- X-ray structure of the Na+-coupled Glycine-Betaine symporter BetP from Corynebacterium glutamicum (2009)
- Cellular membranes are important sites of interaction between cells and their environment. Among the multitude of macromolecular complexes embedded in these membranes, transporters play a particularly important role. These integral membrane proteins perform a number of vital functions that enable cell adaptation to changing environmental conditions. Osmotic stress is a major external stimulus for cells. Bacteria are frequently exposed to either hyperosmotic or hypoosmotic stress. Typical conditions for soil bacteria, such as Corynebacterium glutamicum, vary between dryness and sudden rainfall. Physical stimuli caused by osmotic stress have to be sensed and used to activate appropriate response mechanisms. Hypoosmotic stress causes immediate and uncontrolled influx of water. Cells counteract by instantly opening mechanosensitive channels, which act as emergency valves leading to fast efflux of small solutes out of the cell, therebydiminishing the osmotic gradient across the cell membrane. Hyperosmotic stress, on the other hand, results in water efflux. This is counterbalanced by an accumulation of small, osmotically active solutes in the cytoplasm, the so-called compatible solutes. They comprise a large variety of substances, including amino acids (proline), amino acid derivatives (betaine, ectoine), oligosaccharides (trehalose), and heterosides (glucosylglycerol). Osmoregulated transporters sense intracellular osmotic pressure and respond to hyperosmotic stress by facilitating the inward translocation of compatible solutes across the cell membrane, to restore normal hydration levels. This work presents the first X-ray structure of a member of the Betaine-Choline-Carnitine-Transporter (BCCT) family, BetP. This Na+-coupled symporter from Corynebacterium glutamicum is a highly effective osmoregulated and specific uptake system for glycine-betaine. X-ray structure determination was achieved using single wavelength anomalous dispersion (SAD) of selenium atoms. Selenium was incorporated into the protein during its expression in methione auxotrophic E. coli cells, grown in media supplemented with selenomethionine. SAD data with anomalous signal up to 5 Å led to the detection of 39 selenium sites, which were used to calculate the initial electron density map of the protein. Medium resolution and high data anisotropy made the structure determination of BetP a challenging task. A specific strategy for data anisotropy correction and a combination of various crystallographic programs were necessary to obtain an interpretable electron density map suitable for model building. The crystal structure of BetP shows a trimer with glycine-betaine bound in a three-fold cation-pi interaction built by conserved tryptophan residues. The bound substrate is occluded from both sides of the membrane and aromatic side chains line its transport pathway. Very interestingly, the structure reveals that the alpha-helical C-terminal domain, for which a chemo- and osmosensory function was elucidated by biochemical methods, interacts with cytoplasmic loops of an adjacent monomer. These unexpected monomer-monomer interactions are thought to be crucial for the activation mechanism of BetP, and a new atomic model combing biochemical results with the crystal structure is proposed. BetP is shown to have the same overall fold as three unrelated Na+-coupled symporters. While these were crystallised in either the outward- or inward-facing conformation, BetP reveals a unique intermediate state, opening new perspectives on the alternating access mechanism of transport.
- Improving methods for the study of membrane proteins by solid-state NMR (2009)
- Solid state NMR is a emerging method for the study of membrane proteins, which has received much interest in recent years. Limiting the study of many pharmacologically relevant targets, are the often long measuring times, required to obtain especially higher dimensional solid state NMR spectra of good quality. To address this problem, multiple methods where developed in this work, which can be categorized into two groups. The first set of methods aims at the quality of certain spectra, by implementing a spectral filter, which increases the fidelity of the measured data. The second set of methods, addresses the problem of long measuring times directly, by increasing the sensitivity per unit time, as could be shown, for example, on homo- and heteronuclear singlequantum-singlequantum correlation experiments. The gains in measuring time for the latter group of methods are typically in the order of 2-3, but some experiments allow multiple methods to be employed simultaneously, which can lead to a decrease in measuring time of a factor of up to 8. It is important to mention, that none of the methods introduced in this work require any equipment in addition to the conventional setup present in most sold state NMR laboratories and no changes or addition to the samples under study are required. Therefore the gains reported in this work come at no extra cost and require only minimal implementation effort on the side of the user.
