Designer amphiphilic short peptides enhance thermal stability of isolated photosystem-I.
ABSTRACT: Stability of membrane protein is crucial during protein purification and crystallization as well as in the fabrication of protein-based devices. Several recent studies have examined how various surfactants can stabilize membrane proteins out of their native membrane environment. However, there is still no single surfactant that can be universally employed for all membrane proteins. Because of the lack of knowledge on the interaction between surfactants and membrane proteins, the choice of a surfactant for a specific membrane protein remains purely empirical. Here we report that a group of short amphiphilic peptides improve the thermal stability of the multi-domain protein complex photosystem-I (PS-I) in aqueous solution and that the peptide surfactants have obvious advantages over other commonly used alkyl chain based surfactants. Of all the short peptides studied, Ac-I(5)K(2)-CONH(2) (I(5)K(2)) showed the best stabilizing effect by enhancing the melting temperature of PS-I from 48.0 degrees C to 53.0 degrees C at concentration of 0.65 mM and extending the half life of isolated PS-I significantly. AFM experiments showed that PS-I/I(5)K(2)/Triton X-100 formed large and stable vesicles and thus provide interfacial environment mimicking that of native membranes, which may partly explain why I(5)K(2) enhanced the thermal stability of PS-I. Hydrophobic and hydrophilic group length of I(x)K(y) had an important influence on the stabilization of PS-I. Our results showed that longer hydrophobic group was more effective in stabilizing PS-I. These simple short peptides therefore exhibit significant potential for applications in membrane protein studies.
Project description:Mixed protein-surfactant micelles are used for in vitro studies and 3D crystallization when solutions of pure, monodisperse integral membrane proteins are required. However, many membrane proteins undergo inactivation when transferred from the biomembrane into micelles of conventional surfactants with alkyl chains as hydrophobic moieties. Here we describe the development of surfactants with rigid, saturated or aromatic hydrocarbon groups as hydrophobic parts. Their stabilizing properties are demonstrated with three different integral membrane proteins. The temperature at which 50% of the binding sites for specific ligands are lost is used as a measure of stability and dodecyl-?-D-maltoside ('C12-b-M') as a reference for conventional surfactants. One surfactant increased the stability of two different G protein-coupled receptors and the human Patched protein receptor by approximately 10°C compared to C12-b-M. Another surfactant yielded the highest stabilization of the human Patched protein receptor compared to C12-b-M (13°C) but was inferior for the G protein-coupled receptors. In addition, one of the surfactants was successfully used to stabilize and crystallize the cytochrome b(6?)f complex from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The structure was solved to the same resolution as previously reported in C12-b-M.
Project description:It is difficult to maintain a target membrane protein in a soluble and functional form in aqueous solution without biological membranes. Use of surfactants can improve solubility, but it remains challenging to identify adequate surfactants that can improve solubility without damaging their native structures and biological functions. Here we report the use of a new class of lipopeptides to solubilize photosystem I (PS-I), a well known membrane protein complex. Changes in the molecular structure of these surfactants affected their amphiphilicity and the goal of this work was to exploit a delicate balance between detergency and biomimetic performance in PS-I solubilization via their binding capacity. Meanwhile, the effects of these surfactants on the thermal and structural stability and functionality of PS-I in aqueous solution were investigated by circular dichroism, fluorescence spectroscopy, SDS-PAGE analysis and O2 uptake measurements, respectively. Our studies showed that the solubility of PS-I depended on both the polarity and charge in the hydrophilic head of the lipopeptides and the length of its hydrophobic tail. The best performing lipopeptides in favour of PS-I solubility turned out to be C14DK and C16DK, which were comparable to the optimal amphiphilicity of the conventional chemical surfactants tested. Lipopeptides showed obvious advantages in enhancing PS-I thermostability over sugar surfactant DDM and some full peptide amphiphiles reported previously. Fluorescence spectroscopy along with SDS-PAGE analysis demonstrated that lipopeptides did not undermine the polypeptide composition and conformation of PS-I after solubilization; instead they showed better performance in improving the structural stability and integrity of this multi-subunit membrane protein than conventional detergents. Furthermore, O2 uptake measurements indicated that PS-I solubilized with lipopeptides maintained its functionality. The underlying mechanism for the favorable actions of lipopeptide in PS-I solubilization and stabilization is discussed.
