Lateral dynamics of proteins with polybasic domain on anionic membranes: a dynamic Monte-Carlo study.
ABSTRACT: Positively charged polybasic domains are essential for recruiting multiple signaling proteins, such as Ras GTPases and Src kinase, to the negatively charged cellular membranes. Much less, however, is known about the influence of electrostatic interactions on the lateral dynamics of these proteins. We developed a dynamic Monte-Carlo automaton that faithfully simulates lateral diffusion of the adsorbed positively charged oligopeptides as well as the dynamics of mono- (phosphatidylserine) and polyvalent (PIP(2)) anionic lipids within the bilayer. In agreement with earlier results, our simulations reveal lipid demixing that leads to the formation of a lipid shell associated with the peptide. The computed association times and average numbers of bound lipids demonstrate that tetravalent PIP(2) interacts with the peptide much more strongly than monovalent lipid. On the spatially homogeneous membrane, the lipid shell affects the behavior of the peptide only by weakly reducing its lateral mobility. However, spatially heterogeneous distributions of monovalent lipids are found to produce peptide drift, the velocity of which is determined by the total charge of the peptide-lipid complex. We hypothesize that this predicted phenomenon may affect the spatial distribution of proteins with polybasic domains in the context of cell-signaling events that alter the local density of monovalent anionic lipids.
Project description:Giant unilamellar vesicles composed of a ternary mixture of phospholipids and cholesterol exhibit coexisting liquid phases over a range of temperatures and compositions. A significant fraction of lipids in biological membranes are charged. Here, we present phase diagrams of vesicles composed of phosphatidylcholine (PC) lipids, which are zwitterionic; phosphatidylglycerol (PG) lipids, which are anionic; and cholesterol (Chol). Specifically, we use DiPhyPG-DPPC-Chol and DiPhyPC-DPPG-Chol. We show that miscibility in membranes containing charged PG lipids occurs over similarly high temperatures and broad lipid compositions as in corresponding membranes containing only uncharged lipids, and that the presence of salt has a minimal effect. We verified our results in two ways. First, we used mass spectrometry to ensure that charged PC/PG/Chol vesicles formed by gentle hydration have the same composition as the lipid stocks from which they are made. Second, we repeated the experiments by substituting phosphatidylserine for PG as the charged lipid and observed similar phenomena. Our results consistently support the view that monovalent charged lipids have only a minimal effect on lipid miscibility phase behavior in our system.
Project description:Using molecular dynamics simulations, we studied the mode of association of the cell-penetrating peptide penetratin with both a neutral and a charged bilayer. The results show that the initial peptide-lipid association is a fast process driven by electrostatic interactions. The homogeneous distribution of positively charged residues along the axis of the helical peptide, and especially residues K46, R53, and K57, contribute to the association of the peptide with lipids. The bilayer enhances the stability of the penetratin helix. Oriented parallel to the lipid-water interface, the subsequent insertion of the peptide through the bilayer headgroups is significantly slower. The presence of negatively charged lipids considerably enhances peptide binding. Lateral side-chain motion creates an opening for the helix into the hydrophobic core of the membrane. The peptide aromatic residues form a pi-stacking cluster through W48/R52/W56 and F49/R53, protecting the peptide from the water phase. Interaction with the penetratin peptide has only limited effect on the overall membrane structure, as it affects mainly the conformation of the lipids which interact directly with the peptide. Charge matching locally increases the concentration of negatively charged lipids, lateral lipid diffusion locally decreases. Lipid disorder increases, through decreased order parameters of the lipids interacting with the penetratin side chains. Penetratin molecules at the membrane surface do not seem to aggregate.
Project description:Phosphoinositides like phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2)) are negatively charged lipids that play a pivotal role in membrane trafficking, signal transduction, and protein anchoring. We have designed a force field for the PIP(2) headgroup using quantum mechanical methods and characterized its properties inside a lipid bilayer using molecular dynamics simulations. Macroscopic properties such as area/headgroup, density profiles, and lipid order parameters calculated from these simulations agree well with the experimental values. However, microscopically, the PIP(2) introduces a local perturbation of the lipid bilayer. The average PIP(2) headgroup orientation of 45 degrees relative to the bilayer normal induces a unique, distance-dependent organization of the lipids that surround PIP(2). The headgroups of these lipids preferentially orient closer to the bilayer normal. This perturbation creates a PIP(2) lipid microdomain with the neighboring lipids. We propose that the PIP(2) lipid microdomain enables the PIP(2) to function as a membrane-bound anchoring molecule.
