Julian G Molotkovsky

Russian Academy of Sciences, Moskva, Moscow, Russia

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Publications (51)185.15 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between anthrylvinyl-labeled phosphatidylcholine (AV-PC) as a donor and newly synthesized benzanthrones (referred to here as A8, A6, AM12, AM15 and AM18) as acceptors has been examined to gain insight into molecular level details of the interactions between benzanthrone dyes and model lipid membranes composed of zwitterionic lipid phosphatidylcholine and its mixtures with anionic lipids cardiolipin (CL) and phosphatidylglycerol (PG). FRET data were quantitatively analyzed in terms of the model of energy transfer in two-dimensional systems taking into account the distance dependence of orientation factor. Evidence for A8 location in phospholipid headgroup region has been obtained. Inclusion of CL and PG into PC bilayer has been found to induce substantial relocation of A6, AM12, AM15 and AM18 from hydrophobic membrane core to lipid-water interface.
    Journal of Fluorescence 03/2014; · 1.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phosphatidycholines (PC) with two saturated acyl chains (e.g. dipalmitoyl) mimic natural sphingomyelin (SM) by promoting raft formation in model membranes. However, sphingoid-based lipids, such as SM, rather than saturated-chain PCs have been implicated as key components of lipid rafts in biomembranes. These observations raise questions about the physical packing properties of the phase states that can be formed by these two major plasma membrane lipids with identical phosphocholine headgroups. To investigate, we developed a monolayer platform capable of monitoring changes in surface fluorescence by acquiring multiple spectra during measurement of a lipid force-area isotherm. We relied on the concentration-dependent emission changes of 4,4 difluoro-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indacene (BODIPY)-labeled PC to detect nano scale alterations in lipid packing and phase state induced by monolayer lateral compression. The BODIPY-PC probe contained an indacene ring with four symmetrically-located methyl (Me) substituents to enhance localization to the lipid hydrocarbon region. Surface fluorescence spectra indicated changes in miscibility even when force-area isotherms showed no deviation from ideal mixing behavior in the surface pressure versus cross-sectional molecular area response. We detected slightly better mixing of Me4-BODIPY-8-PC with the fluid-like, liquid expanded phase of 1 palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-PC compared to N-oleoyl-SM. Remarkably, in the gel-like, liquid condensed phase, Me4-BODIPY-8-PC mixed better with N-palmitoyl-SM than dipalmitoyl-PC, suggesting naturally-abundant SMs with saturated acyl chains form gel-like lipid phase(s) with enhanced ability to accommodate deeply embedded components compared to dipalmitoyl-PC gel phase. The findings reveal a fundamental difference in the lateral packing properties of SM and PC that occurs even when their acyl chains match.
    Langmuir 02/2014; · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The accelerated cell death 11 (acd11) mutant of Arabidopsis provides a genetic model for studying immune response activation and localized cellular suicide that halt pathogen spread during infection in plants. Here, we elucidate ACD11 structure and function and show that acd11 disruption dramatically alters the in vivo balance of sphingolipid mediators that regulate eukaryotic-programmed cell death. In acd11 mutants, normally low ceramide-1-phosphate (C1P) levels become elevated, but the relatively abundant cell death inducer phytoceramide rises acutely. ACD11 exhibits selective intermembrane transfer of C1P and phyto-C1P. Crystal structures establish C1P binding via a surface-localized, phosphate headgroup recognition center connected to an interior hydrophobic pocket that adaptively ensheaths lipid chains via a cleft-like gating mechanism. Point mutation mapping confirms functional involvement of binding site residues. A π helix (π bulge) near the lipid binding cleft distinguishes apo-ACD11 from other GLTP folds. The global two-layer, α-helically dominated, "sandwich" topology displaying C1P-selective binding identifies ACD11 as the plant prototype of a GLTP fold subfamily.
