Structures of the excited states of phospholamban and shifts in their populations upon phosphorylation.
ABSTRACT: Phospholamban is an integral membrane protein that controls the calcium balance in cardiac muscle cells. As the function and regulation of this protein require the active involvement of low populated states in equilibrium with the native state, it is of great interest to acquire structural information about them. In this work, we calculate the conformations and populations of the ground state and the three main excited states of phospholamban by incorporating nuclear magnetic resonance residual dipolar couplings as replica-averaged structural restraints in molecular dynamics simulations. We then provide a description of the manner in which phosphorylation at Ser16 modulates the activity of the protein by increasing the sizes of the populations of its excited states. These results demonstrate that the approach that we describe provides a detailed characterization of the different states of phospholamban that determine the function and regulation of this membrane protein. We anticipate that the knowledge of conformational ensembles enable the design of new dominant negative mutants of phospholamban by modulating the relative populations of its conformational substates.
Project description:The sarcoendoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERCA) plays a key role in cardiac calcium handling and is considered a high-value target for the treatment of heart failure. SERCA undergoes conformational changes as it harnesses the chemical energy of ATP for active transport. X-ray crystallography has provided insight into SERCA structural substates, but it is not known how well these static snapshots describe in vivo conformational dynamics. The goals of this work were to quantify the direction and magnitude of SERCA motions as the pump performs work in live cardiac myocytes, and to identify structural determinants of SERCA regulation by phospholamban. We measured intramolecular fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between fluorescent proteins fused to SERCA cytoplasmic domains. We detected four discrete structural substates for SERCA expressed in cardiac muscle cells. The relative populations of these discrete states oscillated with electrical pacing. Low FRET states were most populated in low Ca (diastole), and were indicative of an open, disordered structure for SERCA in the E2 (Ca-free) enzymatic substate. High FRET states increased with Ca (systole), suggesting rigidly closed conformations for the E1 (Ca-bound) enzymatic substates. Notably, a special compact E1 state was observed after treatment with β-adrenergic agonist or with coexpression of phosphomimetic mutants of phospholamban. The data suggest that SERCA calcium binding induces the pump to undergo a transition from an open, dynamic conformation to a closed, ordered structure. Phosphorylated phospholamban stabilizes a unique conformation of SERCA that is characterized by a compact architecture.
Project description:In this paper, we analyzed the ground and excited states of phospholamban (PLN), a membrane protein that regulates sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERCA), in different membrane mimetic environments. Previously, we proposed that the conformational equilibria of PLN are central to SERCA regulation. Here, we show that these equilibria detected in micelles and bicelles are also present in native sarcoplasmic reticulum lipid membranes as probed by MAS solid-state NMR. Importantly, we found that the kinetics of conformational exchange and the extent of ground and excited states in detergent micelles and lipid bilayers are different, revealing a possible role of the membrane composition on the allosteric regulation of SERCA. Since the extent of excited states is directly correlated to SERCA inhibition, these findings open up the exciting possibility that calcium transport in the heart can be controlled by the lipid bilayer composition. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane protein structure and function.
Project description:The integral membrane protein complex between phospholamban (PLN) and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA) regulates cardiac contractility. In the unphosphorylated form, PLN binds SERCA and inhibits Ca(2+) flux. Upon phosphorylation of PLN at Ser16, the inhibitory effect is reversed. Although structural details on both proteins are emerging from X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, and NMR studies, the molecular mechanisms of their interactions and regulatory process are still lacking. It has been speculated that SERCA regulation depends on PLN structural transitions (order to disorder, i.e., folding/unfolding). Here, we investigated PLN conformational changes upon chemical unfolding by a combination of electron paramagnetic resonance and NMR spectroscopies, revealing that the conformational transitions involve mostly the cytoplasmic regions, with two concomitant phenomena: (1) membrane binding and folding of the amphipathic domain Ia and (2) folding/unfolding of the juxtamembrane domain Ib of PLN. Analysis of phosphorylated and unphosphorylated PLN with two phosphomimetic mutants of PLN (S16E and S16D) shows that the population of an unfolded state in domains Ia and Ib (T' state) is linearly correlated to the extent of SERCA inhibition measured by activity assays. Inhibition of SERCA is carried out by the folded ground state (T state) of the protein (PLN), while the relief of inhibition involves promotion of PLN to excited conformational states (Ser16 phosphorylated PLN). We propose that PLN population shifts (folding/unfolding) are a key regulatory mechanism for SERCA.
