- Insights into a Lipid Regulator by Solid-State MAS NMR: Kinetic and Structure-Functional Studies on Diacylglycerol Kinase (2013)
- In this thesis the integral membrane protein diacylglycerol kinase (DAGK) from E.coli is investigated with solid-state NMR. The aim is to gain an insight into the enzyme’s mechanism through integration of kinetic, structural and dynamic data. The biological function of DAGK is the transfer of the γ-phosphate group from Mg*ATP to diacylglycerol (DAG) building phosphatidic acid (PA) as port of the membrane-derived oligosaccharide cycle[31,34]. Surprisingly, DAGK does not share structural or sequential similarities with other kinases. Typical sequence motives found in other kinases, which catalyze phosphoryl transfer reactions, are not found. In its physiological form DAGK is a homo-trimer with nine transmembrane helices, three catalytic centers and a size of 39.6 kDa. First, the set-up of a real-time 31P MAS NMR experiment is shown. This experiment allows measuring in real-time the simultaneous ATP hydrolysis in the aqueous phase and lipid substrate phos-phorylation in the membrane phase with atomic resolution under magic angle spinning. After fast transfer of the sample into the NMR spectrometer the enzymatic reaction is started with a temperature jump. This approach of real-time MAS NMR in a dual-phase system was demonstrated for the lipid substrate analogs dioleoyl- (DOG) and dibutyrylglycerol (DBG), with a C8 and C4 aliphatic chain, respectively. The combination of 31P direct and cross polarization functions as a dynamic filter. In the 31P direct polarized experiment nuclei in both phases are detected, while in the 31P cross polar-ized experiment, only nuclei in the membrane phase are detected. Rates for substrate turnover, i.e. degradation of γP-, βP, αP-ATP and build-up of βP-, αP-ADP, free phosphate as side reaction, and PA are obtained, which reveal a Michaelis-Menten behavior with regard to Mg*ATP and DBG. Here Mg*ATP and DBG follow a random-equilibrium model, where every substrate can bind indepen-dently from the other substrate. Analyses of the peak integrals from educts and products of the enzymatic reaction, revealed the stoichiometry of the reaction: 1.5 ATP molecules are used to phos-phorylate one DBG molecule. The excess of ATP is attributed to the basal ATPase activity. Further-more, experiments with ATPγS, usually regarded as a non-hydrolysable ATP-analog, where carried out. Surprisingly, DAGK hydrolyzes ATPγS and also transfers the thio-phosphate group to the lipid acceptor DBG, which points to a certain degree of plasticity in the active center. A phosphorylated enzyme intermediate was not detected. These results suggest the building of a ternary complex of Mg*ATP, DBG and DAGK performing a direct-phosphoryl transfer reaction, without passing through a phosphorylated enzyme intermediate. Experiments with the transition state analog ortho-vanadate (Vi) showed a decoupling of the ATP hydrolysis activity from lipid substrate phosphorylation. This indicates a specific transfer site for the γ-phosphate group from ATP to DAG, which can be blocked by Vi. A general disadvantage of NMR spectroscopy compared to other spectroscopic methods is its inherent low sensitivity. One possible starting point for the improvement of signal-to-noise per unit time is the reduction of the spin-lattice relaxation time of protons. Usually 95 % of the experi-mental time is required for the relaxation of the 1H to equilibrium. The addition of paramagnetic species can be used to reduce the 1H T1. In a comprehensive study four different paramagnetic agents were tested: Cu2+-EDTA, Cu2+-EDTA-tag, Gd3+-TTAHA and Gd3+-DOTA. The titration of these paramagnetic complexes showed the principle feasibility of this approach, but differences between the tested species exist. The most promising complex is Gd3+-DOTA which, at a concentration of 2 mM, causes a 10-time improvement of signal-to-noise ratio per unit time. This allowed measuring 2D 13C-13C correlation spectra of proteoliposomes in one tenth of the usual required experimental time (i.e. 10 hours vs. 4 days) with good signal-to-noise. For the investigation of structural or dynamic changes in the protein upon substrate interaction with MAS NMR, the spectral properties CP efficiency and resolution of the DAGK in liposomes needed to be improved. The most critical step during sample preparation is the reconstitution of the membrane protein from detergent micelles into a membrane of synthetic lipids under detergent removal. For this procedure the important criteria are enzymatic activity, measured in a coupled ATPase assay, and homogeneity of the proteoliposomes, which was tested e.g. on a discontinuous sucrose step gradient. Therefore an extensive study was carried out, in which different detergents, lipids and lipid mixtures, techniques for detergent removal and different protein-to-lipid ratios