    Cell Reports 01/2014; · 7.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phosphorylated sphingolipids ceramide-1-phosphate (C1P) and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) have emerged as key regulators of cell growth, survival, migration and inflammation. C1P produced by ceramide kinase is an activator of group IVA cytosolic phospholipase A2α (cPLA2α), the rate-limiting releaser of arachidonic acid used for pro-inflammatory eicosanoid production, which contributes to disease pathogenesis in asthma or airway hyper-responsiveness, cancer, atherosclerosis and thrombosis. To modulate eicosanoid action and avoid the damaging effects of chronic inflammation, cells require efficient targeting, trafficking and presentation of C1P to specific cellular sites. Vesicular trafficking is likely but non-vesicular mechanisms for C1P sensing, transfer and presentation remain unexplored. Moreover, the molecular basis for selective recognition and binding among signalling lipids with phosphate headgroups, namely C1P, phosphatidic acid or their lyso-derivatives, remains unclear. Here, a ubiquitously expressed lipid transfer protein, human GLTPD1, named here CPTP, is shown to specifically transfer C1P between membranes. Crystal structures establish C1P binding through a novel surface-localized, phosphate headgroup recognition centre connected to an interior hydrophobic pocket that adaptively expands to ensheath differing-length lipid chains using a cleft-like gating mechanism. The two-layer, α-helically-dominated 'sandwich' topology identifies CPTP as the prototype for a new glycolipid transfer protein fold subfamily. CPTP resides in the cell cytosol but associates with the trans-Golgi network, nucleus and plasma membrane. RNA interference-induced CPTP depletion elevates C1P steady-state levels and alters Golgi cisternae stack morphology. The resulting C1P decrease in plasma membranes and increase in the Golgi complex stimulates cPLA2α release of arachidonic acid, triggering pro-inflammatory eicosanoid generation.
    Nature 07/2013; · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human glycolipid transfer protein (hsGLTP) forms the prototypical GLTP fold and is characterized by a broad transfer selectivity for glycosphingolipids (GSLs). The GLTP mutation D48V near the `portal entrance' of the glycolipid binding site has recently been shown to enhance selectivity for sulfatides (SFs) containing a long acyl chain. Here, nine novel crystal structures of hsGLTP and the SF-selective mutant complexed with short-acyl-chain monoSF and diSF in different crystal forms are reported in order to elucidate the potential functional roles of lipid-mediated homodimerization. In all crystal forms, the hsGLTP-SF complexes displayed homodimeric structures supported by similarly organized intermolecular interactions. The dimerization interface always involved the lipid sphingosine chain, the protein C-terminus (C-end) and α-helices 6 and 2, but the D48V mutant displayed a `locked' dimer conformation compared with the hinge-like flexibility of wild-type dimers. Differences in contact angles, areas and residues at the dimer interfaces in the `flexible' and `locked' dimers revealed a potentially important role of the dimeric structure in the C-end conformation of hsGLTP and in the precise positioning of the key residue of the glycolipid recognition centre, His140. ΔY207 and ΔC-end deletion mutants, in which the C-end is shifted or truncated, showed an almost complete loss of transfer activity. The new structural insights suggest that ligand-dependent reversible dimerization plays a role in the function of human GLTP.
    Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography 04/2013; 69(Pt 4):603-16. · 14.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Among amphitropic proteins, human glycolipid transfer protein (GLTP) forms a structurally-unique fold that translocates on/off membranes to specifically transfer glycolipids. Phosphatidylcholine (PC) bilayers with curvature-induced packing stress stimulate much faster glycolipid intervesicular transfer than nonstressed PC bilayers raising questions about planar, cytosol-facing biomembranes being viable sites for GLTP interaction. Herein, GLTP-mediated desorption kinetics of fluorescent glycolipid (tetramethyl-BODIPY-label) from lipid monolayers are assessed using a novel, microfluidics-based surface balance that monitors lipid lateral packing while simultaneously acquiring surface fluorescence data. At biomembrane-like packing (30-35 mN/m), GLTP uptake of BODIPY-glycolipid from 1 palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-PC monolayers was nearly nonexistent but could be induced by reducing surface pressure to mirror packing in curvature-stressed bilayers. In contrast, 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine (POPE) matrices supported robust BODIPY-glycolipid uptake by GLTP at both high and low surface pressures. Unexpectedly, negatively-charged, cytosol-facing lipids, i.e. phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylserine, also supported BODIPY-glycolipid uptake by GLTP at high surface pressure. Remarkably, including both POPA (5 mole%) and POPE (15 mole%) in POPC synergistically activated GLTP at high surface pressure. Our study shows that matrix lipid headgroup composition, rather than molecular packing per se, is a key regulator of GLTP-fold function while demonstrating the novel capabilities of the microfluidics-based film balance for investigating protein-membrane interfacial interactions.