Project description:Phosphorylation of membrane proteins is a central regulatory and signaling mechanism across cell compartments. However, the recognition process and phosphorylation mechanism of membrane-bound substrates by kinases are virtually unknown. cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) is a ubiquitous enzyme that phosphorylates several soluble and membrane-bound substrates. In cardiomyocytes, PKA targets phospholamban (PLN), a membrane protein that inhibits the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA). In the unphosphorylated state, PLN binds SERCA, reducing the calcium uptake and generating muscle contraction. PKA phosphorylation of PLN at S16 in the cytoplasmic helix relieves SERCA inhibition, initiating muscle relaxation. Using steady-state kinetic assays, NMR spectroscopy, and molecular modeling, we show that PKA recognizes and phosphorylates the excited, membrane-detached R-state of PLN. By promoting PLN from a ground state to an excited state, we obtained a linear relationship between rate of phosphorylation and population of the excited state of PLN. The conformational equilibrium of PLN is crucial to regulate the extent of PLN phosphorylation and SERCA inhibition.
Project description:Stimulation of cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca 2+-pump activity is achieved by phosphorylation of the oligomeric protein phospholamban at either Ser16 or Thr17. The altered mobility of phosphorylated forms of pentameric phospholamban has been utilized to demonstrate that the mechanisms of phosphorylation of the two sites differ. Phosphorylation of Ser16 by the AMP-dependent protein kinase proceeds via a random mechanism [Li, Wang and Colyer (1990) Biochemistry 29, 4535-4540], whereas phosphorylation of Thr17 by calmodulin-dependent protein kinase is shown here to proceed via a co-operative mechanism. This co-operative reaction mechanism was unaffected by the phosphorylation status of Ser16. These two mechanisms of phosphorylation generate very different phosphoprotein profiles depending on whether the Ser16 or Thr17 residue is phosphorylated. The translation of these patterns of phosphorylation into Ca 2+-pump function was reviewed using a fluorimetric Ca 2+-indicator dye, fluo-3, to measure Ca2+ uptake by cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles. The rate of Ca2+ accumulation, which parallels Ca 2+-pump activity, was stimulated in proportion with the stoichiometry of phospholamban phosphorylation, irrespective of whether phosphorylation was on Ser16 or Thr17.
Project description:Phospholamban functions as a regulator of Ca(2+) concentration of cardiac muscle cells by triggering the bioactivity of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase. In order to understand its dynamic mechanism in the environment of bilayer surroundings, we performed long time-scale molecular dynamic simulations based on the high-resolution NMR structure of phospholamban pentamer. It was observed from the molecular dynamics trajectory analyses that the conformational transitions between the "bellflower" and "pinwheel" modes were detected for phospholamban. Particularly, the two modes became quite similar to each other after phospholamban was phosphorylated at Ser16. Based on these findings, an allosteric mechanism was proposed to elucidate the dynamic process of phospholamban interacting with Ca(2+)-ATPase.
Project description:The membrane protein complex between the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA) and phospholamban (PLN) controls Ca(2+) transport in cardiomyocytes, thereby modulating cardiac contractility. ?-Adrenergic-stimulated phosphorylation of PLN at Ser-16 enhances SERCA activity via an unknown mechanism. Using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we mapped the physical interactions between SERCA and both unphosphorylated and phosphorylated PLN in membrane bilayers. We found that the allosteric regulation of SERCA depends on the conformational equilibrium of PLN, whose cytoplasmic regulatory domain interconverts between three different states: a ground T state (helical and membrane associated), an excited R state (unfolded and membrane detached), and a B state (extended and enzyme-bound), which is noninhibitory. Phosphorylation at Ser-16 of PLN shifts the populations toward the B state, increasing SERCA activity. We conclude that PLN's conformational equilibrium is central to maintain SERCA's apparent Ca(2+) affinity within a physiological window. This model represents a paradigm shift in our understanding of SERCA regulation by posttranslational phosphorylation and suggests strategies for designing innovative therapeutic approaches to enhance cardiac muscle contractility.
