Membrane protein stability can be compromised by detergent interactions with the extramembranous soluble domains.
ABSTRACT: Detergent interaction with extramembranous soluble domains (ESDs) is not commonly considered an important determinant of integral membrane protein (IMP) behavior during purification and crystallization, even though ESDs contribute to the stability of many IMPs. Here we demonstrate that some generally nondenaturing detergents critically destabilize a model ESD, the first nucleotide-binding domain (NBD1) from the human cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), a model IMP. Notably, the detergents show equivalent trends in their influence on the stability of isolated NBD1 and full-length CFTR. We used differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy to monitor changes in NBD1 stability and secondary structure, respectively, during titration with a series of detergents. Their effective harshness in these assays mirrors that widely accepted for their interaction with IMPs, i.e., anionic?>?zwitterionic?>?nonionic. It is noteworthy that including lipids or nonionic detergents is shown to mitigate detergent harshness, as will limiting contact time. We infer three thermodynamic mechanisms from the observed thermal destabilization by monomer or micelle: (i) binding to the unfolded state with no change in the native structure (all detergent classes); (ii) native state binding that alters thermodynamic properties and perhaps conformation (nonionic detergents); and (iii) detergent binding that directly leads to denaturation of the native state (anionic and zwitterionic). These results demonstrate that the accepted model for the harshness of detergents applies to their interaction with an ESD. It is concluded that destabilization of extramembranous soluble domains by specific detergents will influence the stability of some IMPs during purification.
Project description:A crucial bottleneck in membrane protein structural biology is the difficulty in identifying a detergent that can maintain the stability and functionality of integral membrane proteins (IMPs). Detergents are poor membrane mimics, and their common use in membrane protein crystallography may be one reason for the challenges in obtaining high-resolution crystal structures of many IMP families. Lipid-like peptides (LLPs) have detergent-like properties and have been proposed as alternatives for the solubilization of G?protein-coupled receptors and other membrane proteins. Here, we systematically analyzed the stabilizing effect of LLPs on integral membrane proteins of different families. We found that LLPs could significantly stabilize detergent-solubilized IMPs in vitro. This stabilizing effect depended on the chemical nature of the LLP and the intrinsic stability of a particular IMP in the detergent. Our results suggest that screening a subset of LLPs is sufficient to stabilize a particular IMP, which can have a substantial impact on the crystallization and quality of the crystal.
Project description:Molecular dynamics simulations have been used to characterize the effects of transfer from aqueous solution to a vacuum to inform our understanding of mass spectrometry of membrane-protein-detergent complexes. We compared two membrane protein architectures (an ?-helical bundle versus a ?-barrel) and two different detergent types (phosphocholines versus an alkyl sugar) with respect to protein stability and detergent packing. The ?-barrel membrane protein remained stable as a protein-detergent complex in vacuum. Zwitterionic detergents formed conformationally destabilizing interactions with an ?-helical membrane protein after detergent micelle inversion driven by dehydration in vacuum. In contrast, a nonionic alkyl sugar detergent resisted micelle inversion, maintaining the solution-phase conformation of the protein. This helps to explain the relative stability of membrane proteins in the presence of alkyl sugar detergents such as dodecyl maltoside.
Project description:Protein stability in detergent or membrane-like environments is the bottleneck for structural studies on integral membrane proteins (IMP). Irrespective of the method to study the structure of an IMP, detergent solubilization from the membrane is usually the first step in the workflow. Here, we establish a simple, high-throughput screening method to identify optimal detergent conditions for membrane protein stabilization. We apply differential scanning fluorimetry in combination with scattering upon thermal denaturation to study the unfolding of integral membrane proteins. Nine different prokaryotic and eukaryotic membrane proteins were used as test cases to benchmark our detergent screening method. Our results show that it is possible to measure the stability and solubility of IMPs by diluting them from their initial solubilization condition into different detergents. We were able to identify groups of detergents with characteristic stabilization and destabilization effects for selected targets. We further show that fos-choline and PEG family detergents may lead to membrane protein destabilization and unfolding. Finally, we determined thenmodynamic parameters that are important indicators of IMP stability. The described protocol allows the identification of conditions that are suitable for downstream handling of membrane proteins during purification.
