Interaction of the Spo20 membrane-sensor motif with phosphatidic acid and other anionic lipids, and influence of the membrane environment.
ABSTRACT: The yeast protein Spo20 contains a regulatory amphipathic motif that has been suggested to recognize phosphatidic acid, a lipid involved in signal transduction, lipid metabolism and membrane fusion. We have investigated the interaction of the Spo20 amphipathic motif with lipid membranes using a bioprobe strategy that consists in appending this motif to the end of a long coiled-coil, which can be coupled to a GFP reporter for visualization in cells. The resulting construct is amenable to in vitro and in vivo experiments and allows unbiased comparison between amphipathic helices of different chemistry. In vitro, the Spo20 bioprobe responded to small variations in the amount of phosphatidic acid. However, this response was not specific. The membrane binding of the probe depended on the presence of phosphatidylethanolamine and also integrated the contribution of other anionic lipids, including phosphatidylserine and phosphatidyl-inositol-(4,5)bisphosphate. Inverting the sequence of the Spo20 motif neither affected the ability of the probe to interact with anionic liposomes nor did it modify its cellular localization, making a stereo-specific mode of phosphatidic acid recognition unlikely. Nevertheless, the lipid binding properties and the cellular localization of the Spo20 alpha-helix differed markedly from that of another amphipathic motif, Amphipathic Lipid Packing Sensor (ALPS), suggesting that even in the absence of stereo specific interactions, amphipathic helices can act as subcellular membrane targeting determinants in a cellular context.
Project description:sn-Glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GlpD) from Escherichia coli is a peripheral membrane enzyme involved in respiratory electron transfer. For it to display its enzymic activity, binding to the inner membrane is required. The way the enzyme interacts with the membrane and how this controls activity has not been elucidated. In the present study we provide evidence for direct protein-lipid interaction. Using the monolayer technique, we observed insertion of GlpD into lipid monolayers with a clear preference for anionic phospholipids. GlpD variants with point mutations in their predicted amphipathic helices showed a decreased ability to penetrate anionic phospholipid monolayers. From these data we propose that membrane binding of GlpD occurs by insertion of an amphipathic helix into the acyl-chain region of lipids mediated by negatively charged phospholipids.
Project description:Specific protein-lipid interactions lead to a gradual recruitment of AuTophaGy-related (ATG) proteins to the nascent membrane during autophagosome (AP) formation. ATG3, a key protein in the movement of LC3 towards the isolation membrane, has been proposed to facilitate LC3/GABARAP lipidation in highly curved membranes. In this work we have performed a biophysical study of human ATG3 interaction with membranes containing phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine and anionic phospholipids. We have found that ATG3 interacts more strongly with negatively-charged phospholipid vesicles or nanotubes than with electrically neutral model membranes, cone-shaped anionic phospholipids (cardiolipin and phosphatidic acid) being particularly active in promoting binding. Moreover, an increase in membrane curvature facilitates ATG3 recruitment to membranes although addition of anionic lipid molecules makes the curvature factor relatively less important. The predicted N-terminus amphipathic ?-helix of ATG3 would be responsible for membrane curvature detection, the positive residues Lys 9 and 11 being essential in the recognition of phospholipid negative moieties. We have also observed membrane aggregation induced by ATG3 in vitro, which could point to a more complex function of this protein in AP biogenesis. Moreover, in vitro GABARAP lipidation assays suggest that ATG3-membrane interaction could facilitate the lipidation of ATG8 homologues.