were tested. A direct correlation between high ATPase activity and good resolution was not found. Moreover, active DAGK in a mixture of DMPC and cholesterol, which emulates the membrane features of a membrane containing DAG, showed the best CP efficiency and resolution. The assignment of the protein backbone and amino acid side chains the first mandatory step towards the investigation of structural and dynamical features influencing and defining the enzymatic mechanism by MAS NMR. As the assignment procedure is very time consuming for a total protein, a special labeling scheme for DAGK was developed, which allows assigning most of the protein areas presumably involved in enzyme catalysis. The assignment of DAGK with solution NMR was not transferable to the MAS NMR spectra. Most important for the assignment process were the unique pairs, two consecutive amino acids which only appear once in the amino acid sequence. These unique pairs served as anchor points. Five different multinuclear MAS NMR experiments (DARR, NCO, NCA, NCACX, NCOCX) were required for the sequential assignment. It was possible to assign 35 % of the total amino acid sequence with one sample and 8 experiments acquired at 850 MHz. The secondary structure analysis showed subtle differences to the DAGK assignment with solution NMR, which can be attributed to the different environment in lipid bilayers and detergent micelles. Data about structural and dynamical changes under substrate interaction can reveal details about the enzymatic mechanism. Therefore changes in chemical shift in 2D heteronuclear correlation experiments in the apo-state and under substrate saturated conditions with the substrates Mg*AMP-PNP, a non-hydrolysable ATP-analog, DOG, a mixture of Mg*AMP-PNP and DOG as well as inhibited by Vi were recorded. The most significant peak changes were observed at the interface membrane-cytoplasm as well as the the N-terminal amphipathic helix. The residues revealing chemical shift perturbations correlate with conserved residues or such residues, for which importance for catalysis and/or folding could be shown in mutation studies. Especially noticeable were the changes at the amino acids Asn 72, Lys 64, His 87, Tyr 86 and Asp 95. Beside changes of the chemical shift, changes of line width or signal doubling were observable. These changes can point to a correlation with dynamic reorientations in the μs-ms time regime, which are most relevant for enzymatic processes. The protein backbone dynamics in the apo-state as well as saturated with the substrates or inhibited with Vi were investigated with a 15N-CODEX experiment, which is based on the reorientation of the CSA tensor upon dynamical changes. Specific effects of the different substrates or analogs on the protein backbone dynamic were revealed complementing the structural data and the chemical shift perturbation experiments.
- 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.
- Purification and characterisation of the respiratory supercomplex III/IV from Corynebacterium glutamicum and phospholipid analysis of membrane proteins (2008)
- The respiratory chain is composed of protein complexes residing in the inner mitochondrial membrane of eukaryotes or in the cytoplasmic membrane of prokaryotes. This cellular energy converter transforms a redox potential stored in low potential substrates into an electrochemical potential across the respective membrane. Typical respiratory chains contain the complexes I, II, III and IV named according to their sequence in the respiratory chain reaction. Electrons of low potential substrates enter at complex I or II and are passed via complex III to complex IV where they are transferred to oxygen. The transport of electrons between the complexes is mediated by small electron shuttles like quinol or cytochrome c. Two different models describe their exchange either by (1) random collision of freely diffusible electron shuttles and membrane protein complexes or (2) arrangement of the complexes in supercomplexes enabling direct channeling of electron shuttles. In the Gram positive bacterium Corynebacterium glutamicum, the complex III to complex IV electron shuttle cytochrome c is not diffusible but a covalently bound part of the diheme cytochrome subunit QcrC of complex III. Therefore, the complexes III and IV have to form a supercomplex for electron transduction. The aim of this thesis was to purify and characterise this obligatory supercomplex III/IV of C. glutamicum. To gain sufficient biomass of C. glutamicum as starting material for purification, a phosphate buffered minimal medium was developed that enabled yield of total 120 g wet cell mass (38 g dry mass) in 12 L (6×2 L) shaking cultures. The determined conversion factor of glucose into biomass was 0.46 g/g indicating an intact respiratory chain. The yield was increased by bioreactor cultivation to ~690 g wet cell mass (~220 g dry mass) in ~10 