- Methoden zur Konformationsbestimmung an Peptiden und Nukleinsäuren mittels skalarer und dipolarer Kopplungen (2012)
- Die in dieser Arbeit durchgeführten Untersuchungen an GXG Modellpeptiden konnten eindeutig zeigen, dass diese Peptide, auch ohne das Vorhandensein von langreichweitigen Wechselwirkungen, bestimmte Sekundärstrukturen präferieren. Ein Teil der beobachteten, auftretenden Strukturmotive lässt sich hierbei über den sterischen Anspruch der Seitenkette erklären, ein anderer Teil über die Ladung der Seitenkette. In Kombination mit anderen Spektroskopischen Methoden konnten zehn dieser Peptide genauestens untersucht werden. Hierbei zeigte sich, dass diese Peptide nicht nur die favorisierten Regionen des Ramachandran-Diagramms besetzen. Ein Vergleich mit dem Vorkommen bestimmter Aminosäuren, beispielsweise in loop Regionen von Proteinen, zeigt dass die Sequenz dieser loops nicht zufällig ist. Tatsächlich besitzt ein Teil der Aminosäuren, die besonders häufig an bestimmten loop Positionen vorkommen, bereits die intrinsische Vorliebe, die notwendige Konformation einzunehmen. Diese Aminosäuren und die umgebenden loops sind somit eventuell nicht nur das simple Verbindungsglied zwischen zwei Sekundärstrukturen, sondern kommen selbst als Ausgangspunkte für Peptid- bzw. Proteinfaltung in Frage. Ein weiteres Augenmerk der Arbeit lag auf der Messung von skalaren und dipolaren Kopplungen an isotopenmarkierter RNA. Es wurden vier Pulssequenzen entwickelt, die es ermöglichen, 1J skalare bzw. dipolare Kopplungen in der Zuckerregion von 13C- markierter RNA mit hoher Präzision zu messen. Die entwickelten J-modulierten Experimente ermöglichen die Messung von 1J(H2’C2’), 1J(C1’C2’) sowie 1J(C2’C3’) Kopplungen selbst für größere RNA Moleküle. Die Detektion erfolgt hierbei auf den C1’H1’ Signalen, die Zuordnung der Kerne, deren Kopplung gemessen wird, ist nicht einmal erforderlich. Die Anwendbarkeit konnte für verschiedene Systeme mit 14 bis 70 Nukleotiden demonstriert werden. Die erreichte Präzision ermöglichte es außerdem auch sehr kleine Effekte, wie beispielsweise die Ausrichtung von RNA im Magnetfeld zu detektieren. Diese Arbeit zeigt außerdem zwei Beispiele für die gezielte Modifikation, um Lanthanid Bindungsstellen einführen zu können. Auf chemischen und biochemischen Weg konnte isotopenmarkierte, in vitro transkribierte RNA modifiziert werden. Die Ergebnisse zeigen eindeutig eine Bindung von Lanthanid-Ionen an die modifizierte RNA. Die auftretenden, eher kleinen Effekte, sind vermutlich auf die noch zu hohe Flexibilität der eingeführten Modifikationen. Vor allem bei der chemischen Modifikation besteht hier noch Potential zur Optimierung, nachdem die generelle Anwendbarkeit der Methode demonstriert wurde. Der letzte Teil der Arbeit beschäftigt sich mit der Analyse von Kopplungsmustern zur Analyse und zum Vergleichen von Naturstoffen. Hier konnten aus einer Reihe von Derivaten eindeutig die identifiziert werden, die verglichen mit der Ausgangsstruktur, die gleiche Konformation besitzen. Die gewonnenen Ergebnisse decken sich hier mit durchgeführten biologischen Tests, die ebenfalls dasselbe Derivat als aktiv identifizieren konnten, was klar für eine Struktur-Aktivitäts-Beziehung spricht. In der vorliegenden Arbeit werden Methoden und Anwendungen gezeigt, um skalare und dipolare Kopplungen im Bereich von Peptiden, Nukleinsäuren und kleinen Molekülen zu nutzen. Die durchgeführten Arbeiten reichen dabei von der speziellen Probenpräparation zur Messung von dipolaren Kopplungen bis hin zur Entwicklung neuer NMR-spektroskopischer Methoden zur Messung von Kopplungen mit höherer Präzision und an größeren Systemen als bisher.