Project description:One of the fundamental features of biomembranes is the ability to fuse or to separate. These processes called respectively membrane fusion and fission are central in the homeostasis of events such as those related to intracellular membrane traffic. Proteins that contain amphipathic helices (AHs) were suggested to mediate membrane fission via shallow insertion of these helices into the lipid bilayer. Here we analyze the AH-containing proteins that have been identified as essential for membrane fission and categorize them in few subfamilies, including small GTPases, Atg proteins, and proteins containing either the ENTH/ANTH- or the BAR-domain. AH-containing fission-inducing proteins may require cofactors such as additional proteins (e.g., lipid-modifying enzymes), or lipids (e.g., phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PtdIns(4,5)P2], phosphatidic acid [PA], or cardiolipin). Both PA and cardiolipin possess a cone shape and a negative charge (-2) that favor the recruitment of the AHs of fission-inducing proteins. Instead, PtdIns(4,5)P2 is characterized by an high negative charge able to recruit basic residues of the AHs of fission-inducing proteins. Here we propose that the AHs of fission-inducing proteins contain sequence motifs that bind lipid cofactors; accordingly (K/R/H)(K/R/H)xx(K/R/H) is a PtdIns(4,5)P2-binding motif, (K/R)x6(F/Y) is a cardiolipin-binding motif, whereas KxK is a PA-binding motif. Following our analysis, we show that the AHs of many fission-inducing proteins possess five properties: (a) at least three basic residues on the hydrophilic side, (b) ability to oligomerize, (c) optimal (shallow) depth of insertion into the membrane, (d) positive cooperativity in membrane curvature generation, and (e) specific interaction with one of the lipids mentioned above. These lipid cofactors favor correct conformation, oligomeric state and optimal insertion depth. The most abundant lipid in a given organelle possessing high negative charge (more negative than -1) is usually the lipid cofactor in the fission event. Interestingly, naturally occurring mutations have been reported in AH-containing fission-inducing proteins and related to diseases such as centronuclear myopathy (amphiphysin 2), Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (GDAP1), Parkinson's disease (?-synuclein). These findings add to the interest of the membrane fission process whose complete understanding will be instrumental for the elucidation of the pathogenesis of diseases involving mutations in the protein AHs.
Project description:Membrane curvature remodeling induced by amphipathic helices (AHs) is essential in many biological processes. Here we studied a model amphipathic peptide, M2AH, derived from influenza A M2. We are interested in how M2AH may promote membrane curvature by altering membrane physical properties. We used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to examine changes in membrane topographic and mechanical properties. We used electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy to explore changes in lipid chain mobility and chain orientational order. We found that M2AH perturbed lipid bilayers by generating nanoscale pits. The structural data are consistent with lateral expansion of lipid chain packing, resulting in a mechanically weaker bilayer. Our EPR spectroscopy showed that M2AH reduced lipid chain mobility and had a minimal effect on lipid chain orientational order. The EPR data are consistent with the surface-bound state of M2AH that acts as a chain mobility inhibitor. By comparing results from different lipid bilayers, we found that cholesterol enhanced the activity of M2AH in inducing bilayer pits and altering lipid chain mobility. The results were explained by considering specific M2AH-cholesterol recognition and/or cholesterol-induced expansion of interlipid distance. Both AFM and EPR experiments revealed a modest effect of anionic lipids. This highlights that membrane interaction of M2AH is mainly driven by hydrophobic forces. Lastly, we found that phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) lipids inhibited the activity of M2AH. We explained our data by considering interlipid hydrogen-bonding that can stabilize bilayer organization. Our results of lipid-dependent membrane modulations are likely relevant to M2AH-induced membrane restructuring.
Project description:We developed genetically-encoded fluorescent sensors based on Förster Resonance Energy Transfer to monitor phosphatidic acid (PA) fluctuations in the plasma membrane using Spo20 as PA-binding motif. Basal PA levels and phospholipase D activity varied in different cell types. In addition, stimuli that activate PA phosphatases, leading to lower PA levels, increased lamellipodia and filopodia formation. Lower PA levels were observed in the leading edge than in the trailing edge of migrating HeLa cells. In MSC80 and OLN93 cells, which are stable cell lines derived from Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes, respectively, a higher ratio of diacylglycerol to PA levels was demonstrated in the membrane processes involved in myelination, compared to the cell body. We propose that the PA sensors reported here are valuable tools to unveil the role of PA in a variety of intracellular signaling pathways.
Project description:Despite not spanning phospholipid bilayers, monotopic integral proteins (MIPs) play critical roles in organizing biochemical reactions on membrane surfaces. Defining the structural basis by which these proteins are anchored to membranes has been hampered by the paucity of unambiguously identified MIPs and a lack of computational tools that accurately distinguish monolayer-integrating motifs from bilayer-spanning transmembrane domains (TMDs). We used quantitative proteomics and statistical modeling to identify 87 high-confidence candidate MIPs in lipid droplets, including 21 proteins with predicted TMDs that cannot be accommodated in these monolayer-enveloped organelles. Systematic cysteine-scanning mutagenesis showed the predicted TMD of one candidate MIP, DHRS3, to be a partially buried amphipathic α-helix in both lipid droplet monolayers and the cytoplasmic leaflet of endoplasmic reticulum membrane bilayers. Coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations support these observations, suggesting that this helix is most stable at the solvent-membrane interface. The simulations also predicted similar interfacial amphipathic helices when applied to seven additional MIPs from our dataset. Our findings suggest that interfacial helices may be a common motif by which MIPs are integrated into membranes, and provide high-throughput methods to identify and study MIPs.