L culture volume. A previously described homologous expression system was applied that produces the complex IV subunit CtaD with a fused Strep-tag II to facilitate purification. Affinity purifications using the Strep-tag II affinity to Strep-Tactin resin yielded a mixture of complexes and supercomplexes. Two supercomplex III/IV versions named supercomplex A and B and free complex IV were identified in this mixture by size exclusion chromatography, redox difference spectroscopy and two dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis including blue native polyacrylamide electrophoresis. The here presented downscaled blue native polyacrylamide electrophoresis method with analysis times of ~1 h enabled efficient screening of factors influencing the stability of supercomplex III/IV. The screening resulted that the integrity of supercomplex III/IV is preserved by using neutral detergents at minimal detergent to protein ratios for solubilisation and low detergent concentrations for purification and storage slightly above the required critical micellar concentration. Furthermore, pH <=7.5 is required for stability of supercomplex III/IV. Large biomass yields enabled upscaling of supercomplex III/IV affinity purification. Application of the identified stability conditions resulted in affinity purified samples free of supercomplex B. The major component supercomplex A was efficiently separated from residual free complex IV by preparative size exclusion chromatography. Concentration of purified supercomplex A by ultracentrifugation resulted in integrity of the supercomplex for several days at 4 °C. Purified supercomplex A contains ten different previously described subunits. The heme content of supercomplex A relative to the protein mass is heme A: 6.0 μmol/g, heme B: 6.5 μmol/g, and heme C: 5.8 μmol/g determined by redox difference spectroscopy and biochemical protein quantification. This indicates an equimolar ratio of complex III and complex IV in supercomplex A. Supercomplex A has quinol oxidase activity that is inhibited by stigmatellin or sodium azide. The turnover number of transferred electrons per complex III monomer is 148 s−1 at 25° C. The homogeneity and stability of the prepared supercomplex A enabled the growth of threedimensional crystals of up to 0.1 mm in length. Their composition of supercomplex A was verified by redox difference spectroscopy of intact crystals and blue native polyacrylamide electrophoresis of dissolved crystals. The crystals diffracted X-rays corresponding to a resolution of ~10 Å. Electron microscopy of negative stained samples revealed the uniform shape of purified supercomplex A particles with dimensions of 22 × 9 nm in the view plane. Combined heme quantification, size determination, determined activity, symmetry considerations, and particle shape indicate that supercomplex A has a central dimer of complex III and two monomers of complex IV on opposite sides. This conformation is functionally reasonable because it provides each complex III monomer with one complex IV monomer as electron acceptor. Therefore, the stoichiometry of supercomplex A is most likely III2IV2. The sensitivity of supercomplex A to detergents indicated a role of phospholipids in its stability. Therefore, a method for phospholipid identification and quantification was developed that is suitable for detergent solubilised crude and purified membrane protein samples. The analysis combines separation of phospholipid classes according to their head group by normal phase high performance liquid chromatography with evaporative light scattering detection. Calibration with external standard allows quantification of phospholipid amount in the range of 0.25-12 μg. The method is verified by analysing the phospholipid content of the well characterised complex III of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The reduction of its phospholipid content during its purification steps is monitored. The complex III sample purified to crystallisation quality contains the phospholipid content that was also observed in previously reported structures determined by X-ray crystallography. Purified stable supercomplex A from C. glutamicum revealed a large content of bound phospholipids. The main differences between intact supercomplex A and a mixture of potentially disintegrated smaller complexes is that intact supercomplex A has a doubled phosphatidic acid content and an increased phosphatidyl glycerol content. The importance of the small anionic phosphatidic acid for mediation of contacts between complexes in a supercomplex is discussed. The total phospholipid content of stable supercomplex A is sufficient for a complete belt surrounding the supercomplex in the membrane plane. This indicates that also all essential internal phospholipid binding positions are occupied and potentially stabilise supercomplex A.
- 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.