    The Journal of Lipid Research 01/2013; · 4.39 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 01/2013; 104(2):593-. · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 01/2013; 104(2):593-. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phosphoinositol 4-phosphate adaptor protein-2 (FAPP2) plays a key role in glycosphingolipid (GSL) production using its C-terminal domain to transport newly synthesized glucosylceramide away from the cytosol-facing glucosylceramide synthase in the cis-Golgi for further anabolic processing. Structural homology modeling against human glycolipid transfer protein (GLTP) predicts a GLTP-fold for FAPP2 C-terminal domain, but no experimental support exists to warrant inclusion in the GLTP superfamily. Here, the biophysical properties and glycolipid transfer specificity of FAPP2-C-terminal domain have been characterized and compared with other established GLTP-folds. Experimental evidence for a GLTP-fold includes: i) Far-UV circular dichroism (CD) showing secondary structure with high alpha-helix content and a low thermally-induced unfolding transition (~41°C); ii) Near-UV-CD indicating only subtle tertiary conformational change before/after interaction with membranes containing/lacking glycolipid; iii) Red-shifted tryptophan (Trp) emission wavelength maximum (λ(max) ~352nm) for apo-FAPP2-C-terminal domain consistent with surface exposed intrinsic Trp residues; iv) 'Signature' GLTP-fold Trp fluorescence response, i.e., intensity decrease (~30%) accompanied by strongly blue-shifted λ(max) (~14nm) upon interaction with membranes containing glycolipid, supporting direct involvement of Trp in glycolipid binding and enabling estimation of partitioning affinities. A structurally-based preference for other simple uncharged GSLs, in addition to glucosylceramide, makes human FAPP2-GLTP more similar to fungal HET-C2 than to plant AtGLTP1 (glucosylceramide-specific) or to broadly GSL-selective human GLTP. These findings along with the distinct mRNA exon/intron organizations originating from single-copy genes on separate human chromosomes suggest adaptive evolutionary divergence by these two GLTP-folds.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 11/2012; 1831(2):417. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein polymerization into ordered fibrillar structures (amyloid fibrils) is currently associated with a range of pathological conditions. Recent studies clearly indicate that amyloid cytotoxicity is provoked by a continuum of cross-β-sheet aggregates including mature fibrils. In view of the possible diversity of cytotoxicity mechanisms, the present study addressed the question of whether protein conversion into amyloid fibrils can modify its competitive membrane adsorption behavior. Using a combination of resonance energy transfer, dynamic light scattering and fluorescence quenching techniques, the competitive binding of either monomeric or polymerized lysozyme, and cytochrome c to the model lipid membranes composed of phosphatidylcholine mixtures with varying proportions of phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylserine or cardiolipin has been studied. The ability of fibrillar lysozyme to induce dissociation of cytochrome c from the membrane binding sites proved to be markedly stronger than that of its monomeric counterpart, with desorption process displaying cooperativity features upon increasing the charge of lipid bilayer. The decreased efficiency of tryptophan fluorescence quenching by acrylamide and short-wavelength shift of emission maximum observed upon membrane binding of lysozyme fibrils were rationalized in terms of fluorophore transfer into interfacial bilayer region. It is hypothesized that electrostatic interactions play predominant role in determining the lipid-associating and competitive abilities of fibrillar lysozyme.
    Chemistry and Physics of Lipids 10/2012; · 2.59 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 01/2012; 102(3):495-. · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 01/2012; 102(3):495-. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human glycolipid transfer protein (GLTP) fold represents a novel structural motif for lipid binding/transfer and reversible membrane translocation. GLTPs transfer glycosphingolipids (GSLs) that are key regulators of cell growth, division, surface adhesion, and neurodevelopment. Herein, we report structure-guided engineering of the lipid binding features of GLTP. New crystal structures of wild-type GLTP and two mutants (D48V and A47D‖D48V), each containing bound N-nervonoyl-sulfatide, reveal the molecular basis for selective anchoring of sulfatide (3-O-sulfo-galactosylceramide) by D48V-GLTP. Directed point mutations of "portal entrance" residues, A47 and D48, reversibly regulate sphingosine access to the hydrophobic pocket via a mechanism that could involve homodimerization. "Door-opening" conformational changes by phenylalanines within the hydrophobic pocket are revealed during lipid encapsulation by new crystal structures of bona fide apo-GLTP and GLTP complexed with N-oleoyl-glucosylceramide. The development of "engineered GLTPs" with enhanced specificity for select GSLs provides a potential new therapeutic approach for targeting GSL-mediated pathologies.