Project description:Lipid membranes interact with and influence the aggregation of many amyloid-forming proteins. Orb2 is a cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein homolog in Drosophila melanogaster that forms functional amyloids necessary for long-term memory. One isoform, Orb2A, has a unique N-terminus that has been shown to be important for the formation of amyloid-like aggregates and long-term memory in vivo. Orb2A is also found enriched in the synaptic membrane fraction. Our sequence and hydropathy analysis suggests that it can form an amphipathic helix, which is ideal for lipid membrane interaction. We used circular dichroism and site-directed spin labeling coupled with electron paramagnetic resonance to test the first 88 amino acids of Orb2A for lipid interaction. We show that Orb2A1-88 interacts with anionic lipid membranes using an amphipathic helix at its unique N-terminus. This interaction depends on the charge of the lipid membrane and the degree of membrane curvature. We used transmission electron microscopy and electron paramagnetic resonance to show that the presence of anionic small unilamellar vesicles inhibits amyloid fibril formation by Orb2A. This inhibition by anionic membranes could be a potential mechanism regulating Orb2A amyloid formation in vivo.
Project description:Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors mediate fast synaptic transmission by fluxing ions across the membrane in response to neurotransmitter binding. We show here that during affinity purification of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor from Torpedo, phosphatidic acid, but not other anionic or zwitterionic phospholipids, is hydrolyzed to diacylglycerol. The phospholipase C activity elutes with the acetylcholine receptor and is inhibited by a lipid phosphate phosphohydrolase inhibitor, sodium vanadate, but not a phosphatidate phosphohydrolase inhibitor, N-ethylmaleimide. Further, the hydrolysis product of phosphatidic acid, diacylglycerol, enhances the functional capabilities of the acetylcholine receptor in the presence of anionic lipids. We conclude that a phospholipase C activity, which appears to be specific for phosphatidic acid, is associated with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. The acetylcholine receptor may directly or indirectly influence lipid metabolism in a manner that enhances its own function.
Project description:High amphiphilicity is a hallmark of interfacial helices in membrane proteins and membrane-active peptides, such as toxins and antimicrobial peptides. Although there is general agreement that amphiphilicity is important for membrane-interface binding, an unanswered question is its importance relative to simple hydrophobicity-driven partitioning. We have examined this fundamental question using measurements of the interfacial partitioning of a family of 17-residue amidated-acetylated peptides into both neutral and anionic lipid vesicles. Composed only of Ala, Leu, and Gln residues, the amino acid sequences of the peptides were varied to change peptide amphiphilicity without changing total hydrophobicity. We found that peptide helicity in water and interface increased linearly with hydrophobic moment, as did the favorable peptide partitioning free energy. This observation provides simple tools for designing amphipathic helical peptides. Finally, our results show that helical amphiphilicity is far more important for interfacial binding than simple hydrophobicity.
Project description:Membrane integrity at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is tightly regulated and its disturbance is implicated in metabolic diseases. Using an engineered sensor that activates the unfolded protein response (UPR) exclusively when normal ER membrane lipid composition is compromised, we identified pathways beyond lipid metabolism that are necessary to maintain ER integrity in yeast and in C. elegans. To systematically validate yeast mutants that disrupt ER membrane homeostasis, we identified a lipid bilayer stress (LBS) sensor in the UPR transducer protein Ire1, located at the interface of the amphipathic and transmembrane helices. Furthermore, transcriptome and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analyses pinpoint the UPR as a broad-spectrum compensatory response wherein LBS and proteotoxic stress deploy divergent transcriptional UPR programs. Together, these findings reveal the UPR program as the sum of two independent stress responses, an insight that could be exploited for future therapeutic intervention. Overall design: Δire1 and Δire1Δopi3 mutants expressing Ire1 and ire1ΔLD were experienced protein stress (DTT treatment, 60 minutes) and lipid stress respectively. The average of the log2 fold change was calculated for the genes.