- NMR-spektroskopische Methodenentwicklung an RNA und strukturelle Charakterisierung des transkriptionellen Adenin-RNA-Schalters (2012)
- Die Untersuchung von RNA mittels NMR-Spektroskopie hat in den letzten Jahren an Bedeutung gewonnen, weil die Zahl der neu entdeckten RNA-Funktionen, wie z.B. RNA-Schalter in Bakterien, stark gestiegen ist. Ziel dieser Arbeit war es, mithilfe der NMR-Spektroskopie einen Beitrag zum besseren Verständnis der biochemischen Prozesse, in die RNA-Moleküle involviert sein können, zu leisten. Im ersten Teil dieser Arbeit (Kapitel 2, 3 und 4) werden zum einen die Entwicklung neuer Methoden für die RNA-Strukturbestimmung vorgestellt und zum anderen die Leistungsfähigkeit der modernen NMR-spektroskopischen Strukturaufklärung demonstriert. Im zweiten Teil dieser Arbeit (Kapitel 5) wird die NMR-Spektroskopie zur Untersuchung der RNA-Schalter-Funktion eingesetzt. Die biologische Funktion von RNA oder Proteinen setzt oftmals eine dynamische Struktur voraus und involviert Konformationsänderungen infolge biochemischer Signalweiterleitung. Für die Charakterisierung solcher Prozesse eignet sich die NMR-Spektroskopie insbesondere gut, weil sie in Lösung unter verschiedenen Reaktionsbedingungen angewandt wer-den kann. Durch den direkten NMR-spektroskopischen Nachweis von Basenpaarungen können wichtige strukturelle Eigenschaften (Faltung, Strukturhomogenität und Dynamik) entschlüsselt und in einen Zusammenhang mit der Funktion gebracht werden. Im Folgenden werden die einzelnen Kapitel vorgestellt. Nachdem das erste Kapitel eine allgemeine Einleitung in die NMR-Spektroskopie, RNA-Struktur und Funktion der RNA-Schalter darstellt, folgt im Kapitel 2 die Einführung einer neuen Methode, die eine quantitative Bestimmung der Torsionswinkel alpha und zeta in RNA/DNA mittels NMR-Spektroskopie ermöglicht (Abb. 1). Sie basiert auf der Wechselwirkung zwischen dem CH-Dipol und der 31P-CSA, die von der relativen Orientierung abhängig ist. Die Methode wurde für die CH- und CH2-Gruppen in Form von zwei Pulssequenzen (2D- und 3D-G-HCP) zur Messung von insgesamt fünf kreuz-korrelierten Relaxationsraten entlang des RNA/DNA-Rückgrats optimiert. Die Funktionsfähigkeit der Methode wurde zunächst an der 14mer cUUCGg-Tetraloop RNA getestet und zur Bestimmung der Torsionswinkel alpha und zeta genutzt. Die Ergebnisse flossen in die Strukturrechnung der 14mer RNA, die im Kapitel 3 vorgestellt wird, mit ein. Des Weiteren gelang es die Anwendbarkeit der Experimente an einer größeren 27mer RNA zu demonstrieren. Die neue Methode ist deswegen von Bedeutung, weil die Winkel alpha und zeta nicht über 3J-Kopplungskonstanten gemessen werden können. (Nozinovic, S., Richter, C., Rinnenthal, J., Fürtig, B., Duchardt-Ferner, E., Weigand, J. E., Schwalbe, H. (2010), J. Am. Chem. Soc. 132, 10318-10329.) Im Kapitel 3 wird die NMR-spektroskopische Bestimmung der Struktur einer Model-RNA, der 14mer cUUCGg-Tetraloop RNA, vorgestellt. Die Strukturrechung wurde mit verschiedenen NMR-Datensätzen, die in der Arbeitsgruppe einschließlich dieser Doktorarbeit gesammelt wurden, durchgeführt. Zusammen mit den Ergebnissen aus dem Kapitel 2 konnte eine sehr präzise Struktur mit einem RMSD von 0,37 Å (20 Strukturen) in sehr guter Übereinstimmung mit experimentellen Daten ermittelt werden. Die gerechnete Struktur repräsentiert eine der gegenwärtig genauesten und umfassendsten Strukturbestimmungen einer RNA, bei der jeder Torsionswinkel quantitativ bestimmt wurde. Einen besonderen Höhepunkt stellt die strukturelle Analyse der 2’OH-Gruppen dar, die im anschließenden Kapitel 4 weiter vertieft wurde. (Nozinovic, S., Fürtig, B., Jonker, H. R. A., Richter, C., Schwalbe, H. (2010), Nucleic Acids Res. 38, 683-694) Über Jahre war bekannt, dass die Größe der 1J(C1’,H1’)- und 1J(C2’,H2’)-Kopplungskonstanten innerhalb der Ribonukleotide von der lokalen Struktur des Zuckers und der Orientierung der Nukleobase beeinflusst wird. In dieser Arbeit (Kapitel 4) wurde zum ersten Mal ein systematischer Vergleich zwischen NMR-Messungen und DFT-Rechnungen durchgeführt, der eine eindeutige Zuordnung der Hauptkonformationen des Zuckers (C3’- oder C2’-endo) und der Nukleobase (anti oder syn) anhand der 1J(C,H)-Kopplungskonstanten erlaubt. Die beschriebene Methode wurde an einer größeren 27mer RNA erfolgreich erprobt. Weiterhin wurde erstmalig entdeckt, dass zudem die Orientierung der 