- Structural and functional characterization of the triplet acyl carrier protein in the curacin cluster and its interaction partners (2011)
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO) bacterial resistance to antibiotic drug therapy is emerging as a major public health problem around the world. Infectious diseases seriously threaten the health and economy of all countries. Hence, the preservation of the effectiveness of antibiotics is a world wide priority. The key to preserving the power of antibiotics lies in maintaining their diversity. Many microorganisms are capable of producing these bioactive products, the so called antibiotics. Specifically in microorganisms, polyketide synthases (PKS) and non-ribosomal peptide synthases (NRPS) produce these natural bioactive compounds. Besides being used as antibiotics these non-ribosomal peptides and polyketides display an even broader spectrum of biological activities, e.g. as antivirals, immunosuppressants or in antitumor therapy. The wide functional spectrum of the peptides and ketides is due to their structural diversity. Mostly they are cyclic or branched cyclic compounds, containing non-proteinogenic amino acids, small heterocyclic rings and other unusual modifications such as epimerization, methylation, N‐formylation or heterocyclization. It is has been shown that these modifications are important for biological activity, but little is known about their biosynthetic origin. PKS and NRPS are multidomain protein assembly lines which function by sequentially elongating a growing polyketide or peptide chain by incorporating acyl units or amino acids, respectively. The growing product is attached via a thioester linkage to the 4’-phosphopantetheine (4’-Ppant) arm of a holo acyl carrier protein (ACP) in PKSs or holo peptidyl carrier protein (PCP) in NRPSs and is passed from one module to another along the chain of reaction centers. The modular arrangement makes PKS and NRPS systems an interesting target for protein engineering. More than 200 novel polyketide compounds have already been created by module swapping, gene deletion or other specific manipulations. Unfortunately, however, engineered PKS often fail to produce significant amounts of the desired products. Structural studies may faciliate yield improvement from engineered systems by providing a more complete understanding of the interface between the different domains. While some information about domain-domain interactions, involving the most common enzymatic modules, ketosynthase and acyltransferase, is starting to emerge, little is known about the interaction of ACP domains with other modifying enzymes such as methyltransferases, epimerases or halogenases. To further improve the understanding of domain-domain interactions this work focuses on the curacin A assembly line. Curacin A, which exhibits anti-mitotic activity, is from the marine cyanobacterium Lyngbya majuscula. This outstanding natural product contains a cyclopropane ring, a thiazoline ring, an internal cis double bond and a terminal alkene. The biosynthesis of curacin A is performed by a 2.2 Mega Dalton (MDa) hybrid PKS-NRPS cluster. A 10-enzyme assembly catalyzes the formation of the cyclopropane moiety as the first building block of the final product. Interestingly, for these enzymes the substrate is presented by an unusual cluster of three consecutive ACPs (ACPI,II,III). Little is known about the function of multiple ACPs which are supposed to increase the overall flux for enhanced production of secondary metabolites. The first task in this work was to elucidate the structural effect of the triplet ACP repetition by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The initial data show that the excised ACPI, ACPII or ACPIII proteins resulted in [15N, 1H]-TROSY spectra with strong chemical shift perturbations (CSPs), suggesting an effect on the structure. The triplet ACP domains display a high sequence identity (93- 100%) making structural investigation using usual NMR techniques due to high peak overlap impossible. To enable the investigation of the triplet ACP in its native composition we developed a powerful method, the three fragment ligation. Segmental labeling allows incorporating isotopes into one single domain in its multidomain context. As a result we could prepare the triplet ACP with only one domain isotopically labeled and therefore assign the full length protein. In this way our method paved the way to study the structural effects of the triplet ACP repetition. We could show unexpectedly, that, despite the fact that the triplet repeat of CurA ACPI,II,III has a synergistic effect in the biosynthesis of CurA, the domains are structurally independent. In the second part of this work, we studied the structure of the isolated ACPI domain. Our results show that the CurA ACPI undergoes no major conformational changes upon activation via phosphopantetheinylation and therefore contradicts the conformational switching model which has been proposed for PCPs. Further we report the NMR solution structures of holo-ACPI and 3-hydroxyl-3-methylglutaryl (HMG)-ACPI. Data obtained from filtered nuclear overhauser effect (NOE) experiments indicate that the substrate HMG is not sequestered but presented on the ACP surface. In the third part of this work we focussed on the protein-protein interactions of the isolated ACPI with its cognate interaction partners. We were especially interested in the interaction with the halogenase (Cur Hal), the first enzyme within the curacin A sub-cluster, acting on the initial hydroxyl-methyl-glutaryl (HMG) attached to ACPI. Primarily we studied the interaction using NMR titration and fluorescence anisotropy measurements. Surprisingly no complex between ACPI and Cur Hal could be detected. The combination of an activity assay using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectroscopy and mutational analysis revealed several amino acids of ACPI that strongly decrease the activity of CurA Hal. Mapping these mutations according to their effect on the Cur Hal activity onto the structure of HMG-ACPI displays that these amino acids surround the substrate and form a consecutive surface. These results suggest that this surface is important for Cur Hal recognition and selectivity. Our research presented herein is an excellent example for protein-protein interactions in PKS systems underlying a specific recognition process.
