent predictions of the presence of a vaporlike depletion region at hydrophobic/aqueous interfaces. One of the oils, perfluorohexane, is a fluorocarbon whose superhydrophobic interface with water provides a stringent test for the presence of a depletion layer. The other oil, heptane, is a hydrocarbon and, therefore, is more relevant to the study of biomolecular hydrophobicity. These results are consistent with the subangstrom proximity of water to soft hydrophobic materials.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2008; 101(7):076102. · 7.73 Impact Factor