    Structure 11/2011; 19(11):1644-54. · 5.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The glycolipid transfer protein (GLTP) superfamily is defined by the human GLTP fold that represents a novel motif for lipid binding and transfer and for reversible interaction with membranes, i.e., peripheral amphitropic proteins. Despite limited sequence homology with human GLTP, we recently showed that HET-C2 GLTP of Podospora anserina is organized conformationally as a GLTP fold. Currently, insights into the folding stability and conformational states that regulate GLTP fold activity are almost nonexistent. To gain such insights into the disulfide-less GLTP fold, we investigated the effect of a change in pH on the fungal HET-C2 GLTP fold by taking advantage of its two tryptophans and four tyrosines (compared to three tryptophans and 10 tyrosines in human GLTP). pH-induced conformational alterations were determined by changes in (i) intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence (intensity, emission wavelength maximum, and anisotropy), (ii) circular dichroism over the near-UV and far-UV ranges, including thermal stability profiles of the derivatized molar ellipticity at 222 nm, (iii) fluorescence properties of 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonic acid, and (iv) glycolipid intermembrane transfer activity monitored by Förster resonance energy transfer. Analyses of our recently determined crystallographic structure of HET-C2 (1.9 Å) allowed identification of side chain electrostatic interactions that contribute to HET-C2 GLTP fold stability and can be altered by a change in pH. Side chain interactions include numerous salt bridges and interchain cation-π interactions, but not intramolecular disulfide bridges. Histidine residues are especially important for stabilizing the local positioning of the two tryptophan residues and the conformation of adjacent chains. Induction of a low-pH-induced, molten globule-like state inhibited glycolipid intermembrane transfer by the HET-C2 GLTP fold.
    Biochemistry 06/2011; 50(23):5163-71. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) has been utilized to explore the effect of cationic protein lysozyme (Lz) on the morphology of solid-supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) comprised of zwitterionic lipid phosphatidylcholine (PC) and its mixture with anionic lipid cardiolipin (CL). Kinetic TIRFM imaging of different systems revealed subtle interplay between lipid lateral segregation accompanied by exchange of neutral and acidic lipids in the protein-lipid interaction zone, and the formation of lipid multilayer stacks. The switch between these states was shown to be controlled by CL content. In weakly charged SLBs containing 5 mol% CL, assembling of CL molecules into planar domains upon Lz adsorption has been observed while at higher content of anionic lipid (25 mol%) in-plane domains tend to transform into multilayer stacks, thereby ensuring the most thermodynamically-favorable membrane conformation.
    Colloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces 10/2010; 80(2):219-26. · 4.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human glycolipid transfer protein (GLTP) serves as the GLTP-fold prototype, a novel, to our knowledge, peripheral amphitropic fold and structurally unique lipid binding motif that defines the GLTP superfamily. Despite conservation of all three intrinsic Trps in vertebrate GLTPs, the Trp functional role(s) remains unclear. Herein, the issue is addressed using circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy along with an atypical Trp point mutation strategy. Far-ultraviolet and near-ultraviolet circular dichroism spectroscopic analyses showed that W96F-W142Y-GLTP and W96Y-GLTP retain their native conformation and stability, whereas W85Y-W96F-GLTP is slightly altered, in agreement with relative glycolipid transfer activities of >90%, ∼85%, and ∼45%, respectively. In silico three-dimensional modeling and acrylamide quenching of Trp fluorescence supported a nativelike folding conformation. With the Trp⁹⁶-less mutants, changes in emission intensity, wavelength maximum, lifetime, and time-resolved anisotropy decay induced by phosphoglyceride membranes lacking or containing glycolipid and by excitation at different wavelengths along the absorption-spectrum red edge indicated differing functions for W142 and W85. The data suggest that W142 acts as a shallow-penetration anchor during docking with membrane interfaces, whereas the buried W85 indole helps maintain proper folding and possibly regulates membrane-induced transitioning to a glycolipid-acquiring conformation. The findings illustrate remarkable versatility for Trp, providing three distinct intramolecular functions in the novel amphitropic GLTP fold.