Project description:Highly hydrophobic integral membrane proteins (IMPs)are typically purified in excess detergent media, often resulting in rapid inactivation and denaturation of the protein. One promising approach to solve this problem is to couple hydrophilic polymers, such as monomethoxypolyethylene glycol (mPEG) to IMPs under mild conditions in place of detergents. However, the broad application of this approach is hampered by poor reaction efficiencies, low tolerance of detergent stabilized membrane proteins to reaction conditions, and a lack of proper site-specific reversible approaches. Here, we have developed a straightforward, efficient, and mild approach to site-specific noncovalent binding of long-chain polymers to recombinant IMPs. This method uses the hexa-histidine tag (His-Tag) often used for purification of recombinant proteins as an attachment site for mPEGs. Solubility studies performed using five different IMPs confirmed that all tested mPEG-bound IMPs were completely soluble and stable in detergent free aqueous buffer compared to their precipitated native proteins under the identical circumstances. Activity assays and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy confirmed the structural integrity of modified IMPs.
Project description:Stability of detergent-solubilized G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is crucial for their purification in a biologically relevant state, and it is well-known that short chain detergents such as octylglucoside are more denaturing than long chain detergents such as dodecylmaltoside. However, the molecular basis for this phenomenon is poorly understood. To gain insights into the mechanism of detergent destabilization of GPCRs, we used atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of thermostabilized adenosine receptor (A2AR) mutants embedded in either a lipid bilayer or detergent micelles of alkylmaltosides and alkylglucosides. A2AR mutants in dodecylmaltoside or phospholipid showed low flexibility and good interhelical packing. In contrast, A2AR mutants in either octylglucoside or nonylglucoside showed decreased ?-helicity in transmembrane regions, decreased ?-helical packing, and the interpenetration of detergent molecules between transmembrane ?-helices. This was not observed in octylglucoside containing phospholipid. Cholesteryl hemisuccinate in dodecylmaltoside increased the energetic stability of the receptor by wedging into crevices on the hydrophobic surface of A2AR, increasing packing interactions within the receptor and stiffening the detergent micelle. The data suggest a three-stage process for the initial events in the destabilization of GPCRs by octylglucoside: (i) highly mobile detergent molecules form small micelles around the receptor; (ii) loss of ?-helicity and decreased interhelical packing interactions in transmembrane regions are promoted by increased receptor thermal motion; (iii) transient separation of transmembrane helices allowed penetration of detergent molecules into the core of the receptor. The relative hydration of the headgroup and alkyl chain correlates with detergent harshness and suggests new avenues to develop milder versions of octylglucoside for receptor crystallization.
Project description:The understanding of integral membrane protein (IMP) structure and function is hampered by the difficulty of handling these proteins. Aqueous solubilization, necessary for many types of biophysical analysis, generally requires a detergent to shield the large lipophilic surfaces of native IMPs. Many proteins remain difficult to study owing to a lack of suitable detergents. We introduce a class of amphiphiles, each built around a central quaternary carbon atom derived from neopentyl glycol, with hydrophilic groups derived from maltose. Representatives of this maltose-neopentyl glycol (MNG) amphiphile family show favorable behavior relative to conventional detergents, as manifested in multiple membrane protein systems, leading to enhanced structural stability and successful crystallization. MNG amphiphiles are promising tools for membrane protein science because of the ease with which they may be prepared and the facility with which their structures may be varied.