- Dimerisierung der humanen 5-Lipoxygenase (2012)
- Die 5-Lipoxygenase (5-LO) ist eines der Schlüsselenzyme der Leukotrienbiosynthese. Sie katalysiert zunächst die Umsetzung der freigesetzten Arachidonsäure(AA) zu 5-Hydroperoxyeicosatetraensäure (5-HpETE), in einem zweiten Reaktionsschritt wandelt sie diese in Leukotrien A4 (LTA4) um. Leukotriene sind potente Entzündungsmediatoren und spielen eine wichtige Rolle bei entzündlichen und allergischen Reaktionen. Außerdem wird die Beteiligung an verschiedenen Krebsarten kontrovers diskutiert. Sie besteht aus 673AS, ist 78 kDa schwer und gliedert sich wie alle bisher bekannten Lipoxygenasen in eine N-terminale C2-ähnliche, regulatorische Domäne(AS 1–114) (C2ld), die für die Membran- und Calciumbindung sowie die Interaktion mit dem Coactosin-like Protein (CLP) verantwortlich ist, und in eine C-terminale, katalytische Domäne (AS 121–673), die das Nicht-Häm-gebundene Eisen im aktiven Zentrum trägt. Ein weiteres Strukturmerkmal sind zwei ATP-Bindungsregionen, eine befindet sich in der C2ld (AS 73–83), die andere auf der katalytischen Domäne (AS 193–209), das molare Verhältnis von 5-LO zu ATP konnte dabei auf 1:1 festgelegt werden . Bereits 1982 wurde in einer Veröffentlichung von Parker et al. beschrieben, dass 5-LO aus Rattenzellen in Gegenwart von Calcium auf einer Gelfiltration dimerisieren kann , 2008 schließlich wurde von Aleem et al. publiziert, dass humane 12-LO aus Thrombozyten Dimere bilden kann . Somit konnte es möglich sein, dass auch die humane 5-LO zur Dimerisierung fähig ist. Zunächst wurde aufgereinigtes Enzym mit nativer Gelelektrophorese und anschließender Coomassiefärbung oder Western Blot untersucht, dabei konnten mehrere Banden pro Bahn detektiert werden. Um dieses Phänomen weiter zu untersuchen, wurde im Anschluss eine Gelfiltration etabliert; da die C2ld der 5-LO recht hydrophob ist, war es nötig, 0,5% T20 zum Elutionspuffer PBS/EDTA zuzusetzen, da das Enzym ansonsten unspezifisch mit dem Säulenmaterial interagiert und für seine Größe zu spät eluiert hätte. In Anwesenheit von T20 eluierte 5-LO in zwei getrennten Peaks, die exakt zu den vorher mit Referenzproteinen bestimmten Elutionsvolumina des Monomers und Dimers passten. Weiter wurde getestet, ob niedermolekulare Substanzen einen Einfluss auf das Dimerisierungsverhalten haben, allerdings konnte weder durch Ca2+noch durch ATP eine Verstärkung der Dimerisierung beobachtet werden. Dahingegen konnte, nach Vorinkubation mit GSH und Diamid, das alleinige Monomer auf der Gelfiltration nachgewiesen werden, nach Vorinkubation nur mit Diamid, lag das gesamte Protein ausschließlich als Dimer vor. Durch Gelelektrophorese mit oder ohne Zusatz von ß-Mercaptoethanol und LILBID-MS konnte die Ausbildung von intermolekularen Disulfidbrücken bestätigt werden. Ein Bindungsassay mit radioaktivem 35S-GSH konnte die kovalente Bindung des GSH an die 5-LO bestätigen. Quantifizierungsstudien mit Ellmans Reagens zeigten, dass mindestens eins der Oberflächencysteine mit GSH modifiziert wurde. Die von der Gelfiltration erhaltenen Fraktionen wurden auf enzymatische Aktivität getestet und in allen 5-LO-haltigen Fraktionen konnte Aktivität gefunden werden. Leider war es nicht möglich, eine Aussage darüber zu treffen, ob das Mono- oder das Dimer aktiver war. Es liegt offenbar in einem Fließgleichgewicht vor, da erneute Injektion des Monomerpeaks im bekannten Elutionsprofil aus zwei Peaks resultierte. Außerdem führt die Anwesenheit von 0,5% T20 während des Aktivitätstests zu einer Hemmung des Enzyms und weniger detektierbaren 5-LO-Produkten; es fiel vor allem auf, dass so gut wie keinerlei trans- und epitrans-LTB4, die nicht-enzymatischen Zerfallprodukte der 5-HpETE, nachzuweisen waren. Betrachtet man die Struktur der 5-LO, so findet man zehn Cysteine an der Oberfläche; die Cysteine 159, 300, 416 und 418 liegen dabei in einem Interface. Mutiert man diese Cysteine zu Serinen, so verschwindet der Dimer-induzierende Effekt des Diamids, wohingegen die Mutante weiterhin glutathionylierbar bleibt. Interessanterweise zeigt diese Mutante auch eine wesentlich weniger ausgeprägte Hemmung durch T20. Um eine Aussage treffen zu können, ob auch 5-LO aus humanen Zellen Dimere bilden kann, wurde 5-LO-haltiger S100 aus polymorphkernigen Leukozyten (PMNL) untersucht. Dabei konnte mit Western Blot und einem Aktivitätsnachweis gezeigt werden, dass die 5-LO in einem breiten Bereich von der Gelfiltration eluiert. Das deutet darauf hin, dass sie in PMNL ebenfalls dimerisiert vorliegen kann. In Gegenwart von Ca2+kam es zu einer Verschiebung der 5-LO zu höhermolekularen Gewichten, wobei dieses Phänomen nicht bei S100 aus transformierten E.coli auftrat, was auf einen gerichteten Komplex nach Calciuminduktion in PMNL hindeutet. Außerdem wurde im Rahmen dieser Arbeit der Bindemodus von Sulindac an die 5-LO mittels Crosslinking untersucht. Dabei konnte gezeigt werden, dass konzentrationsabhängig der einfache Komplex aus 5-LO und CLP abnimmt, dafür aber ein hochmolekularer Komplex, der beide Enzyme enthält, entsteht. Weder das Prodrug Sulindac noch der weitere Metabolit Sulindacsulfon oder andere Inhibitoren, die ebenfalls an der C2ld angreifen sollen, zeigten diesen Effekt. Leider konnte nicht weiter geklärt werden, was diesen Effekt verursacht, allerdings liegt die Vermutung nahe, dass es zu einer Aggregation kommt. Weitere Untersuchungen könnten wichtige Hinweise auf das Design von neuen Arzneistoffen bringen, um selektivere und damit nebenwirkungsärmere Inhibitoren zu finden.