2’OH-Gruppe einen signifikanten Einfluss auf die 1J(C,H)-Kopplungen hat (Abb. 3). Mithilfe von NMR-Messungen und DFT-Rechnungen konnte aus 1J(C,H)-Kopplungskonstanten die Orientierung von allen 2’OH-Gruppen in der 14mer cUUCGg-Tetraloop RNA bestimmt werden. Die Methode hat den großen Vorteil, dass 2’OH-Gruppen, die aufgrund des schnellen Austauschs mit Wasser oder D2O keine NMR-Signale liefern, analysiert werden kön-nen. (Nozinovic, S., Gupta, P., Fürtig, B., Richter, C., Tüllmann, S., Duchardt-Ferner, E., Holthausen, M. C., Schwalbe, H. (2011), Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 50, 5397-5400) Im Kapitel 5 wird eine NMR-spektroskopische Untersuchung an der Aptamerdomäne des Adenin-bindenden RNA-Schalters (pbuE) vorgestellt. Im Fokus der Forschung stand die Frage: Welchen Einfluss hat die Länge der P1-Helix auf die Struktur und die Ligandbindung der freien Aptamer-domäne? Durch den Vergleich von zwei Konstrukten mit unterschiedlich langer P1-Helix war es möglich, intrinsische Scherkräfte, die durch die Ausbildung der P1-Helix in der freien Aptamerdomäne entstehen, festzustellen. Es hat sich im Konstrukt mit der verlängerten P1-Helix gezeigt, dass diese zur Destabilisierung der P3-Helix und des Schlaufenkontakts führen. Diese strukturellen Änderungen haben außerdem zur Folge, dass die Bindungsstärke des Liganden reduziert wird. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass ein strukturelles Gleichgewicht zwischen Sekundärstrukturelementen die tertiäre Faltung beeinflusst und die Funktion moduliert. (Nozinovic, S., Reining, A., Noeske, J., Wöhnert, J., Schwalbe, H. (2011), in Vorbereitung)
- 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.
- Biophysical and biochemical characterisation of the SMR proteins Hsmr and EmrE (2008)
- The increasing resistance of almost all pathogenic bacteria to antibiotics (multidrug resistance) causes a severe threat to public health. The mechanisms underlying multidrug resistance include the induced over expression of multidrug transporters which extrude a variety of lipophilic and toxic substrates in an energy dependent fashion through the membrane out of the cell. These proteins are found in all transporter families. The work described in this thesis is dedicated to drug-proton antiporters from the small multidrug resistance (SMR) family. These efflux pumps with just four transmembrane helices per monomer are so far the smallest transporters discovered. Their oligomeric state, topology, three dimensional structure, catalytic cycle and transport mechanism are still rather controversial. Therefore, the aim of this thesis was to directly address these questions for the small multidrug resistance proteins Halobacterium salinarium Hsmr and Escherichia coli (E. coli) EmrE using a number of biophysical methods such as NMR, transport assays, mass spectrometry and analytical ultracentrifugation. Especially the work on Hsmr has been challenging due to the halophilic nature of this protein. In Chapter 1, key questions and the most important biophysical techniques are introduced followed by Material and Methods in Chapter 2. Depending on experimental requirements, cell free or ‘classical’ in vivo expression has been used for this thesis. Cell free expression as an option for the production of small multidrug transporters has been explored in Chapter 3. It has been possible to produce the SMR family members Hsmr, EmrE, TBsmr and YdgF in vitro. The expression of Hsmr was investigated in more detail under different experimental conditions. Hsmr was either refolded from precipitate or maintained in a soluble form during expression in the presence of detergents and liposomes. Furthermore, amino acids for which no auxotrophic strains were available could be labelled successfully. This expression system has been also used for preparing labelled samples of EmrE as described in Chapter 9. In vivo in E. coli expression of Hsmr, as described in Chapter 4, provided large amounts of proteins if fermenter production was used. Uniform labelling and selective unlabelling with stable isotopes (13C, 15N) for NMR spectroscopy was achieved in vivo in a more efficient and cost effective manner than using the cell free approach for this protein. Hsmr could be purified successfully from both in vitro and in vivo expression media. Hsmr is expressed in vivo and in vitro with N-terminal formylation. The