Project description:Two major bottlenecks in elucidating the structure and function of membrane proteins are the difficulty of producing large quantities of functional receptors, and stabilizing them for a sufficient period of time. Selecting the right surfactant is thus crucial. Here we report using peptide surfactants in commercial Escherichia coli cell-free systems to rapidly produce milligram quantities of soluble G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). These include the human formyl peptide receptor, human trace amine-associated receptor, and two olfactory receptors. The GPCRs expressed in the presence of the peptide surfactants were soluble and had ?-helical secondary structures, suggesting that they were properly folded. Microscale thermophoresis measurements showed that one olfactory receptor expressed using peptide surfactants bound its known ligand heptanal (molecular weight 114.18). These short and simple peptide surfactants may be able to facilitate the rapid production of GPCRs, or even other membrane proteins, for structure and function studies.
Project description:Animal-derived lung surfactants annually save 40 000 infants with neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (NRDS) in the United States. Lung surfactants have further potential for treating about 190 000 adult patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) each year. To this end, the properties of current therapeutics need to be modified. Although the limitations of current therapeutics have been recognized since the 1990s, there has been little improvement. To address this gap, our laboratory has been exploring a radically different approach in which, instead of lipids, proteins, or peptides, synthetic polymers are used as the active ingredient. This endeavor has led to an identification of a promising polymer-based lung surfactant candidate, poly(styrene-b-ethylene glycol) (PS-PEG) polymer nanomicelles. PS-PEG micelles produce extremely low surface tension under high compression because PS-PEG micelles have a strong affinity to the air-water interface. NMR measurements support that PS-PEG micelles are less hydrated than ordinary polymer micelles. Studies using mouse models of acid aspiration confirm that PS-PEG lung surfactant is safe and efficacious.
Project description:Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) is currently treated with surfactant preparations obtained from natural sources and attempts to develop equally active synthetic surfactants have been unsuccessful. One difference in composition is that naturally derived surfactants contain the two hydrophobic proteins SP-B and SP-C while synthetic preparations contain analogues of either SP-B or SP-C. It was recently shown that both SP-B and SP-C (or SP-C33, an SP-C analogue) are necessary to establish alveolar stability at end-expiration in a rabbit RDS model, as reflected by high lung gas volumes without application of positive end-expiratory pressure.To study the efficacy of fully synthetic surfactants containing analogues of both SP-B and SP-C compared to surfactants with only one protein analogue.Premature newborn rabbits, treated with synthetic surfactants, were ventilated for 30 min without positive end-expiratory pressure. Tidal volumes as well as lung gas volumes at end-expiration were determined.Treatment with 2% Mini-B (a short-cut version of SP-B) and 2% SP-C33, or its C-terminally truncated form SP-C30, in 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine/1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol, 68:31 (w/w) resulted in median lung gas volumes of 8-9 ml/kg body weight, while animals treated with 2% Mini-B surfactant or 2% SP-C33/SP-C30 surfactant had lung gas volumes of 3-4 ml/kg, and those treated with Curosurf, a porcine surfactant, 15-17 ml/kg. In contrast, mixing SP-C33 with peptides with different distributions of positively charged and hydrophobic residues did not improve lung gas volumes.The data indicate that synthetic surfactants containing analogues of both SP-B and SP-C might be superior to single-peptide surfactants in the treatment of RDS.
Project description:This work is focused on the potential use of pulmonary surfactant to deliver full-length recombinant human surfactant protein SP-D (rhSP-D) using the respiratory air-liquid interface as a shuttle. Surfactant protein D (SP-D) is a collectin protein present in the pulmonary surfactant (PS) system, involved in innate immune defense and surfactant homeostasis. It has been recently suggested as a potential therapeutic to alleviate inflammatory responses and lung diseases in preterm infants suffering from respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). However, none of the current clinical surfactants used for surfactant replacement therapy (SRT) to treat RDS contain SP-D. The interaction of SP-D with surfactant components, the potential of PS as a respiratory drug delivery system and the possibility to produce recombinant versions of human SP-D, brings the possibility of delivering clinical surfactants supplemented with SP-D. Here, we used an <i>in vitro</i> setup that somehow emulates the respiratory air-liquid interface to explore this novel approach. It consists in two different compartments connected with a hydrated paper bridge forming a continuous interface. We firstly analyzed the adsorption and spreading of rhSP-D alone from one compartment to another over the air-liquid interface, observing low interfacial activity. Then, we studied the interfacial spreading of the protein co-administered with PS, both at different time periods or as a mixed formulation, and which oligomeric forms of rhSP-D better traveled associated with PS. The results presented here demonstrated that PS may transport rhSP-D long distances over air-liquid interfaces, either as a mixed formulation or separately in a close window time, opening the doors to empower the current clinical surfactants and SRT.