- Biophysical studies on LmrA : a multidrug resistance ABC transporter / von Ute A. Hellmich (2010)
- LmrA is a member of the ATP Binding Cassette (ABC) transporter family of membrane proteins and a structural and functional homologue of P-glycoprotein1, 2. ABC-transporters share a common architecture of two transmembrane domains and two nucleotide binding domains. The NBDs are highly conserved in this transporter family whereas the TMDs are highly diverse3. The TMDs recognize the substrate and the NBDs bind and hydrolyze ATP and thus contribute the energy for substrate translocation. ABC transporters as a protein family transport a high number of substrates including peptides, nutrients, ions, bile acids, lipids and other lipophilic compounds. LmrA is a multidrug transporter that recognizes a number of hydrophobic substrates including fluorescent dyes and antibiotics1, 4-6. LmrA is a native protein of the gram-positive bacterium Lactococcus lactis. In this thesis, L. lactis was used as a homologous expression host for the preparation of LmrA for a variety of experiments. Wildtype LmrA as well as a number of cysteine mutants were successfully expressed in L. lactis, purified and subsequently characterized by a variety of biochemical assays (Chapter 4). LmrA can be expressed to very high amounts in L. lactis. The purification and reconstitution were optimized for the requirements of solid-state NMR experiments in this thesis. For the first time, an ABC transporter has been reconstituted in synthetic lipids to a ratio of up to 1:150 (mol/mol). LmrA was shown to be active under magic angle spinning conditions with these reconstitution ratios. By taking advantage of the slower ATP hydrolysis by LmrA ΔK388 (lysine deletion in the Walker A motif), a real-time 31P solid-state NMR ATPase assay was established (Chapter 5). This assay allowed, for the first time, the investigation of all phosphor nuclei during the ATP hydrolysis cycle of a membrane protein simultaneously and in real time7. This assay has been successfully adapted to investigate both ATP hydrolysis and substrate phosphorylation of diacylglycerol kinase (together with S. Wollschlag) and ATP hydrolysis at high temperatures of the thermophilic ABC transporter ABC1 from Thermos thermophilus (together with A. Zutz). In the course of this thesis, the gene for LmrA has been cloned into expression vectors suitable for Escherichia coli and the heterologous expression of LmrA was established (Chapter 4). The functionality of the heterologously expressed protein has been investigated and compared to L. lactis LmrA. In these experiments, LmrA was shown to yield a distinct multidrug resistance phenotype in its E. coli host and to show secondary active multidrug transport in the absence of ATP and presence of a proton gradient [Hellmich et al, in prep] (Chapter 4). Previously, it had been shown that LmrA acts as a seconadary active transporter when the NBDs are truncated8. The overexpression in minimal and defined medium and the purification of LmrA from E. coli have been optimized. Isotope labeling for ssNMR has been established and the first multinuclear ssNMR experiments have been carried out on a functional ABC transporter (Chapter 8). ABC transporters couple two cycles: upon ATP binding, the NBDs dimerize, hydrolyze the ATP, subsequently release Pi and ADP and finally dissociate. During this cycle, conformational changes are relayed to the TMDs which utilize the energy from ATP binding and/or hydrolysis to translocate the respective substrate. The prehydrolysis state can be trapped by beryllium fluoride, whereas the post-hydrolysis state of this cycle can be trapped by vanadate9-12. Trapping protocols for these reagents were successfully established for LmrA in this thesis (Chapter 4). This allowed for the investigation of different catalytic states by both ssNMR and EPR. A general 19F labeling protocol for membrane proteins has been established in the course of this thesis and successfully applied to proteorhodopsin (together with N. Pfleger)13 and LmrA (chapter 6). Single cysteine mutants of LmrA that line out the dimer interface have been labeled with a fluorine label for ssNMR. In the apo state, the 19F labeling indicates highly flexible transmembrane domains, a finding that is supported by 13C ssNMR and EPR measurements. The addition of drugs has a different effect on different positions within the LmrA dimer, therefore indicating that different drugs are recognized at a different position within the protein. For P-glycoprotein and LmrA it has been previously shown by biochemical methods that different drug binding sites co-exist. For a 19F label attached at position 314 (LmrA E314C), the spectra showed two distinct peaks with similar populations. This could hint towards a structural asymmetry within the LmrA dimer that might also be reflected in the alternating ATP hydrolysis at the NBDs. E314 has been specifically implicated with drug transport. Thus, structural asymmetry at this position might be functionally relevant for guiding a substrate through the transporter. Structural asymmetry within a homodimeric ABC transporter has also been shown for BtuCD, the E. coli vitamin B12 importer14. In addition, the conserved glutamates in EmrE, a small multidrug resistance protein, were shown