Project description:Pleckstrin homology (PH) domains play a central role in a wide array of signaling pathways by binding second messenger lipids of the phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PIP) lipid family. A given type of PIP lipid is formed in a specific cellular membrane where it is generally a minor component of the bulk lipid mixture. For example, the signaling lipid PI(3,4,5)P(3) (or PIP(3)) is generated primarily in the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane where it is believed to never exceed 0.02% of the bulk lipid. The present study focuses on the PH domain of the general receptor for phosphoinositides, isoform 1 (GRP1), which regulates the actin cytoskeleton in response to PIP(3) signals at the plasma membrane surface. The study systematically analyzes both the equilibrium and kinetic features of GRP1-PH domain binding to its PIP lipid target on a bilayer surface. Equilibrium binding measurements utilizing protein-to-membrane fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to detect GRP1-PH domain docking to membrane-bound PIP lipids confirm specific binding to PIP(3). A novel FRET competitive binding measurement developed to quantitate docking affinity yields a K(D) of 50 +/- 10 nM for GRP1-PH domain binding to membrane-bound PIP(3) in a physiological lipid mixture approximating the composition of the plasma membrane inner leaflet. This observed K(D) lies in a suitable range for regulation by physiological PIP(3) signals. Interestingly, the affinity of the interaction decreases at least 12-fold when the background anionic lipids phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylinositol (PI) are removed from the lipid mixture. Stopped-flow kinetic studies using protein-to-membrane FRET to monitor association and dissociation time courses reveal that this affinity decrease arises from a corresponding decrease in the on-rate for GRP1-PH domain docking with little or no change in the off-rate for domain dissociation from membrane-bound PIP(3). Overall, these findings indicate that the PH domain interacts not only with its target lipid, but also with other features of the membrane surface. The results are consistent with a previously undescribed type of two-step search mechanism for lipid binding domains in which weak, nonspecific electrostatic interactions between the PH domain and background anionic lipids facilitate searching of the membrane surface for PIP(3) headgroups, thereby speeding the high-affinity, specific docking of the domain to its rare target lipid.
Project description:Protein kinase C isoform alpha (PKCalpha) is a ubiquitous, conventional PKC enzyme that possesses a conserved C2 domain. Upon activation by cytoplasmic Ca (2+) ions, the C2 domain specifically binds to the plasma membrane inner leaflet where it recognizes the target lipids phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PIP 2). The membrane penetration depth and docking angle of the membrane-associated C2 domain is not well understood. The present study employs EPR site-directed spin labeling and relaxation methods to generate a medium-resolution model of the PKCalpha C2 domain docked to a membrane of lipid composition similar to the plasma membrane inner leaflet. The approach measures EPR depth parameters for 10 function-retaining spin labels coupled to the C2 domain, and for spin labels coupled to depth calibration molecules. The resulting depth parameters, together with the known structure of the free C2 domain, provide a sufficient number of constraints to define two membrane docking geometries for C2 domain bound to physiological membranes lacking or containing PIP 2, respectively. In both the absence and presence of PIP 2, the two bound Ca (2+) ions of the C2 domain lie near the anionic phosphate plane in the headgroup region, consistent with the known ability of the Ca (2+) and membrane-binding loops (CMBLs) to bind the headgroup of the PS target lipid. In the absence of PIP 2, the polybasic lipid binding site on the beta3-beta4 hairpin is occupied with PS, but in the presence of PIP 2 this larger, higher affinity target lipid competitively displaces PS and causes the long axis of the domain to tilt 40 +/- 10 degrees toward the bilayer normal. The ability of the beta3-beta4 hairpin site to bind PS as well as PIP 2 extends the lifetime of the membrane-docked state and is predicted to enhance the kinase turnover number of PKCalpha during a single membrane docking event. In principle, PIP 2-induced tilting of the C2 domain could modulate the activity of membrane-docked PKCalpha as it diffuses between membrane regions with different local PS and PIP 2 concentrations. Finally, the results demonstrate that EPR relaxation methods are sufficiently sensitive to detect signaling-induced changes in the membrane docking geometries of peripheral membrane proteins.
Project description:Dok7 is a peripheral membrane protein that is associated with the MuSK receptor tyrosine kinase. Formation of the Dok7/MuSK/membrane complex is required for the activation of MuSK. This is a key step in the complex exchange of signals between neuron and muscle, which lead to neuromuscular junction formation, dysfunction of which is associated with congenital myasthenic syndromes. The Dok7 structure consists of a Pleckstrin Homology (PH) domain and a Phosphotyrosine Binding (PTB) domain. The mechanism of the Dok7 association with the membrane remains largely unknown. Using multi-scale molecular dynamics simulations we have explored the formation of the Dok7 PH/membrane complex. Our simulations indicate that the PH domain of Dok7 associates with membranes containing phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIPs) via interactions of the ?1/?2, ?3/?4, and ?5/?6 loops, which together form a positively charged surface on the PH domain and interact with the negatively charged headgroups of PIP molecules. The initial encounter of the Dok7 PH domain is followed by formation of additional interactions with the lipid bilayer, and especially with PIP molecules, which stabilizes the Dok7 PH/membrane complex. We have quantified the binding of the PH domain to the model bilayers by calculating a density landscape for protein/membrane interactions. Detailed analysis of the PH/PIP interactions reveal both a canonical and an atypical site to be occupied by the anionic lipid. PH domain binding leads to local clustering of PIP molecules in the bilayer. Association of the Dok7 PH domain with PIP lipids is therefore seen as a key step in localization of Dok7 to the membrane and formation of a complex with MuSK.
