Highly Efficient Transfer of 7TM Membrane Protein from Native Membrane to Covalently Circularized Nanodisc.
ABSTRACT: Incorporating membrane proteins into membrane mimicking systems is an essential process for biophysical studies and structure determination. Monodisperse lipid nanodiscs have been found to be a suitable tool, as they provide a near-native lipid bilayer environment. Recently, a covalently circularized nanodisc (cND) assembled with a membrane scaffold protein (MSP) in circular form, instead of conventional linear form, has emerged. Covalently circularized nanodiscs have been shown to have improved stability, however the optimal strategies for the incorporation of membrane proteins, as well as the physicochemical properties of the membrane protein embedded in the cND, have not been studied. Bacteriorhodopsin (bR) is a seven-transmembrane helix (7TM) membrane protein, and it forms a two dimensional crystal consisting of trimeric bR on the purple membrane of halophilic archea. Here it is reported that the bR trimer in its active form can be directly incorporated into a cND from its native purple membrane. Furthermore, the assembly conditions of the native purple membrane nanodisc (PMND) were optimized to achieve homogeneity and high yield using a high sodium chloride concentration. Additionally, the native PMND was demonstrated to have the ability to assemble over a range of different pHs, suggesting flexibility in the preparation conditions. The native PMND was then found to not only preserve the trimeric structure of bR and most of the native lipids in the PM, but also maintained the photocycle function of bR. This suggests a promising potential for assembling a cND with a 7TM membrane protein, extracted directly from its native membrane environment, while preserving the protein conformation and lipid composition.
Project description:Membrane proteins play critical biochemical roles but remain challenging to study. Recently, native or nondenaturing mass spectrometry (MS) has made great strides in characterizing membrane protein interactions. However, conventional native MS relies on detergent micelles, which may disrupt natural interactions. Lipoprotein nanodiscs provide a platform to present membrane proteins for native MS within a lipid bilayer environment, but previous native MS of membrane proteins in nanodiscs has been limited by the intermediate stability of nanodiscs. It is difficult to eject membrane proteins from nanodiscs for native MS but also difficult to retain intact nanodisc complexes with membrane proteins inside. Here, we employed chemical reagents that modulate the charge acquired during electrospray ionization (ESI). By modulating ESI conditions, we could either eject the membrane protein complex with few bound lipids or capture the intact membrane protein nanodisc complex-allowing measurement of the membrane protein oligomeric state within an intact lipid bilayer environment. The dramatic differences in the stability of nanodiscs under different ESI conditions opens new applications for native MS of nanodiscs.
Project description:Nanodisc films are a promising approach to study the equilibrium conformation of membrane bound proteins in native-like environment. Here we compare nanodisc formation for NADPH-dependent cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (POR) using two different scaffold proteins, MSP1D1 and MSP1E3D1. Despite the increased stability of POR loaded MSP1E3D1 based nanodiscs in comparison to MSP1D1 based nanodiscs, neutron reflection at the silicon-solution interface showed that POR loaded MSP1E3D1 based nanodisc films had poor surface coverage. This was the case, even when incubation was carried out under conditions that typically gave high coverage for empty nanodiscs. The low surface coverage affects the embedded POR coverage in the nanodisc film and limits the structural information that can be extracted from membrane bound proteins within them. Thus, nanodisc reconstitution on the smaller scaffold proteins is necessary for structural studies of membrane bound proteins in nanodisc films.
Project description:Monodisperse lipid nanodiscs are particularly suitable for characterizing membrane protein in near-native environment. To study the lipid-composition dependence of photocycle kinetics of bacteriorhodopsin (bR), transient absorption spectroscopy was utilized to monitor the evolution of the photocycle intermediates of bR reconstituted in nanodiscs composed of different ratios of the zwitterionic lipid (DMPC, dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine; DOPC, dioleoyl phosphatidylcholine) to the negatively charged lipid (DOPG, dioleoyl phosphatidylglycerol; DMPG, dimyristoyl phosphatidylglycerol). The characterization of ion-exchange chromatography showed that the negative surface charge of nanodiscs increased as the content of DOPG or DMPG was increased. The steady-state absorption contours of the light-adapted monomeric bR in nanodiscs composed of different lipid ratios exhibited highly similar absorption features of the retinal moiety at 560 nm, referring to the conservation of the tertiary structure of bR in nanodiscs of different lipid compositions. In addition, transient absorption contours showed that the photocycle kinetics of bR was significantly retarded and the transient populations of intermediates N and O were decreased as the content of DMPG or DOPG was reduced. This observation could be attributed to the negatively charged lipid heads of DMPG and DOPG, exhibiting similar proton relay capability as the native phosphatidylglycerol (PG) analog lipids in the purple membrane. In this work, we not only demonstrated the usefulness of nanodiscs as a membrane-mimicking system, but also showed that the surrounding lipids play a crucial role in altering the biological functions, e.g., the ion translocation kinetics of the transmembrane proteins.
Project description:We describe here the analysis of nanodisc complexes by using native mass spectrometry (MS) to characterize their molecular weight (MW) and polydispersity. Nanodiscs are nanoscale lipid bilayers that offer a platform for solubilizing membrane proteins. Unlike detergent micelles, nanodiscs are native-like lipid bilayers that are well-defined and potentially monodisperse. Their mass spectra allow peak assignment based on differences in the mass of a single lipid per complex. Resultant masses agree closely with predicted values and demonstrate conclusively the narrow dispersity of lipid molecules in the nanodisc. Fragmentation with collisionally activated dissociation (CAD) or electron-capture dissociation (ECD) shows loss of a small number of lipids and eventual collapse of the nanodisc with release of the scaffold protein. These results provide a foundation for future studies utilizing nanodiscs as a platform for launching membrane proteins into the gas phase.
