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Single-molecule study of full-length NaChBac by planar lipid bilayer recording.

ABSTRACT: Planar lipid bilayer device, alternatively known as BLM, is a powerful tool to study functional properties of conducting membrane proteins such as ion channels and porins. In this work, we used BLM to study the prokaryotic voltage-gated sodium channel (Nav) NaChBac in a well-defined membrane environment. Navs are an essential component for the generation and propagation of electric signals in excitable cells. The successes in the biochemical, biophysical and crystallographic studies on prokaryotic Navs in recent years has greatly promoted the understanding of the molecular mechanism that underlies these proteins and their eukaryotic counterparts. In this work, we investigated the single-molecule conductance and ionic selectivity behavior of NaChBac. Purified NaChBac protein was first reconstituted into lipid vesicles, which is subsequently incorporated into planar lipid bilayer by fusion. At single-molecule level, we were able to observe three distinct long-lived conductance sub-states of NaChBac. Change in the membrane potential switches on the channel mainly by increasing its opening probability. In addition, we found that individual NaChBac has similar permeability for Na+, K+, and Ca2+. The single-molecule behavior of the full-length protein is essentially highly stochastic. Our results show that planar lipid bilayer device can be used to study purified ion channels at single-molecule level in an artificial environment, and such studies can reveal new protein properties that are otherwise not observable in in vivo ensemble studies.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5708646 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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