Project description:Although relatively rare, human-shark interactions and sharks bites are increasing globally, which has led to the development of various mitigation measures. Electric shark deterrents (ESDs) have, so far, been the most effective personal deterrents, but have only been scientifically tested on one of the species most frequently responsible for shark bites, i.e. white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). We tested the effectiveness of five ESDs (E-Shark Force, NoShark, Rpela v2, Freedom?+?Surf, Freedom?+?Surf-Shortboard) on bull sharks, Carcharhinus leucas, over a period of 21 days in September 2019, in New Caledonia. Standardised bait was attached 30 cm below an experimental board that had an active ESD for up to 15 min, or until a bull shark touched the bait or the board. We compared the numbers of baits taken, numbers of passes and reactions around the board, as well as the distance between the sharks and the board among ESDs and against a control board with bait and no active ESD. The Freedom?+?Surf was the most effective ESD, reducing the amounts of baits taken by 42.3%, while the Rpela v2 and Freedom?+?Surf-Shortboard also significantly reduced the number of baits taken by 16.5% and 16.2% respectively. Mean distance between sharks and the bait was not affected by the ESDs, but the number of approaches and the proportion of reactions were both significantly higher when the Freedom?+?Surf was active compared to other ESDs. The effectiveness of all ESDs decreased over time, with the likelihood of the bait being taken increasing and the number of approaches and distance between sharks and the bait decreasing. Our findings show that the ability of ESDs to deter bull shark varies between products, with the Freedom?+?Surf resulting in the most behavioural changes, followed by the Rpela v2 and Freedom?+?Surf-Shortboard. However, none of the products tested completely stopped sharks from taking the bait.
Project description:Interactions of a membrane protein with a detergent micelle represent a fundamental process with practical implications in structural and chemical biology. Quantitative assessment of the kinetics of protein-detergent complex (PDC) interactions has always been challenged by complicated behavior of both membrane proteins and solubilizing detergents in aqueous phase. Here, we show the kinetic reads of the desorption of maltoside-containing detergents from ?-barrel membrane proteins. Using steady-state fluorescence polarization (FP) anisotropy measurements, we recorded real-time, specific signatures of the PDC interactions. The results of these measurements were used to infer the model-dependent rate constants of association and dissociation of the proteomicelles. Remarkably, the kinetics of the PDC interactions depend on the overall protein charge despite the nonionic nature of the detergent monomers. In the future, this approach might be employed for high-throughput screening of kinetic fingerprints of different membrane proteins stabilized in micelles that contain mixtures of various detergents.
Project description:Integral membrane proteins (IMPs) are biologically highly significant but challenging to study because they require maintaining a cellular lipid-like environment. Here, we explore the application of mass photometry (MP) to IMPs and membrane-mimetic systems at the single-particle level. We apply MP to amphipathic vehicles, such as detergents and amphipols, as well as to lipid and native nanodiscs, characterizing the particle size, sample purity, and heterogeneity. Using methods established for cryogenic electron microscopy, we eliminate detergent background, enabling high-resolution studies of membrane-protein structure and interactions. We find evidence that, when extracted from native membranes using native styrene-maleic acid nanodiscs, the potassium channel KcsA is present as a dimer of tetramers-in contrast to results obtained using detergent purification. Finally, using lipid nanodiscs, we show that MP can help distinguish between functional and non-functional nanodisc assemblies, as well as determine the critical factors for lipid nanodisc formation.
Project description:Native mass spectrometry (native-MS) of membrane proteins typically requires a detergent screening protocol, protein solubilization in the preferred detergent, followed by protein liberation from the micelle by collisional activation. Here, submicrometer nano-ESI emitter tips are used for native-MS of membrane proteins solubilized in both nonionic and ionic detergent solutions. With the submicrometer nano-ESI emitter tips, resolved charge-state distributions of membrane protein ions are obtained from a 150 mM NaCl, 25 mM Tris-HCl with 1.1% octyl glucoside solution. The relative abundances of NaCl and detergent cluster ions at high m?/z are significantly reduced with the submicrometer emitters compared with larger nano-ESI emitters that are commonly used. This technique is beneficial for significantly decreasing the abundances (by two to three orders of magnitude compared with the larger tip size: 1.6 ?m) of detergent cluster ions formed from aqueous ammonium acetate solutions containing detergents that can overlap with the membrane protein ion signal. Resolved charge-state distributions of membrane protein ions from aqueous ammonium acetate solutions containing ionic detergents were obtained with the submicrometer nano-ESI emitters; this is the first report of native-MS of membrane proteins solubilized by ionic detergents. Graphical Abstract.