- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pulsed EPR characterization of membrane transport protein complexes (2012)
- Pulsed electron–electron double resonance (PELDOR) spectroscopy is a powerful tool for measuring nanometer distances in spin-labeled systems and recently is increasingly applied to membrane proteins. However, after reconstitution of labeled proteins into liposomes, spin labels often exhibit a much faster transversal relaxation (Tm) than in detergent micelles, thus limiting application of the method in lipid bilayers. In the first part of the thesis, optimization of transversal relaxation in phospholipid membranes was systematically investigated by use of spin-labeled derivatives of stearic acid and phosphatidylcholine as well as spin-labeled derivatives of the channel-forming peptide gramicidin A under the conditions typically employed for PELDOR distance measurements. Our results clearly show that dephasing due to instantaneous diffusion that depends on dipolar interaction among electron spins is an important contributor to the fast echo decay in cases of high local concentrations of spin labels in membranes. The main difference between spin labels in detergent micelles and membranes is their local concentration. Consequently, avoiding spin aggregation and suppressing instantaneous diffusion is the key step for maximizing PELDOR sensitivity in lipid membranes. Even though proton spin diffusion is an important relaxation mechanism, only in samples with low local concentrations does deuteration of acyl chains and buffer significantly prolong Tm. In these cases, values of up to 7 μs have been achieved. Furthermore, our study revealed that membrane composition and labeling position in the membrane can also affect Tm, either by promoting the segregation of spin-labeled species or by altering their exposure to matrix protons. Effects of other experimental parameters including temperature (<50 K), presence of oxygen, and cryoprotectant type are negligible under our experimental conditions. In the second part of the thesis, inhomogeneous distribution of spin-labels in detergent micelles has been studied. A common approach in PELDOR is measuring the distance between two covalently attached spin labels in a macromolecule or singly-labeled components of an oligomer. This situation has been described as a spin-cluster. The PELDOR signal, however, does not only contain the desired dipolar coupling between the spin-labels of the molecule or cluster under study. In samples of finite concentration the dipolar coupling between the spin-labels of the randomly distributed molecules or spin-clusters also contributes significantly. In homogeneous frozen solutions or lipid vesicle membranes this second contribution can be considered to be an exponential or stretched exponential decay, respectively. In this study, it is shown that this assumption is not valid in detergent micelles. Spin-labeled fatty acids that are randomly partitioned into different detergent micelles give rise to PELDOR time traces which clearly deviate from stretched exponential decays. As a main conclusion a PELDOR signal deviating from a stretched exponential decay does not necessarily prove the observation of specific distance information on the molecule or cluster. These results are important for the interpretation of PELDOR experiments on membrane proteins or lipophilic peptides solubilized in detergent micelles or small vesicles, which often do not show pronounced dipolar oscillations in their time traces. In the third part, PELDOR has been utilized to study the structural flexibility of the Toc34 GTPase homodimer, a preprotein receptor of the translocon of the outer envelope of chloroplasts (TOC). Toc34 belongs to GAD subfamily of G-proteins that are regulated and activated by nucleotide-dependent dimerization. However, the function of Toc34 dimerization is not yet fully understood. Previous structural investigations of the Toc34 dimer yielded only marginal structural changes in response to different nucleotide loads. PELDOR revealed a nucleotide-dependent transition of the dimer flexibility from a tight GDP to a flexible GTP-loaded state. Substrate-binding stabilizes the dimer in the transition state mimicked by GDP-AlFx, but induces an opening in the GDP or GTP-loaded state. Thus, the structural dynamics of bona fide GTPases induced by GTP hydrolysis is replaced by substrate-dependent dimer flexibility, which represents the regulatory mode for dimerizing GTPases. In the fourth part of the thesis, conformational flexibility and relative orientation of the N-terminal POTRA domains of a cyanobacterial Omp85 from Anabaena sp. PCC 7120, a key component of the outer membrane protein assembly machinery, were investigated by PELDOR spectroscopy. Membrane proteins of the Omp85-TpsB superfamily are composed of a C-terminal β-barrel and a different number of N-terminal POTRA domains, three in the case of cyanobacterial Omp85. It has been suggested that the N-terminal POTRA domains (P1 and P2) might have functions in substrate recognition. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations predicted a fixed orientation for P2 and P3 and a flexible hinge between P1 and P2. The PELDOR distances measured between the P2 and P3 POTRA domains are in good agreement with the structure determined by X-ray, and compatible with the MD simulations suggesting a fixed orientation between these domains. PELDOR constraints between the P1 and P2 POTRA domains imply a rather rigid structure with a slightly different relative orientation of these domains compared with the X-ray structure. Moreover, the large mobility predicted from MD is not observed in the frozen solution. The PELDOR results further highlight the restricted relative orientation of the POTRA domains of the Omp85-TpsB proteins as a conserved characteristic feature that might be important for the processive sliding of the unfolded substrate towards the membrane.