Nterminal formylation is unstable and Hsmr in the presence of low salt concentrations was amenable to N-terminal degradation. It was found that Hsmr shows longest stability in Fos-ß-choline® 12 and sodium dodecyl sulphate, but best reconstitution conditions were found, when dodecyl maltoside is used and exchanged with Escherichia coli lipids. A molar protein lipid ratio of 1 to 100, amenable to solid state nuclear magnetic resonance, has been achieved. Sample homogeneity was shown by freeze fracture electron microscopy. The oligomeric state of Hsmr in detergent has been assessed by SDS PAGE, blue native PAGE, size exclusion chromatography, analytical ultracentrifugation and laser induced liquid bead ion desorption mass spectrometry (LILBID) as described in Chapter 5. A concentration and detergent dependent monomer-oligomer equilibrium has been found by all methods. The activity of Hsmr under the sample preparation conditions used here was shown using radioactive and fluorescence binding as well as fluorescence and electrochemical transport assays (Chapter 6). For transport studies, a stable pH gradient was generated by co-reconstitution of Hsmr with bacteriorhodopsin and subsequent sample illumination. Based on the observed long term stability of Hsmr in Fos-ß-choline® 12 and sodium dodecyl sulphate, liquid state NMR experiments were attempted in order to assess the correct folding of Hsmr in detergent micelles (Chapter 7). 1D proton and 2D HSQC spectra of U-15N Hsmr revealed a poor spectral dispersion, low resolution and only a small number of peaks. These are at least partly due to long rotational correlation times of the large protein detergent complex. This problem has been overcome by applying solid-state NMR to Hsmr reconstituted into E. coli lipids (Chapter 8). Uniform 13C labelled samples were prepared and two dimensional proton-driven spin diffusion and double quantum-single quantum correlation spectra were acquired successfully. Unfortunately, the spectral resolution was not yet sufficient for further structural studies. Reasons for the observed linebroadening could be structural heterogeneity or molecular motions which interfere with the NMR timescale. Therefore, the protein mobility has been probed using static 2H solid state NMR on Ala-d3-Hsmr. It could be shown, that parts of Hsmr are remarkably mobile in the membrane and that this mobility can be limited by the addition of the substrate ethidium bromide. Ethidium bromide as well as tetraphenylphosphonium (TPP+) is typical multidrug transporter substrates. The membrane interaction of TPP+ in DMPC membranes has been resolved by 1H MAS NMR. It was found that it penetrates into the interface region of the lipid bilayers and therefore behaves like many other transporter substrates adding to the hypothesis that the membrane could act as a pre-sorting filter. Finally, Chapter 9 is dedicated to the characterisation of the essential and highly conserved residue Glu-14 in EmrE by solid-state NMR. In order to avoid spectral overlap, the single Glu EmrE E25A mutant was chosen instead of the wildtype. The protein has been produced in vitro to take advantage of reduced isotope scrambling in the cell free expression system as verified by analytical NMR spectroscopy. Correct labelling of EmrE was tested by MALDI-TOF and solid-state NMR. The dimeric state of DDM solubilised EmrE has been probed by LILBID. The labelled protein was reconstituted into E. coli lipids to ensure a native membrane environment. Activity was determined by measuring ethidium bromide transport. Freeze fracture EM revealed very homogeneous protein incorporation even after many days of MAS NMR experiments. 2D 13C double quantum filtered experiments were used to obtain chemical shift and lineshape information of Glu-14 in EmrE. Two distinct populations were found with backbone chemical shift differences of 4 - 6 ppm which change upon substrate binding. These findings indicate a structural asymmetry at the assumed dimerisation interface and are discussed in the context of a model for shared substrate/proton binding. These studies represent the first successful use of cell free expression to prepare labelled membrane proteins for solid-state NMR and allow for the first time an NMR insight into the binding pocket of a multidrug efflux pump.
- 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.