to be asymmetric in the drug bound state15. Both, uniformly 13C/15N labeled as well as selectively amino acid type labeled LmrA has been investigated in different conformational states. Interestingly, significant dynamic changes in the b-sheet regions of LmrA (confined to the NBDs) were observed in the pre-hydrolysis (beryllium fluoride) and transition state (vanadate trapped) state. These were interpreted as the transition from a domain in fast conformational exchange in the apo state to one of intermediate exchange in the nucleotide bound state. A significant change in NBD mobility upon nucleotide binding was previously also shown with 2H ssNMR on LmrA16. By EPR it was shown that LmrA in both the vanadate and BeFx trapped states displays a significantly higher rigidity and therefore defined distances, whereas the apo state resembled a “floppy” protein with no preferred distance distribution. This concurs with data obtained from 19F ssNMR with fluorine labeled single-cysteine mutants. Here, in agreement with the EPR data, a higher label (and possibly) protein mobility was observed in the apo state displaying rather broad line widths. Upon trapping with vanadate, the line widths of the majority of fluorine-labeled mutants decreased due to an enhanced protein rigidity and a more homogenous environment of the fluorine labels. A similar observation was made when increasing the temperature that can be explained due to higher protein flexibility at increased temperatures. Solution NMR was employed to investigate the isolated soluble NBD of LmrA (Chapter 9). First 2D and 3D spectra were successfully obtained and could be utilized for a preliminary assignment of a significant fraction of residues. Additionally, binding of ATP and ADP in absence and presence of magnesium was investigated. Finally, the effects of peptides emulating the coupling helices of the full-length transporter on the soluble NBD were investigated. Strikingly, binding of one of these peptides only occurred in the presence of nucleotides (whereas the other showed no binding at all) hinting towards a tightly coupled regulation of the NBD and TMD during the substrate translocation/ATP hydrolysis cycle based on nucleotide binding.
- Heterologous production and characterization of two distinct di-heme containing membrane integral cytochrome b561 enzymes from Arabidopsis thaliana (2007)
- Cytochrome b561 (cyt b561) proteins are members of the recently identified eukaryotic ascorbate reducible protein family named CYBASC (CYtochrome B, ASCorbate reducible). CYBASC proteins are di-heme-b-containing membrane proteins that catalyze the transmembrane electron transfer from ascorbate. The function of the CYBASC proteins has been correlated with ascorbate recycling and/or iron facilitation uptake. Therefore, investigations on this family are of great interest as ascorbate is one of the most powerful antioxidants and iron is essential for cell survival both in animals and plants. As the amino acid sequence conservation of animal and plant CYBASC proteins is relatively high, all CYBASC members are proposed to share the same structural motifs. However, no three-dimensional structure of any representative member of the CYBASC family has been determined to date. In the Arabidopsis thaliana (A. thaliana) genome, two complete putative CYBASC open reading frames (ORFs), artb561-a and artb561-b were identified. In this thesis, these two A. thaliana CYBASC ORFs, encoding for Acytb561-A and Acytb561-B proteins respectively, were investigated and obtained main results are listed. 1. A. thaliana CYBASC proteins were heterologously produced in Pichia pastoris and Escherichia coli and purified by a single-step immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC). To facilitate detection and purification, the recombinant A. thaliana CYBASC proteins were produced in both expression systems with the histidine affinity tag. Pure and stable preparations of the cytochromes were obtained via a single-step IMAC in sufficient amounts to perform biochemical characterizations. 2. Detergent solubilized recombinant Acytb561-A and Acytb561-B are dimers. As previously suggested for other CYBASC proteins, analytical gel filtration experiment suggested that both detergent solubilized cytochromes are dimers. 3. Spectroscopic features of Acytb561-B differed from those of previously described bovine chromaffin granule cyt b561. A distinctive feature of the first identified CYBASC protein, the cyt b561 from bovine chromaffin vesicles of adrenal medulla (Bcytb561-CG), is that its differential visible absorbance spectra (visible-spectra) revealed an asymmetric α-band with a maximum at 562 nm and a clear shoulder at 557 nm. This feature was recently used to discriminate CYBASC proteins from not-CYBASC proteins. However, in this thesis, it is shown for the first time that not all CYBASC proteins display in their reduced-minus-oxidized visible-spectra an asymmetric α- band and therefore, this feature can not be used as a discriminating CYBASC characteristic. 