Project description:Phospholamban (PLN) is a single-pass membrane protein that regulates the sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca²?-ATPase (SERCA). Phosphorylation of PLN at Ser16 reverses its inhibitory function under ?-adrenergic stimulation, augmenting Ca²? uptake in the sarcoplasmic reticulum and muscle contractility. PLN exists in two conformations; a T state, where the cytoplasmic domain is helical and adsorbed on the membrane surface, and an R state, where the cytoplasmic domain is unfolded and membrane detached. Previous studies have shown that the PLN conformational equilibrium is crucial to SERCA regulation. Here, we used a combination of solution and solid-state NMR to compare the structural topology and conformational dynamics of monomeric PLN (PLN(AFA)) with that of the PLN(R14del), a naturally occurring deletion mutant that is linked to the progression of dilated cardiomyopathy. We found that the behavior of the inhibitory transmembrane domain of PLN(R14del) is similar to that of the native sequence. Conversely, the conformational dynamics of R14del both in micelles and lipid membranes are enhanced. We conclude that the deletion of Arg14 in the cytoplasmic region weakens the interactions with the membrane and shifts the conformational equilibrium of PLN toward the disordered R state. This conformational transition is correlated with the loss-of-function character of this mutant and is corroborated by SERCA's activity assays. These findings support our hypothesis that SERCA function is fine-tuned by PLN conformational dynamics and begin to explain the aberrant regulation of SERCA by the R14del mutant.
Project description:Phospholamban (PLN) is a dynamic single-pass membrane protein that inhibits the flow of Ca(2+) ions into the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) of heart muscle by directly binding to and inhibiting the SR Ca(2+)ATPase (SERCA). The PLN monomer is the functionally active form that exists in equilibrium between ordered (T state) and disordered (R state) states. While the T state has been fully characterized using a hybrid solution/solid-state NMR approach, the R state structure has not been fully portrayed. It has, however, been detected by both NMR and EPR experiments in detergent micelles and lipid bilayers. In this work, we quantitatively probed the mus to ms dynamics of the PLN excited states by observing the T state in DPC micelles using CPMG relaxation dispersion NMR spectroscopy under functional conditions for SERCA. The (15)N backbone and (13)C(delta1) Ile-methyl dispersion curves were fit using a two-state equilibrium model, and indicate that residues within domain Ia (residues 1-16), the loop (17-22), and domain Ib (23-30) of PLN undergo mus-ms dynamics (k(ex)=6100+/-800 s(-1) at 17 degrees C). We measured k(ex) at additional temperatures, which allowed for a calculation of activation energy equal to approximately 5 kcal/mol. This energy barrier probably does not correspond to the detachment of the amphipathic domain Ia, but rather the energy needed to unwind domain Ib on the membrane surface, likely an important mechanism by which PLN converts between high and low affinity states for its binding partners.
Project description:The sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase SERCA promotes muscle relaxation by pumping calcium ions from the cytoplasm into the sarcoplasmic reticulum. SERCA activity is regulated by a variety of small transmembrane peptides, most notably by phospholamban in cardiac muscle and sarcolipin in skeletal muscle. However, how phospholamban and sarcolipin regulate SERCA is not fully understood. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of phospholamban and sarcolipin on calcium translocation and ATP hydrolysis by SERCA under conditions that mimic environments in sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes. For pre-steady-state current measurements, proteoliposomes containing SERCA and phospholamban or sarcolipin were adsorbed to a solid-supported membrane and activated by substrate concentration jumps. We observed that phospholamban altered ATP-dependent calcium translocation by SERCA within the first transport cycle, whereas sarcolipin did not. Using pre-steady-state charge (calcium) translocation and steady-state ATPase activity under substrate conditions (various calcium and/or ATP concentrations) promoting particular conformational states of SERCA, we found that the effect of phospholamban on SERCA depends on substrate preincubation conditions. Our results also indicated that phospholamban can establish an inhibitory interaction with multiple SERCA conformational states with distinct effects on SERCA's kinetic properties. Moreover, we noted multiple modes of interaction between SERCA and phospholamban and observed that once a particular mode of association is engaged it persists throughout the SERCA transport cycle and multiple turnover events. These observations are consistent with conformational memory in the interaction between SERCA and phospholamban, thus providing insights into the physiological role of phospholamban and its regulatory effect on SERCA transport activity.