    Biophysical Journal 10/2010; 99(8):2626-35. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Resonance energy transfer (RET) from anthrylvinyl-labeled phosphatidylcholine (AV-PC) or cardiolipin (AV-CL) to cytochrome c (cyt c) heme moiety was employed to assess the molecular-level details of protein interactions with lipid bilayers composed of PC with 2.5 (CL2.5), 5 (CL5), 10 (CL10), or 20 (CL20) mol % CL under conditions of varying ionic strength and lipid/protein molar ratio. Monte Carlo analysis of multiple data sets revealed a subtle interplay between 1), exchange of the neutral and acidic lipid in the protein-lipid interaction zone; 2), CL transition into the extended conformation; and 3), formation of the hexagonal phase. The switch between these states was found to be controlled by CL content and salt concentration. At ionic strengths ≥ 40 mM, lipid bilayers with CL fraction not exceeding 5 mol % exhibited the tendency to transform from lamellar to hexagonal phase upon cyt c adsorption, whereas at higher contents of CL, transition into the extended conformation seems to become thermodynamically favorable. At lower ionic strengths, deviations from homogeneous lipid distributions were observed only for model membranes containing 2.5 mol % CL, suggesting the existence of a certain surface potential critical for assembly of lipid lateral domains in protein-lipid systems that may subsequently undergo morphological transformations depending on ambient conditions. These characteristics of cyt c-CL interaction are of great interest, not only from the viewpoint of regulating cyt c electron transfer and apoptotic propensities, but also to elucidate the general mechanisms by which membrane functional activities can be modulated by protein-lipid interactions.
    Biophysical Journal 09/2010; 99(6):1754-63. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The in vitro activity of the ceramide transporter, CERT has been studied using a fluorescence assay. CERT is responsible for the in vivo non-vesicular trafficking of ceramide between the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi. In this study we have examined how the membrane environment surrounding the ceramide substrate, the membrane packing density and the membrane charge, are affecting the ceramide transfer activity. To examine this we have used an anthrylvinyl-labeled ceramide analogue. We found that if ceramide is in a tightly packed environment such as in sphingomyelin or dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine containing membranes, the CERT transfer activity is markedly reduced. Ceramide in fluid membranes on the other hand are available for CERT mediated transfer. CERT also favors membranes that contain phosphatidylinositol 4-monophospate, due to its binding capacity of the pleckstrin homology domain towards phosphatidylinositol 4-monophospate. From this study we conclude that the membrane matrix surrounding ceramide, that is ceramide miscibility, is largely affecting the transfer activity of CERT.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 09/2010; 1808(1):229-35. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HET-C2 is a fungal protein that transfers glycosphingolipids between membranes and has limited sequence homology with human glycolipid transfer protein (GLTP). The human GLTP fold is unique among lipid binding/transfer proteins, defining the GLTP superfamily. Herein, GLTP fold formation by HET-C2, its glycolipid transfer specificity, and the functional role(s) of its two Trp residues have been investigated. X-ray diffraction (1.9 Å) revealed a GLTP fold with all key sugar headgroup recognition residues (Asp66, Asn70, Lys73, Trp109, and His147) conserved and properly oriented for glycolipid binding. Far-UV CD showed secondary structure dominated by α-helices and a cooperative thermal unfolding transition of 49 °C, features consistent with a GLTP fold. Environmentally induced optical activity of Trp/Tyr/Phe (2:4:12) detected by near-UV CD was unaffected by membranes containing glycolipid but was slightly altered by membranes lacking glycolipid. Trp fluorescence was maximal at ∼355 nm and accessible to aqueous quenchers, indicating free exposure to the aqueous milieu and consistent with surface localization of the two Trps. Interaction with membranes lacking glycolipid triggered significant decreases in Trp emission intensity but lesser than decreases induced by membranes containing glycolipid. Binding of glycolipid (confirmed by electrospray injection mass spectrometry) resulted in a blue-shifted emission wavelength maximum (∼6 nm) permitting determination of binding affinities. The unique positioning of Trp208 at the HET-C2 C terminus revealed membrane-induced conformational changes that precede glycolipid uptake, whereas key differences in residues of the sugar headgroup recognition center accounted for altered glycolipid specificity and suggested evolutionary adaptation for the simpler glycosphingolipid compositions of filamentous fungi.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2010; 285(17):13066-13078. · 4.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

406 Citations
185.15 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1984–2014
    • Russian Academy of Sciences
      • Institute of Inorganic Chemistry
      Moskva, Moscow, Russia
  • 2004–2013
    • Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry
      Wladiwostok, Primorskiy, Russia
  • 2002–2012
    • University of Minnesota Duluth
      Duluth, Minnesota, United States
  • 2010
    • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
      Manhattan, New York, United States
  • 2006–2010
    • Åbo Akademi University
      • Department of Biosciences
      Turku, Western Finland, Finland
  • 2004–2009
    • V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University
      • Department of Biological and Medical Physics
      Kharkiv, Kharkivs'ka Oblast', Ukraine