4. Ascorbate dependent reduction of the A. thaliana CYBASC proteins is inhibited by diethylpyrocarbonate (DEPC). As previously reported for the Bcytb561-CG, the ascorbatedependent reduction of the A. thaliana CYBASC proteins was inhibited by DEPC treatment. In addition, the ‘ascorbate protectant’ effect against DEPC that was observed on the Bcytb561-CG was also observed on the Acytb561-A and Acytb561-B proteins. Furthermore, as the physiological electron donor of all CYBASC proteins is supposed to be ascorbate, ascorbate-affinity of Acytb561- A and Acytb561-B was monitored and was found to be in the same range of the one of the Bcytb561- CG. 5. A. thaliana CYBASC proteins are Fe3+-chelate reductases. Recently, the Fe3+-chelate reductase activity of various CYBASC proteins was presented. In this thesis, it is shown that also both A. thaliana CYBASC proteins reduced Fe3+-chelates such as Fe3+-EDTA and Fe3+-citrate. Consistently, heme potentiometric reductive-oxidative titration of purified Acytb561-A and Acytb561-B indicated that the midpoint potential of the two heme centres of both cytochromes was lower than the one of those Fe3+-chelates. The values of both heme centre potentials of Acytb561-A and Acytb561-B are also consistent with the observation that both cytochromes were only partially reducible by ascorbate and were fully reduced with the non-physiological reductant Na-dithionite. In summary, this work describes the heterologous production, purification and initial characterizations of two distinct CYBASC proteins from A. thaliana: Acytb561-A and Acytb561-B. Biochemical characterization of these cytochromes showed that the shape of the α-band in the differential spectra is not a discriminating factor for CYBASC proteins but it is likely the DEPC sensitivity and the Fe3+-chelate reductase activity. Establishment of a purification strategy to obtain sufficient amounts of monodispersed and stable A. thaliana CYBASC proteins has also enabled initial screening of three dimensional crystallization conditions which are a prerequisite for a deeper understanding of this new eukaryotic redox enzyme family.
- Solid-state NMR investigations of the ATP binding cassette multidrug transporter LmrA (2006)
- The development of resistance to multiple drugs is a major problem in treatment of number of infectious diseases and cancer. The phenomenon of multidrug resistance (MDR) is based on the synergetic interplay of a number of mechanisms such as target inactivation, target alteration, prevention of drug influx as well as active extrusion of drugs from the cell. The latter is mediated by over-expression of multidrug efflux pumps. The first discovered and the best characterized until now the human MDR transporter is P-glycoprotein. It is a member of the ATP binding cassette (ABC) superfamily and acts as an active transporter for a variety of anticancer agents using the energy released by ATP hydrolysis. The closest structure and functional homologue of P-glycoprotein found in bacteria is LmrA from Lactococcus lactis. The major goals of this work are to establish the selective isotope labelling of LmrA in Lactococcus lactis, to optimize LmrA sample preparation for solid-state NMR, and finally to perform first solidstate NMR investigations on LmrA shedding light on its catalytic cycle and substrate binding. For a long time the solid-state NMR applications to biological science has been limited to investigation of small molecules mostly. Recently, the solid-state NMR methods have shown potential for structuraland non-perturbing, site directed functional studies of large membrane proteins as well as ligands bound to them. However, to our knowledge neither selective isotope amino acid labelling of any ABC transporter, nor NMR investigations on full-length ABC transporter have been reported to date. Solidstate NMR experiments on a membrane protein require reconstitution of purified proteins into a membrane environment at a high density and either isotopic enrichment of the protein or bound drugs or inhibitors. Therefore, the large quantities of LmrA reconstituted at a high density in lipid membranes, sufficient for advanced NMR studies have been produced and its functional state in reconstituted form has been assessed. In the next step, a procedure for cost effective selective amino acids isotope labelling of LmrA in Lactococcus lactis has been established. Using this protocol deuterium alanine labelled LmrA reconstituted into E. coli liposomes has been prepared. Deuterium NMR has been used extensively to assess the proteins dynamics in past. However, it has never been applied to ABC transporter. Here, we report 2H NMR on selective alanine isotope labelled LmrA which has been used to shed light on the dynamics changes in the protein occurred under AMP-PNP, non-hydrolysable ATP analogue, binding and in ATP/ADP-Vanadate trapped state. It has been found that the major conformation changes affecting the protein motional characteristics occur in the ATP binding domains but not in the transmembrane domains. Additionally, the binding of several substrates to LmrA has been studied by fluorescence spectroscopy as well as by 19F and 31P solid-state NMR. The binding constants for several LmrA substrates have been obtained by fitting the concentration dependant tryptophan intrinsic fluorescence quenching curves. Based on the fluorescence studies and solid-state NMR data, the conformation changes in LmrA under substrate binding have been discussed. In addition, the preferable location of nine LmrA and P-glycoprotein substrates within the model membrane has been studied via 1H-MAS-NOESY-NMR. The results have been interpreted with respect to LmrA and P-glycoprotein binding site accessibility from the membrane interface region.