Project description:Accurate determination of the free energy of transfer of a helical segment from an aqueous into a transmembrane (TM) conformation is essential for understanding and predicting the folding and stability of membrane proteins. Until recently, direct thermodynamically sound measurements of free energy of insertion of hydrophobic TM peptides were impossible due to peptide aggregation outside the lipid bilayer. Here, we overcome this problem by using fluorinated surfactants that are capable of preventing aggregation but, unlike detergents, do not themselves interact with the bilayer. We have applied the fluorescence correlation spectroscopy methodology to study surfactant-chaperoned insertion into preformed POPC (palmitoyloleoylphosphatidylcholine) vesicles of the two well-studied dye-labeled TM peptides of different lengths: WALP23 and WALP27. Extrapolation of the apparent free-energy values measured in the presence of surfactants to a zero surfactant concentration yielded free-energy values of -9.0±0.1 and -10.0±0.1 kcal/mol for insertion of WALP23 and WALP27, respectively. Circular dichroism measurements confirmed helical structure of peptides in lipid bilayer, in the presence of surfactants, and in aqueous mixtures of organic solvents. From a combination of thermodynamic and conformational measurements, we conclude that the partitioning of a four-residue L-A-L-A segment in the context of a continuous helical conformation from an aqueous environment into the hydrocarbon core of the membrane has a favorable free energy of 1 kcal/mol. Our measurements, combined with the predictions of two independent experimental hydrophobicity scales, indicate that the per-residue cost of transfer of the helical backbone from water to the hydrocarbon core of the lipid bilayer is unfavorable and is equal to +2.13±0.17 kcal/mol.
Project description:Hemifluorinated and fluorinated surfactants are lipophobic and, as such, non-detergent. Although they do not solubilize biological membranes, they can, after conventional solubilization, substitute for detergents to keep membrane proteins soluble, which generally improves their stability [Breyton, Chabaud, Chaudier, Pucci and Popot (2004) FEBS Lett. 564, 312-318]. In the present study, we show that (hemi)fluorinated surfactants can be used for in vitro synthesis of membrane proteins: they do not interfere with protein synthesis, and they provide a suitable environment for MscL, a pentameric mechanosensitive channel, to fold and oligomerize to its native functional state. Following synthesis, both types of surfactants can be used to deliver MscL directly to pre-formed lipid vesicles. The electrophysiological activity of MscL synthesized in vitro in the presence of either hemi- or per-fluorinated surfactant is similar to that of the protein expressed in vivo.
Project description:Surfactants with fluorinated and hemifluorinated alkyl chains have yielded encouraging results in terms of membrane protein stability; however, the molecules used hitherto have either been chemically heterogeneous or formed heterogeneous micelles. A new series of surfactants whose polar head size is modulated by the presence of one, two, or three glucose moieties has been synthesized. Analytical ultracentrifugation and small-angle neutron scattering show that fluorinated surfactants whose polar head bears a single glucosyl group form very large cylindrical micelles, whereas those with two or three glucose moieties form small, homogeneous, globular micelles. We studied the homogeneity and stability of the complexes formed between membrane proteins and these surfactants by using bacteriorhodopsin and cytochrome b(6)f as models. Homogeneous complexes were obtained only with surfactants that form homogeneous micelles. Surfactants bearing one or two glucose moieties were found to be stabilizing, whereas those with three moieties were destabilizing. Fluorinated and hemifluorinated surfactants with a two-glucose polar head thus appear to be very promising molecules for biochemical applications and structural studies. They were successfully used for cell-free synthesis of the ion channel MscL.
Project description:A series of hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon carbohydrate surfactants with different headgroups (i.e., gluco-, galacto- and maltopyranoside) and (fluorinated) alkyl tails (i.e., C7 and C14 to C19) was synthesized to investigate trends in their cytotoxicity and haemolytic activity, and how surfactant-lipid interactions of selected surfactants contribute to these two measures of biocompatibility. All surfactants displayed low cytotoxicity (EC50 = 25 to >250 microM) and low haemolytic activity (EC50 = 0.2 to >3.3 mM), with headgroup structure, tail length and degree of fluorination being important structural determinants for both endpoints. The EC50 values of hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon glucopyranoside surfactants displayed a "cut-off" effect (i.e., a maximum with respect to the chain length). According to steady-state fluorescence anisotropy studies, short chain (C7) surfactants partitioned less readily into model membranes, which explains their low cytotoxicity and haemolytic activity. Interestingly, galactopyranosides were less toxic compared to glucopyranosides with the same hydrophobic tail. Although both surfactant types only differ in the stereochemistry of the 4-OH group, hexadecyl gluco- and galactopyranoside surfactants had similar apparent membrane partition coefficients, but differed in their overall effect on the phase behaviour of DPPC model membranes, as assessed using steady-state fluorescence anisotropy studies. These observations suggest that highly selective surfactant-lipid interactions may be responsible for the differential cytotoxicity and, possible, haemolytic activity of hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon carbohydrate surfactants intended for a variety of pharmaceutical and biomedical applications.