Effects of the Arg9Cys and Arg25Cys mutations on phospholamban's conformational equilibrium in membrane bilayers.
ABSTRACT: Approximately, 70% of the Ca2+ ion transport into the sarcoplasmic reticulum is catalyzed by the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA), whose activity is endogenously regulated by phospholamban (PLN). PLN comprises a TM inhibitory region and a cytoplasmic regulatory region that harbors a consensus sequence for cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). The inhibitory region binds the ATPase, reducing its apparent Ca2+ binding affinity. ?-adrenergic stimulation activates PKA, which phosphorylates PLN at Ser 16, reversing its inhibitory function. Mutations and post-translational modifications of PLN may lead to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and heart failure. PLN's cytoplasmic region interconverts between a membrane-associated T state and a membrane-detached R state. The importance of these structural transitions on SERCA regulation is emerging, but the effects of natural occurring mutations and their relevance to the progression of heart disease are unclear. Here we use solid-state NMR spectroscopy to investigate the structural dynamics of two lethal PLN mutations, R9C and R25C, which lead to DCM. We found that the R25C mutant enhances the dynamics of PLN and shifts the conformational equilibrium toward the R state confirmation, whereas the R9C mutant drives the amphipathic cytoplasmic domain toward the membrane-associate state, enriching the T state population. The changes in membrane interactions caused by these mutations may explain the aberrant regulation of SERCA.
Project description:Phospholamban (PLN) is a small integral membrane protein, which binds and inhibits in a yet unknown fashion the Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA) in the sarcoplasmic reticulum. When reconstituted in planar lipid bilayers PLN exhibits ion channel activity with a low unitary conductance. From the effect of non-electrolyte polymers on this unitary conductance we estimate a narrow pore with a diameter of ca. 2.2 Å for this channel. This value is similar to that reported for the central pore in the structure of the PLN pentamer. Hence the PLN pentamer, which is in equilibrium with the monomer, is the most likely channel forming structure. Reconstituted PLN mutants, which either stabilize (K27A and R9C) or destabilize (I47A) the PLN pentamer and also phosphorylated PLN still generate the same unitary conductance of the wt/non-phosphorylated PLN. However the open probability of the phosphorylated PLN and of the R9C mutant is significantly lower than that of the respective wt/non-phosphorylated control. In the context of data on PLN/SERCA interaction and on Ca(2+) accumulation in the sarcoplasmic reticulum the present results are consistent with the view that PLN channel activity could participate in the balancing of charge during Ca(2+) uptake. A reduced total conductance of the K(+) transporting PLN by phosphorylation or by the R9C mutation may stimulate Ca(2+) uptake in the same way as an inhibition of K(+) channels in the SR membrane. The R9C-PLN mutation, a putative cause of dilated cardiomyopathy, might hence affect SERCA activity also via its inherent low open probability.
Project description:The sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERCA) and its regulatory partner phospholamban (PLN) are essential for myocardial contractility. Arg(9) ? Cys (R9C) and Arg(14) deletion (R14del) mutations in PLN are associated with lethal dilated cardiomyopathy in humans. To better understand these mutations, we made a series of amino acid substitutions in the cytoplasmic domain of PLN and tested their ability to inhibit SERCA. R9C is a complete loss-of-function mutant of PLN, whereas R14del is a mild loss-of-function mutant. When combined with wild-type PLN to simulate heterozygous conditions, the mutants had a dominant negative effect on SERCA function. A series of targeted mutations in this region of the PLN cytoplasmic domain ((8)TRSAIRR(14)) demonstrated the importance of hydrophobic balance in proper PLN regulation of SERCA. We found that Arg(9) ? Leu and Thr(8) ? Cys substitutions mimicked the behavior of the R9C mutant, and an Arg(14) ? Ala substitution mimicked the behavior of the R14del mutant. The results reveal that the change in hydrophobicity resulting from the R9C and R14del mutations is sufficient to explain the loss of function and persistent interaction with SERCA. Hydrophobic imbalance in the cytoplasmic domain of PLN appears to be a predictor for the development and progression of dilated cardiomyopathy.