Project description:Polymer lipid nanodiscs are an invaluable system for structural and functional studies of membrane proteins in their near-native environment. Despite the recent advances in the development and usage of polymer lipid nanodisc systems, lack of control over size and poor tolerance to pH and divalent metal ions are major limitations for further applications. A facile modification of a low-molecular-weight styrene maleic acid copolymer is demonstrated to form monodispersed lipid bilayer nanodiscs that show ultra-stability towards divalent metal ion concentration over a pH range of 2.5 to 10. The macro-nanodiscs (>20?nm diameter) show magnetic alignment properties that can be exploited for high-resolution structural studies of membrane proteins and amyloid proteins using solid-state NMR techniques. The new polymer, SMA-QA, nanodisc is a robust membrane mimetic tool that offers significant advantages over currently reported nanodisc systems.
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:The characterization of integral membrane proteins presents numerous analytical challenges on account of their poor activity under non-native conditions, limited solubility in aqueous solutions, and low expression in most cell culture systems. Nanodiscs are synthetic model membrane constructs that offer many advantages for studying membrane protein function by offering a native-like phospholipid bilayer environment. The successful incorporation of membrane proteins within Nanodiscs requires experimental optimization of conditions. Standard protocols for Nanodisc formation can require large amounts of time and input material, limiting the facile screening of formation conditions. Capitalizing on the miniaturization and efficient mass transport inherent to microfluidics, we have developed a microfluidic platform for efficient Nanodisc assembly and purification, and demonstrated the ability to incorporate functional membrane proteins into the resulting Nanodiscs. In addition to working with reduced sample volumes, this platform simplifies membrane protein incorporation from a multi-stage protocol requiring several hours or days into a single platform that outputs purified Nanodiscs in less than one hour. To demonstrate the utility of this platform, we incorporated Cytochrome P450 into Nanodiscs of variable size and lipid composition, and present spectroscopic evidence for the functional active site of the membrane protein. This platform is a promising new tool for membrane protein biology and biochemistry that enables tremendous versatility for optimizing the incorporation of membrane proteins using microfluidic gradients to screen across diverse formation conditions.
Project description:Nanodiscs constitute a tool for the solubilization of membrane proteins in a lipid bilayer, thus offering a near-native membrane environment. Many membrane proteins interact with other membrane proteins; however, the co-reconstitution of multiple membrane proteins in a single nanodisc is a random process that is adversely affected by several factors, including protein aggregation. Here, we present an approach for the controlled co-reconstitution of multiple membrane proteins in a single nanodisc. The temporary attachment of designated oligonucleotides to individual membrane proteins enables the formation of stable, detergent-solubilized membrane protein complexes by base-pairing of complementary oligonucleotide sequences, thus facilitating the insertion of the membrane protein complex into nanodiscs with defined stoichiometry and composition. As a proof of principle, nanodiscs containing a heterodimeric and heterotrimeric membrane protein complex were reconstituted using a fluorescently labeled voltage-gated anion channel (VDAC) as a model system.
Project description:Over recent years, there has been a rapid development of membrane-mimetic systems to encapsulate and stabilize planar segments of phospholipid bilayers in solution. One such system has been the use of amphipathic copolymers to solubilize lipid bilayers into nanodiscs. The attractiveness of this system, in part, stems from the capability of these polymers to solubilize membrane proteins directly from the host cell membrane. The assumption has been that the native lipid annulus remains intact, with nanodiscs providing a snapshot of the lipid environment. Recent studies have provided evidence that phospholipids can exchange from the nanodiscs with either lipids at interfaces, or with other nanodiscs in bulk solution. Here we investigate kinetics of lipid exchange between three recently studied polymer-stabilized nanodiscs and supported lipid bilayers at the silicon-water interface. We show that lipid and polymer exchange occurs in all nanodiscs tested, although the rate and extent differs between different nanodisc types. Furthermore, we observe adsorption of nanodiscs to the supported lipid bilayer for one nanodisc system which used a polymer made using reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization. These results have important implications in applications of polymer-stabilized nanodiscs, such as in the fabrication of solid-supported films containing membrane proteins.
Project description:Native mass spectrometry (MS) has become an important tool for the analysis of membrane proteins. Although detergent micelles are the most commonly used method for solubilizing membrane proteins for native MS, nanoscale lipoprotein complexes such as nanodiscs are emerging as a promising complementary approach because they solubilize membrane proteins in a lipid bilayer environment. However, prior native MS studies of intact nanodiscs have employed only a limited set of phospholipids that are similar in mass. Here, we extend the range of lipids that are amenable to native MS of nanodiscs by combining lipids with masses that are simple integer multiples of each other. Although these lipid combinations create complex distributions, overlap between resonant peak series allows interpretation of nanodisc spectra containing glycolipids, sterols, and cardiolipin. We also investigate the gas-phase stability of nanodiscs with these new lipids towards collisional activation. We observe that negative ionization mode or charge reduction stabilizes nanodiscs and is essential to preserving labile lipids such as sterols. These new approaches to native MS of nanodiscs will enable future studies of membrane proteins embedded in model membranes that more accurately mimic natural bilayers. Graphical Abstract.