[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years, aquaporin biomimetic membranes (ABMs) for water separation have gained considerable interest. Although the first ABMs are commercially available, there are still many challenges associated with further ABM development. Here, we discuss the interplay of the main components of ABMs: aquaporin proteins (AQPs), block copolymers for AQP reconstitution, and polymer-based supporting structures. First, we briefly cover challenges and review recent developments in understanding the interplay between AQP and block copolymers. Second, we review some experimental characterization methods for investigating AQP incorporation including freeze-fracture transmission electron microscopy, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, stopped-flow light scattering, and small-angle X-ray scattering. Third, we focus on recent efforts in embedding reconstituted AQPs in membrane designs that are based on conventional thin film interfacial polymerization techniques. Finally, we describe some new developments in interfacial polymerization using polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane cages for increasing the physical and chemical durability of thin film composite membranes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aquaporins (AQPs) constitute one family of transmembrane proteins facilitating transport of water across cell membranes. Due to their specificity, AQPs have a broad spectrum of physiological functions, and for keratinocytes there are indications that these channel proteins are involved in cell migration and proliferation with consequences for the antimicrobial defense of the skin. AQP3 and AQP10 are aqua-glyceroporins, known to transport glycerol as well as water. AQP3 is the predominant AQP in human skin and has previously been demonstrated in the basal layer of epidermis in normal human skin, but not in stratum corneum (SC). AQP10 has not previously been identified in human skin. Previous studies have demonstrated the presence of AQP3 and AQP10 mRNA in keratinocytes. In this study, our aim was to investigate if these aquaporin proteins were actually present in human SC cells. This can be seen as a first step toward elucidating the possible functional role of AQP3 and AQP10 in SC hydration. Specifically we investigate the presence of AQP3 and AQP10 in vivo in human SC using "minimal-invasive" technique for obtaining SC samples. SC samples were obtained from six healthy volunteers. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry were used to demonstrate the presence of AQP3 as well as AQP10. The presence of AQP3 and AQP10 was verified by Western blotting, allowing for detection of proteins by specific antibodies. Applying immunohistochemistry, cell-like structures in the shape of corneocytes were identified in all samples by AQP3 and AQP10 antibodies. In conclusion, identification of AQP3 and AQP10 protein in SC in an in vivo model is new. Together with the new "minimal-invasive" method for SC collection presented, this opens for new possibilities to study the role of AQPs in relation to function of the skin barrier.
Archives for Dermatological Research 05/2013; 305(8). DOI:10.1007/s00403-013-1365-2 · 1.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present paper we explored the capacity of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as host for heterologous expression of human Aquaporin-1. Aquaporin-1 cDNA was expressed from a galactose inducible promoter situated on a plasmid with an adjustable copy number. Human Aquaporin-1 was C-terminally tagged with yeast enhanced GFP for quantification of functional expression, determination of sub-cellular localization, estimation of in vivo folding efficiency and establishment of a purification protocol. Aquaporin-1 was found to constitute 8.5 percent of total membrane protein content after expression at 15°C in a yeast host over-producing the Gal4p transcriptional activator and growth in amino acid supplemented minimal medium. In-gel fluorescence combined with western blotting showed that low accumulation of correctly folded recombinant Aquaporin-1 at 30°C was due to in vivo mal-folding. Reduction of the expression temperature to 15°C almost completely prevented Aquaporin-1 mal-folding. Bioimaging of live yeast cells revealed that recombinant Aquaporin-1 accumulated in the yeast plasma membrane. A detergent screen for solubilization revealed that CYMAL-5 was superior in solubilizing recombinant Aquaporin-1 and generated a monodisperse protein preparation. A single Ni-affinity chromatography step was used to obtain almost pure Aquaporin-1. Recombinant Aquaporin-1 produced in S. cerevisiae was not N-glycosylated in contrast to the protein found in human erythrocytes.
PLoS ONE 02/2013; 8(2):e56431. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0056431 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study describes the interaction between sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and membrane proteins reconstituted into large unilamellar lipid vesicles and detergent micelles studied by circular dichroism (CD) and polarity sensitive probe labeling. Specifically, we carried out a comparative study of two aquaporins with high structural homology SoPIP2;1 and AqpZ using identical reconstitution conditions. Our CD results indicate that SDS, when added to membrane-reconstituted aquaporins in concentrations below the SDS critical micelle concentration (CMC, ~8mM), causes helical rearrangements of both aquaporins. However, we do not find compelling evidence for unfolding. In contrast when SDS is added to detergent stabilized aquaporins, SoPIP2;1 partly unfolds, while AqpZ secondary structure is unaffected. Using a fluorescent polarity sensitive probe (Badan) we show that SDS action on membrane reconstituted SoPIP2;1 as well as AqpZ is associated with initial increased hydrophobic interactions in protein transmembrane (TM) spanning regions up to a concentration of 0.1× CMC. At higher SDS concentrations TM hydrophobic interactions, as reported by Badan, decrease and reach a plateau from SDS CMC up to 12.5× CMC. Combined, our results show that SDS does not unfold neither SoPIP2;1 nor AqpZ during transition from a membrane reconstituted form to a detergent stabilized state albeit the native folds are changed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aggregation of casein micelles (CMs) induced by milk-clotting enzymes is a process of fundamental importance in the dairy industry for cheese production; however, it is not well characterized on the nanoscale. Here we enabled the monitoring of the kinetics of aggregation between single CMs (30-600 nm in diameter) by immobilizing them on a glass substrate at low densities and subsequently imaging them with fluorescence microscopy. We validated the new method by a quantitative comparison to ensemble measurements of aggregation. Single-particle statistics allowed us to observe for the first time several heterogeneities in CM aggregation. We observed two types of CM growth: a slow increase in the size of CMs and a stepwise increase attributed to interactions between aggregates preformed in solution. Both types of growth exhibit a lag phase that was very heterogeneous between different CMs, suggesting significant differences in their composition or structure. Detailed size histograms of CMs during aggregation also revealed the presence of two distinct subpopulations with different growth amplitudes and kinetics. The dependence of these distinct nanoscale processes/parameters on aggregation conditions is not accessible to bulk measurements that report only ensemble-average values and may prove important to an in-depth understanding of CM aggregation.