- Characterization of proteorhodopsin 2D crystals by electron microscopy and solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (2008)
- Proteorhodopsin (PR) originally isolated from uncultivated γ-Proteobacterium as a result of biodiversity screens, is highly abundant ocean wide. PR, a Type I retinal binding protein with 26% sequence identity, is a bacterial homologue of Bacteriorhodopsin (BR). The members within this family share about 78% of sequence identity and display a 40 nm difference in the absorption spectra. This property of the PR family members provides an excellent model system for understanding the mechanism of spectral tuning. Functionally PR is a photoactive proton pump and is suggested to exhibit a pH dependent vectorality of proton transfer. This raises questions about its potential role as pH dependent regulator. The abundance of PR in huge numbers within the cell, its widespread distribution ocean wide at different depths hints towards the involvement of PR in utilization of solar energy, energy metabolism and carbon recycling in the Sea. Contrary to BR, which is known to be a natural 2D crystal, no such information is available for PR til date. Neither its functional mechanism nor its 3D structure has been resolved so far. This PhD project is an attempt to gain a deeper insight so as to understand structural and functional characterization of PR. The approach combines the potentials of 2D crystallography, Atomic Force Microscopy and Solid State NMR techniques for characterization of this protein. Wide range of crystalline conditions was obtained as a result of 2D crystallization screens. This hints towards dominant protein protein interactions. Considering the high number of PR molecules reported per cell, it is likely that driven by such interactions, the protein has a native dense packing in the environment. The projection map represented low resolution of these crystals but suggested a donut shape oligomeric arrangement of protein in a hexagonal lattice with unit cell size of 87Å*87Å. Preliminary FTIR measurements indicated that the crystalline environment does not obstruct the photocycle of PR and K as well as M intermediate states could be identified. Single molecule force spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy on these 2D crystals was used to probe further information about the oligomeric state and nature of unfolding. The data revealed that protein predominantly exists as hexamers in crystalline as well as densely reconstituted regions but a small percentage of pentamers is also observed. The unfolding mechanism was similar to the other relatively well-characterized members of rhodopsin family. A good correlation of the atomic force microscopy and the electron microscopy data was achieved. Solid State NMR of the isotopically labeled 2D crystalline preparations using uniformly and selectively labeling schemes, allowed to obtain high quality SSNMR spectra with typical 15N line width in the range of 0.6-1.2 ppm. The measured 15N chemical shift value of the Schiff base in the 2D crystalline form was observed to be similar to the Schiff base chemical shift values for the functionally active reconstituted samples. This provides an indirect evidence for the active functionality of the protein and hence the folding. The first 15N assignment has been achieved for the Tryptophan with the help of Rotational Echo Double Resonance experiments. The 2D Cross Polarization Lee Goldberg measurements reflect the dynamic state of the protein inspite of restricted mobility in the crystalline state. The behavior of lipids as measured by 31P from the lipid head group showed that the lipids are not tightly bound to the protein but behave more like the lipid bilayer. The 13C-13C homonulear correlation experiments with optimized mixing time based on build up curve analysis, suggest that it is possible to observe individual resonances as seen in case of glutamic acid. The signal to noise was good enough to record a decent spectrum in a feasible period. The selective unlabeling is an efficient method for reduction in the spectral overlap. However, more efficient labeling schemes are required for further characterization. The present spectral resolution is good for individual amino acid investigation but for uniformly labeled samples, further improvement is required.