[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our goal is to design optimised fluorinated surfactants for handling membrane proteins in solution. We report herein the self-assembling and biochemical properties of a new hemifluorinated surfactant (H3F6H3DigluM) with a branched diglucosylated polar head group and an apolar tail consisting of a perfluorohexane core decorated with a hydrogenated propyl tip. For the sake of comparison, its fluorinated analogue without propyl tip (F6H3DigluM) was also studied. Isothermal titration calorimetry and surface tension showed that the addition of a propyl tip has a significant effect on the overall hydrophobicity of the surfactant, in contrast to the behaviour described when adding an ethyl tip to a fluorinated surfactant. From dynamic light scattering, analytical ultracentrifugation and small-angle X-ray scattering, both H3F6H3DigluM and F6H3DigluM self-assemble into small globular micelles of 5–7 nm in diameter and have aggregation numbers of 62 ± 8 and 46 ± 2, respectively. Finally, H3F6H3DigluM was found to be the best fluorinated surfactant developed in our group to stabilise the model membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin (bR) in aqueous solution. This study demonstrates the suitability of this new propyl-ended fluorinated surfactant for biochemical and structural applications and confirms the superiority of hemifluorinated chains over fluorinated ones.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The work reported herein deals with the evaluation of the antioxidant properties of bitailed amphiphilic α-phenyl-N-tert-butylnitrone derivatives (BPBNs) towards oxidation of an unsaturated lipid, the 1,2-dilinoleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DLoPC). Oxidation was induced either by UV light irradiation or radical initiators, i.e. the water soluble AAPH and the Fenton reaction, and the antioxidant evaluation was carried out using two biomimetic systems, namely Langmuir monolayers and large unilamellar vesicles. Measurement of the molecular area and the membrane fluidity of pure nitrone monolayers before and after UV-irradiation demonstrated the better stability and antioxidant properties of B17PBN, the derivative with two C17H35 alkyl chains, compared to its analogue B11PBN with two C11H23 alkyl chains. At only 5% molar ratio of nitrone in mixed DLoPC/nitrone monolayers, a complete inhibition of the molecular area decrease was observed for B17PBN whereas B11PBN showed lower protection. The oxidation of mixed DLoPC/nitrones large unilamellar vesicles in the presence of free radicals arising from AAPH decomposition or Fenton reaction was assessed by measuring lipid conjugated dienes and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances on the whole series of nitrone, i.e. C11-, C13-, C15- and C17-based compounds. Compared to the saturated 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, all bitailed amphiphilic nitrones were able to decrease conjugated dienes and TBARS in both oxidative paradigms, demonstrating therefore antioxidant property. The inhibition of phospholipids oxidation was increased when increasing the concentration of nitrone with the two B11PBN and B13PBN derivatives exhibiting higher potency. This study underlines the importance in the choice of a model membrane system when evaluating the potency of antioxidants against lipid oxidation.
No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Colloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel is a hetero-octameric complex that links cell metabolism to membrane electrical activity in many cells, thereby controlling physiological functions such as insulin release, muscle contraction and neuronal activity. It consists of four pore-forming Kir6.2 and four regulatory sulfonylurea receptor (SUR) subunits. SUR2B serves as the regulatory subunit in smooth muscle and some neurones. An integrative approach, combining electron microscopy and homology modelling, has been used to obtain information on the structure of this large (megadalton) membrane protein complex. Single-particle electron microscopy of purified SUR2B tethered to a lipid monolayer revealed that it assembles as a tetramer of four SUR2B subunits surrounding a central hole. In the absence of an X-ray structure, a homology model for SUR2B based on the X-ray structure of the related ABC transporter Sav1866 was used to fit the experimental images. The model indicates that the central hole can readily accommodate the transmembrane domains of the Kir tetramer, suggests a location for the first transmembrane domains of SUR2B (which are absent in Sav1866) and suggests the relative orientation of the SUR and Kir6.2 subunits.
