- Impact of an electric field on P-type ATPases (2008)
- P-type ATPases are membrane proteins acting as ion pumps that drive an active transport of cations across the membrane against a concentration gradient. The required energy for the ion transport is provided by binding and hydrolysis of ATP. A reaction mechanism of ion transport and energy transduction is assumed to be common for all P-type ATPases and generally described by the Post-Albers cycle. Transient currents and charge translocation of P-type ATPases were extensively investigated by electrical measurements that apply voltage jumps to initiate the reaction cycle. In this study, we simulate an applied voltage across the membrane by an electric field and perform electrostatic calculations in order to verify the experimentally-driven hypothesis that the energy transduction mechanism is regulated by specific structural elements. Side chain conformational and ionization changes induced by the electric field are evaluated for each transmembrane helix and the selectivity in response is qualitatively analyzed for the Ca2+-ATPase as well as for structural models of the Na+/K+-ATPase. Helix M5 responds with more conformer changes as compared to the other transmembrane helices what is even more emphasized when the stalk region is included. Thus our simulations support experimental results and indicate a crucial role for the highly conserved transmembrane helix M5 in the energy transduction mechanism of P-type ATPases.
- Analysis of a hybrid TATA box binding protein originating from mesophilic and thermophilic donor organisms (2010)
- The TATA Box Binding Protein (TBP) is a 20 kD protein that is essential and universally conserved in eucarya and archaea. Especially among archaea, organisms can be found that live below 0°C as well as organisms that grow above 100°C. The archaeal TBPs show a high sequence identity and a similar structure consisting of α-helices and β-sheets that are arranged in a saddle-shape 2-symmetric fold. In previous studies, we have characterized the thermal stability of thermophilic and mesophilic archaeal TBPs by infrared spectroscopy and showed the correlation between the transition temperature (Tm) and the optimal growth temperature (OGT) of the respective donor organism. In this study, a “new” mutant TBP has been constructed, produced, purified and analyzed for a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms of thermoadaptation. The β-sheet part of the mutant consists of the TBP from Methanothermobacter thermoautotrophicus (OGT 65°C, MtTBP65) whose α-helices have been exchanged by those of Methanosarcina mazei (OGT 37°C, MmTBP37). The Hybrid-TBP irreversibly aggregates after thermal unfolding just like MmTBP37 and MtTBP65, but the Tm lies between that of MmTBP37 and MtTBP65 indicating that the interaction between the α-helical and β-sheet part of the TBP is crucial for the thermal stability. The temperature stability is probably encoded in the variable α-helices that interact with the highly conserved and DNA binding β-sheets.