Project description:SMAD ubiquitination regulatory factor 1 (Smurf1) is a Nedd4 family E3 ubiquitin ligase that regulates cell motility, polarity and TGF? signaling. Smurf1 contains an N-terminal protein kinase C conserved 2 (C2) domain that targets cell membranes and is required for interactions with membrane-localized substrates such as RhoA. Here, we investigated the lipid-binding mechanism of Smurf1 C2, revealing a general affinity for anionic membranes in addition to a selective affinity for phosphoinositides (PIPs). We found that Smurf1 C2 localizes not only to the plasma membrane but also to negatively charged intracellular sites, acting as an anionic charge sensor and selective PIP-binding domain. Site-directed mutagenesis combined with docking/molecular dynamics simulations revealed that the Smurf1 C2 domain loop region primarily interacts with PIPs and cell membranes, as opposed to the ?-surface cationic patch employed by other C2 domains. By depleting PIPs from the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane, we found that PIP binding is necessary for plasma membrane localization. Finally, we used a Smurf1 cellular ubiquitination assay to show that the amount of ubiquitin at the plasma membrane interface depends on the lipid-binding properties of Smurf1. This study shows the mechanism by which Smurf1 C2 targets membrane-based substrates and reveals a novel interaction for non-calcium-dependent C2 domains and membrane lipids.
Project description:Anionic lipids act as signals for the recruitment of proteins containing cationic clusters to biological membranes. A family of anionic lipids known as the phosphoinositides (PIPs) are low in abundance, yet play a critical role in recruitment of peripheral proteins to the membrane interface. PIPs are mono-, bis-, or trisphosphorylated derivatives of phosphatidylinositol (PI) yielding seven species with different structure and anionic charge. The differential spatial distribution and temporal appearance of PIPs is key to their role in communicating information to target proteins. Selective recognition of PIPs came into play with the discovery that the substrate of protein kinase C termed pleckstrin possessed the first PIP binding region termed the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. Since the discovery of the PH domain, more than ten PIP binding domains have been identified including PH, ENTH, FYVE, PX, and C2 domains. Representative examples of each of these domains have been thoroughly characterized to understand how they coordinate PIP headgroups in membranes, translocate to specific membrane docking sites in the cell, and function to regulate the activity of their full-length proteins. In addition, a number of novel mechanisms of PIP-mediated membrane association have emerged, such as coincidence detection-specificity for two distinct lipid headgroups. Other PIP-binding domains may also harbor selectivity for a membrane physical property such as charge or membrane curvature. This review summarizes the current understanding of the cellular distribution of PIPs and their molecular interaction with peripheral proteins.
Project description:Synaptotagmin-1 is the main Ca(2+) sensor of neuronal exocytosis. It binds to both Ca(2+) and the anionic phospholipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2)), but the precise cooperativity of this binding is still poorly understood. Here, we used microscale thermophoresis to quantify the cooperative binding of PIP(2) and Ca(2+) to synaptotagmin-1. We found that PIP(2) bound to the well conserved polybasic patch of the C2B domain with an apparent dissociation constant of ∼20 μM. PIP(2) binding reduced the apparent dissociation constant for Ca(2+) from ∼250 to <5 μM. Thus, our data show that PIP(2) makes synaptotagmin-1 >40-fold more sensitive to Ca(2+). This interplay between Ca(2+), synaptotagmin-1, and PIP(2) is crucial for neurotransmitter release.
Project description:K-Ras is targeted to the plasma membrane by a C-terminal membrane anchor that comprises a farnesyl-cysteine-methyl-ester and a polybasic domain. We used quantitative spatial imaging and atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to examine molecular details of K-Ras plasma membrane binding. We found that the K-Ras anchor binds selected plasma membrane anionic lipids with defined head groups and lipid side chains. The precise amino acid sequence and prenyl group define a combinatorial code for lipid binding that extends beyond simple electrostatics; within this code lysine and arginine residues are non-equivalent and prenyl chain length modifies nascent polybasic domain lipid preferences. The code is realized by distinct dynamic tertiary structures of the anchor on the plasma membrane that govern amino acid side-chain-lipid interactions. An important consequence of this specificity is the ability of such anchors when aggregated to sort subsets of phospholipids into nanoclusters with defined lipid compositions that determine K-Ras signaling output.