Structured digital abstract
SUR2B and SUR2B bind by electron microscopy (View interaction)
SUR2B and SUR2B bind by molecular sieving (View interaction)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of fluorinated surfactants as efficient tools for handling membrane proteins in aqueous media
was demonstrated many years ago. The work reported herein deals with the synthesis of a new sugar-based surfactant bearing two glucose moieties and labelled F6-DigluM. The synthesis of F6-DigluM is based on a one-pot reduction/alkylation of a fluorinated thioacetate onto an acrylamido-type polar head
precursor, using NaBH4 in refluxing methanol. Its physical–chemical properties in aqueous solution were
studied by surface tension measurement, dynamic light scattering and analytical ultracentrifugation. F6-
DigluM exhibits a critical micellar concentration of �0.4 mM and self-assembles into small and welldefined
aggregates, very likely to globular micelles. Finally, the homogeneity and the stability of complexes of bacteriorhodopsin and F6-DigluM over time were observed, demonstrating that F6-DigluM
is a suitable tool for biochemical applications.
No preview · Article · May 2012 · Journal of Fluorine Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The design, synthesis and self-assembled study of a new class of benzene-derived tripod facial amphiphiles are reported. The synthetic route chosen based on a central mesitylene as scaffold allows easy tuning of lipophilic and hydrophilic groups and thus control of the tensioactive properties of these new surfactants. This new class of surfactants exhibits three glucose moieties as the hydrophilic polar head and three hydrocarbon chains each having 3 to 7 carbons as the lipophilic part. These tripod facial amphiphiles exhibit well-defined tensioactive and aggregative properties. Their critical aggregation concentration, their particle size in water (less than 20 nm), and their aggregation behavior are closely linked to the nature of their lipophilic chains and can therefore be easily modulated.
No preview · Article · May 2012 · New Journal of Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are seven-transmembrane proteins that mediate most cellular responses to hormones and neurotransmitters, representing the largest group of therapeutic targets. Recent studies show that some GPCRs signal through both G protein and arrestin pathways in a ligand-specific manner. Ligands that direct signaling through a specific pathway are known as biased ligands. The arginine-vasopressin type 2 receptor (V2R), a prototypical peptide-activated GPCR, is an ideal model system to investigate the structural basis of biased signaling. Although the native hormone arginine-vasopressin leads to activation of both the stimulatory G protein (Gs) for the adenylyl cyclase and arrestin pathways, synthetic ligands exhibit highly biased signaling through either Gs alone or arrestin alone. We used purified V2R stabilized in neutral amphipols and developed fluorescence-based assays to investigate the structural basis of biased signaling for the V2R. Our studies demonstrate that the Gs-biased agonist stabilizes a conformation that is distinct from that stabilized by the arrestin-biased agonists. This study provides unique insights into the structural mechanisms of GPCR activation by biased ligands that may be relevant to the design of pathway-biased drugs.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Structural studies of membrane protein are still challenging due to several severe bottlenecks, the first being the overproduction of well-folded proteins. Several expression systems are often explored in parallel to fulfil this task, or alternately prokaryotic analogues are considered. Although, mitochondrial carriers play key roles in several metabolic pathways, only the structure of the ADP/ATP carrier purified from bovine heart mitochondria was determined so far. More generally, characterisations at the molecular level are restricted to ADP/ATP carrier or the uncoupling protein UCP1, another member of the mitochondrial carrier family, which is abundant in brown adipose tissues. Indeed, mitochondrial carriers have no prokaryotic homologues and very few efficient expression systems were described so far for these proteins. We succeeded in producing UCP1 using a cell free expression system based on E. coli extracts, in quantities that are compatible with structural approaches. The protein was synthesised in the presence of a fluorinated surfactant, which maintains the protein in a soluble form. Further biochemical and biophysical analysis such as size exclusion chromatography, circular dichroism and thermal stability, of the purified protein showed that the protein is non-aggregated, monodisperse and well-folded.