Project description:Phospholamban (PLB) is a membrane protein that regulates heart muscle relaxation rates via interactions with the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase (SERCA). When PLB is phosphorylated or Arg9Cys (R9C) is mutated, inhibition of SERCA is relieved. (13)C and (15)N solid-state NMR spectroscopy is utilized to investigate conformational changes of PLB upon phosphorylation and R9C mutation. (13)C═O NMR spectra of the cytoplasmic domain reveal two α-helical structural components with population changes upon phosphorylation and R9C mutation. The appearance of an unstructured component is observed on domain Ib. (15)N NMR spectra indicate an increase in backbone dynamics of the cytoplasmic domain. Wild-type PLB (WT-PLB), Ser16-phosphorylated PLB (P-PLB), and R9C-mutated PLB (R9C-PLB) all have a very dynamic domain Ib, and the transmembrane domain has an immobile component. (15)N NMR spectra indicate that the cytoplasmic domain of R9C-PLB adopts an orientation similar to P-PLB and shifts away from the membrane surface. Domain Ib (Leu28) of P-PLB and R9C-PLB loses the alignment. The R9C-PLB adopts a conformation similar to P-PLB with a population shift to a more extended and disordered state. The NMR data suggest the more extended and disordered forms of PLB may relate to inhibition relief.
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: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: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:Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) can be caused by mutations in the cardiac protein phospholamban (PLN). We used CRISPR/Cas9 to insert the R9C PLN mutation at its endogenous locus into a human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) line from an individual with no cardiovascular disease. R9C PLN hiPSC-CMs display a blunted ?-agonist response and defective calcium handling. In 3D human engineered cardiac tissues (hECTs), a blunted lusitropic response to ?-adrenergic stimulation was observed with R9C PLN. hiPSC-CMs harboring the R9C PLN mutation showed activation of a hypertrophic phenotype, as evidenced by expression of hypertrophic markers and increased cell size and capacitance of cardiomyocytes. RNA-seq suggests that R9C PLN results in an altered metabolic state and profibrotic signaling, which was confirmed by gene expression analysis and picrosirius staining of R9C PLN hECTs. The expression of several miRNAs involved in fibrosis, hypertrophy, and cardiac metabolism were also perturbed in R9C PLN hiPSC-CMs. This study contributes to better understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of the hereditary R9C PLN mutation in the context of human cardiomyocytes.
Project description:Phospholamban (PLN) plays a central role in Ca2+ homeostasis in cardiac myocytes through regulation of the sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase 2A (SERCA2A) Ca2+ pump. An inherited mutation converting arginine residue 9 in PLN to cysteine (R9C) results in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in humans and transgenic mice, but the downstream signaling defects leading to decompensation and heart failure are poorly understood. Here we used precision mass spectrometry to study the global phosphorylation dynamics of 1,887 cardiac phosphoproteins in early affected heart tissue in a transgenic R9C mouse model of DCM compared with wild-type littermates. Dysregulated phosphorylation sites were quantified after affinity capture and identification of 3,908 phosphopeptides from fractionated whole-heart homogenates. Global statistical enrichment analysis of the differential phosphoprotein patterns revealed selective perturbation of signaling pathways regulating cardiovascular activity in early stages of DCM. Strikingly, dysregulated signaling through the Notch-1 receptor, recently linked to cardiomyogenesis and embryonic cardiac stem cell development and differentiation but never directly implicated in DCM before, was a prominently perturbed pathway. We verified alterations in Notch-1 downstream components in early symptomatic R9C transgenic mouse cardiomyocytes compared with wild type by immunoblot analysis and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy. These data reveal unexpected connections between stress-regulated cell signaling networks, specific protein kinases, and downstream effectors essential for proper cardiac function.
Project description:Phospholamban (PLN) and sarcolipin (SLN) are two single-pass membrane proteins that regulate Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA), an ATP-driven pump that translocates calcium ions into the lumen of the sarcoplasmic reticulum, initiating muscle relaxation. Both proteins bind SERCA through intramembrane interactions, impeding calcium translocation. While phosphorylation of PLN at Ser-16 and/or Thr-17 reestablishes calcium flux, the regulatory mechanism of SLN remains elusive. SERCA has been crystallized in several different states along the enzymatic reaction coordinates, providing remarkable mechanistic information; however, the lack of high-resolution crystals in the presence of PLN and SLN limits the current understanding of the regulatory mechanism. This brief review offers a survey of our hybrid structural approach using solution and solid-state NMR methodologies to understand SERCA regulation from the point of view of PLN and SLN. These results have improved our understanding of the calcium translocation process and are the basis for designing new therapeutic approaches to ameliorate muscle malfunctions.