Chemical Additives Enable Native Mass Spectrometry Measurement of Membrane Protein Oligomeric State within Intact Nanodiscs.
ABSTRACT: 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: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.
Project description:The study of membrane protein structure and enzymology has traditionally been hampered by the inherent insolubility of membrane proteins in aqueous environments and experimental challenges in emulating an in vivo lipid environment. Phospholipid bilayer nanodiscs have recently been shown to be of great use for the study of membrane proteins since they offer a controllable, stable, and monodisperse model membrane with a nativelike lipid bilayer. Here we report the integration of nanodiscs with hydrogen exchange (HX) mass spectrometry (MS) experiments, thereby allowing for analysis of the native conformation of membrane proteins. gamma-Glutamyl carboxylase (GGCX), an approximately 94 kDa transmembrane protein, was inserted into nanodiscs and labeled with deuterium oxide under native conditions. Analytical parameters including sample-handling and chromatographic separation were optimized to measure the incorporation of deuterium into GGCX. Coupling nanodisc technology with HX MS offers an effective approach for investigating the conformation and dynamics of membrane proteins in their native environment and is therefore capable of providing much needed insight into the function of membrane proteins.
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: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: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: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: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:Mass spectrometry (MS) has emerged as a powerful tool to study membrane protein complexes and protein-lipid interactions. Because they provide a precisely defined lipid bilayer environment, lipoprotein Nanodiscs offer a promising cassette for membrane protein MS analysis. However, heterogeneous lipids create several potential challenges for native MS: additional spectral complexity, ambiguous assignments, and differing gas-phase behaviors. Here, we present strategies to address these challenges and streamline analysis of heterogeneous-lipid Nanodiscs. We show that using two lipids of similar mass limits the complexity of the spectra in heterogeneous Nanodiscs and that the lipid composition can be determined by using a dual Fourier transform approach to obtain the average lipid mass. Further, the relationship between gas-phase behavior, lipid composition, and instrumental polarity was investigated to determine the effects of lipid headgroup chemistry on Nanodisc dissociation mechanisms. These results provide unique mechanistic and methodological insights into characterization of complex and heterogeneous systems by mass spectrometry.
Project description:Noncovalent interactions between biomolecules are critical to their activity. Native mass spectrometry (MS) has enabled characterization of these interactions by preserving noncovalent assemblies for mass analysis, including protein-ligand and protein-protein complexes for a wide range of soluble and membrane proteins. Recent advances in native MS of lipoprotein nanodiscs have also allowed characterization of antimicrobial peptides and membrane proteins embedded in intact lipid bilayers. However, conventional native electrospray ionization (ESI) can disrupt labile interactions. To stabilize macromolecular complexes for native MS, charge reducing reagents can be added to the solution prior to ESI, such as triethylamine, trimethylamine oxide, and imidazole. Lowering the charge acquired during ESI reduces Coulombic repulsion that leads to dissociation, and charge reduction reagents may also lower the internal energy of the ions through evaporative cooling. Here, we tested a range of imidazole derivatives to discover improved charge reducing reagents and to determine how their chemical properties influence charge reduction efficacy. We measured their effects on a soluble protein complex, a membrane protein complex in detergent, and lipoprotein nanodiscs with and without embedded peptides, and used computational chemistry to understand the observed charge-reduction behavior. Together, our data revealed that hydrophobic substituents at the 2 position on imidazole can significantly improve both charge reduction and gas-phase stability over existing reagents. These new imidazole derivatives will be immediately beneficial for a range of native MS applications and provide chemical principles to guide development of novel charge reducing reagents.
Project description:Human apolipoprotein A-1 (apo A-1) is the major protein component of high-density lipoproteins. The apo A-1 lipid-binding domain was used as a template for the synthesis of amphipathic helical proteins termed membrane scaffold proteins, employed to self-assemble soluble monodisperse discoidal particles called Nanodiscs. In these particles, membrane scaffold proteins surround a lipid bilayer in a belt-like fashion forming bilayer disks of discrete size and composition. Here we investigate the structure of Nanodiscs through molecular dynamics simulations in which Nanodiscs were built from scaffold proteins of various lengths. The simulations showed planar or deformed Nanodiscs depending on optimal length and alignment of the scaffold proteins. Based on mean surface area per lipid calculations, comparison of small-angle x-ray scattering curves, and the relatively planar shape of Nanodiscs made from truncated scaffold proteins, one can conclude that the first 17 to 18 residues of the 200-residue apo A-1 lipid-binding domain are not involved in formation of the protein "belts" surrounding the lipid bilayer. To determine whether the addition of an integral membrane protein has an effect on the overall structure of a Nanodisc, bacteriorhodopsin was embedded into a Nanodisc and simulated using molecular dynamics, revealing a planar disk with a slightly rectangular shape.