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A novel type of nonionic amphipols for handling membrane proteins in detergent-free aqueous solutions has been obtained through free-radical homo-telomerization of an acrylamide-based monomer comprising a C(11) alkyl chain and two glucose moieties, using a thiol as transfer reagent. By controlling the thiol/monomer ratio, the number-average molecular weight of the polymers was varied from 8 to 63 kDa. Homopolymeric nonionic amphipols were found to be highly soluble in water and to self-organize, within a large concentration range, into small, compact particles of ~6 nm diameter with a narrow size distribution, regardless of the molecular weight of the polymer. They proved able to trap and stabilize two test membrane proteins, bacteriorhodopsin from Halobium salinarum and the outer membrane protein X of Escherichia coli, under the form of small and well-defined complexes, whose size, composition, and shape were studied by aqueous size-exclusion chromatography, analytical ultracentrifugation, and small-angle neutron scattering. As shown in a companion paper, nonionic amphipols can be used for membrane protein folding, cell-free synthesis, and solution NMR studies (Bazzacco et al. 2012, Biochemistry, DOI: 10.1021/bi201862v).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accurate determination of the free energy of transfer of a helical segment from an aqueous into a transmembrane (TM) conformation is essential for understanding and predicting the folding and stability of membrane proteins. Until recently, direct thermodynamically sound measurements of free energy of insertion of hydrophobic TM peptides were impossible due to peptide aggregation outside the lipid bilayer. Here, we overcome this problem by using fluorinated surfactants that are capable of preventing aggregation but, unlike detergents, do not themselves interact with the bilayer. We have applied the fluorescence correlation spectroscopy methodology to study surfactant-chaperoned insertion into preformed POPC (palmitoyloleoylphosphatidylcholine) vesicles of the two well-studied dye-labeled TM peptides of different lengths: WALP23 and WALP27. Extrapolation of the apparent free-energy values measured in the presence of surfactants to a zero surfactant concentration yielded free-energy values of -9.0±0.1 and -10.0±0.1 kcal/mol for insertion of WALP23 and WALP27, respectively. Circular dichroism measurements confirmed helical structure of peptides in lipid bilayer, in the presence of surfactants, and in aqueous mixtures of organic solvents. From a combination of thermodynamic and conformational measurements, we conclude that the partitioning of a four-residue L-A-L-A segment in the context of a continuous helical conformation from an aqueous environment into the hydrocarbon core of the membrane has a favorable free energy of 1 kcal/mol. Our measurements, combined with the predictions of two independent experimental hydrophobicity scales, indicate that the per-residue cost of transfer of the helical backbone from water to the hydrocarbon core of the lipid bilayer is unfavorable and is equal to +2.13±0.17 kcal/mol.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Journal of Molecular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonionic amphipols (NAPols) synthesized by homotelomerization of an amphiphatic monomer are able to keep membrane proteins (MPs) stable and functional in the absence of detergent. Some of their biochemical and biophysical properties and applications have been examined, with particular attention being paid to their complementarity with the classical polyacrylate-based amphipol A8-35. Bacteriorhodopsin (BR) from Halobacterium salinarum and the cytochrome b(6)f complex from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii were found to be in their native state and highly stable following complexation with NAPols. NAPol-trapped BR was shown to undergo its complete photocycle. Because of the pH insensitivity of NAPols, solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) two-dimensional (1)H-(15)N heteronuclear single-quantum coherence spectra of NAPol-trapped outer MP X from Escherichia coli (OmpX) could be recorded at pH 6.8. They present a resolution similar to that of the spectra of OmpX/A8-35 complexes recorded at pH 8.0 and give access to signals from solvent-exposed rapidy exchanging amide protons. Like A8-35, NAPols can be used to fold MPs to their native state as demonstrated here with BR and with the ghrelin G protein-coupled receptor GHS-R1a, thus extending the range of accessible folding conditions. Following NAPol-assisted folding, GHS-R1a bound four of its specific ligands, recruited arrestin-2, and activated binding of GTPγS by the G(αq) protein. Finally, cell-free synthesis of MPs, which is inhibited by A8-35 and sulfonated amphipols, was found to be very efficient in the presence of NAPols. These results open broad new perspectives on the use of amphipols for MP studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accurate determination of the free energy of transfer of a helical segment from aqueous into a transmembrane conformation is essential for understanding and predicting of the folding and stability of membrane proteins. Until recently, direct thermodynamically sound measurements of free energy of insertion of hydrophobic transmembrane peptides were impossible due to peptides’ aggregation outside the lipid bilayer. Here we overcome this problem by using fluorinated surfactants that are capable of preventing aggregation, but, unlike detergents, do not themselves interact with the bilayer. We have applied previously introduced FCS (Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy) methodology [Posokhov et al., Biophysical J. 2008, 95:L54-56] to study surfactant-chaperoned insertion into preformed POPC vesicles of the two well-studied dye-labeled transmembrane peptides of different lengths: WALP23 and WALP27. Interpolation of the apparent free energy values measured in the presence of surfactants to a zero surfactant concentration yielded free energy values of −9.0 and −10.0 kcal/mole for insertion of WALP23 and WALP27, respectively. Circular dichroism measurements confirmed a predominantly helical structure of peptides in lipid bilayer, in the presence of surfactants and in aqueous mixtures of organic solvents. From a combination of thermodynamic and conformational measurements we conclude that the partitioning of a 4-residue LALA segment in the context of a continuous helical conformation from aqueous environment into the hydrocarbon core of the membrane has a favorable free energy of 1 kcal per mole. Our measurements combined with the predictions of the Wimley-White hydrophobicity scale indicates that the per residue cost of the helical backbone partitioning is unfavorable and equals +0.13 kcal/mole. Supported by NIH GM069783.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Biophysical Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A novel series of α-phenyl-N-tert-butyl nitrone derivatives, bearing a hydrophobic chain on the aromatic ring and three hydroxyl functions on the tert-butyl group, was synthesized through a short and convenient synthetic route based on a one-pot reduction/condensation of tris(hydroxymethyl)nitromethane with a benzaldehyde derivative. Because of the presence of hydroxyl functions on the tert-butyl group, an intramolecular Forrester-Hepburn reaction leading to the formation of an oxazolidine-N-oxyl compound was observed by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). The mechanism of cyclization was further studied by computational methods showing that intramolecular hydrogen bonding and high positive charge on the nitronyl carbon could facilitate the nucleophilic addition of a hydroxyl group onto the nitronyl carbon. At high nitrone concentrations, a second paramagnetic species, very likely formed by intermolecular nucleophilic addition of two nitrone molecules, was also observed but to a lesser extent. In addition, theoretical data confirmed that the intramolecular reaction is much more favored than the intermolecular one. These nitrones were also found to efficiently trap carbon-centered radicals, but complex spectra were observed due to the presence of oxazolidine-N-oxyl derivatives.
No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · The Journal of Organic Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Solubilizing membrane proteins for functional, structural and thermodynamic studies is usually achieved with the help of detergents, which, however, tend to destabilize them. Several classes of non-detergent surfactants have been designed as milder substitutes for detergents, most prominently amphipathic polymers called 'amphipols' and fluorinated surfactants. Here we test the potential usefulness of these compounds for thermodynamic studies by examining their effect on conformational transitions of the diphtheria toxin T-domain. The advantage of the T-domain as a model system is that it exists as a soluble globular protein at neutral pH yet is converted into a membrane-competent form by acidification and inserts into the lipid bilayer as part of its physiological action. We have examined the effects of various surfactants on two conformational transitions of the T-domain, thermal unfolding and pH-induced transition to a membrane-competent form. All tested detergent and non-detergent surfactants lowered the cooperativity of the thermal unfolding of the T-domain. The dependence of enthalpy of unfolding on surfactant concentration was found to be least for fluorinated surfactants, thus making them useful candidates for thermodynamic studies. Circular dichroism measurements demonstrate that non-ionic homopolymeric amphipols (NAhPols), unlike any other surfactants, can actively cause a conformational change of the T-domain. NAhPol-induced structural rearrangements are different from those observed during thermal denaturation and are suggested to be related to the formation of the membrane-competent form of the T-domain. Measurements of leakage of vesicle content indicate that interaction with NAhPols not only does not prevent the T-domain from inserting into the bilayer, but it can make bilayer permeabilization even more efficient, whereas the pH-dependence of membrane permeabilization becomes more cooperative.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amphipols (APols) are short amphipathic polymers that can substitute for detergents to keep integral membrane proteins (MPs) water soluble. In this review, we discuss their structure and solution behavior; the way they associate with MPs; and the structure, dynamics, and solution properties of the resulting complexes. All MPs tested to date form water-soluble complexes with APols, and their biochemical stability is in general greatly improved compared with MPs in detergent solutions. The functionality and ligand-binding properties of APol-trapped MPs are reviewed, and the mechanisms by which APols stabilize MPs are discussed. Applications of APols include MP folding and cell-free synthesis, structural studies by NMR, electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction, APol-mediated immobilization of MPs onto solid supports, proteomics, delivery of MPs to preexisting membranes, and vaccine formulation.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Annual Review of Biophysics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Galactose is the key contact site for plant AB-toxins and the human adhesion/growth-regulatory galectins. Natural anomeric extensions and 3'-substitutions enhance its reactivity, thus prompting us to test the potential of respective chemical substitutions of galactose in the quest to develop potent inhibitors. Biochemical screening of a respective glycoside library with 60 substances in a solid-phase assay was followed by examining the compounds' activity to protect cells from lectin binding. By testing 32 anomeric extensions, 18 compounds with additional 3'-substitution, three lactosides and two Lewis-type trisaccharides rather mild effects compared to the common haptenic inhibitor lactose were detected in both assays. When using trivalent glycoclusters marked enhancements with 6- to 8-fold increases were revealed for the toxin and three of four tested galectins. Since the most potent compound and also 3'-substituted thiogalactosides reduced cell growth of a human tumor line at millimolar concentrations, biocompatible substitutions and scaffolds will be required for further developments. The synthesis of suitable glycoclusters, presenting headgroups which exploit differences in ligand selection in interlectin comparison to reduce cross-reactivity, and the documented strategic combination of initial biochemical screening with cell assays are considered instrumental to advance inhibitor design.
No preview · Article · May 2011 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell-free protein synthesis is a well-known technique for the roles it has played in deciphering the genetic code and in the beginnings of signal sequence studies. Since then, many efforts have been made to optimise this technique and, recently, to adapt it to membrane protein production with yields compatible with structural investigations. The versatility of the method allows membrane proteins to be obtained directly stabilised in surfactant micelles or inserted in a lipidic environment (proteoliposome, bicelle, and nanodisc) at the end of synthesis. Among the surfactants used, non-detergent ones such as fluorinated surfactants proved to be a good alternative in terms of colloidal stability and preservation of the integrity of membrane proteins, as shown for Escherichia coli homo-pentameric channel, MscL (Park et al., Biochem. J., 403: 183-187). Here we report cell-free expression of Escherichia coli leader peptidase (a transmembrane protease), Halobacterium salinarium bacteriorhodopsin (a transmembrane protein binding a hydrophobic cofactor) and E. coli MscL in the presence of non-detergent surfactants, amphipols and fluorinated surfactants in comparison to their expression in classical detergents. The results confirm the potentialities of fluorinated surfactants and, although pointing to limitations in using the first generations amphipols, results are discussed in the light of membrane protein refolding, especially in the case of bacteriorhodopsin. Preliminary experiments using new generations of amphipols supports choices made in developing new molecules.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · New Biotechnology