Expanding the Types of Lipids Amenable to Native Mass Spectrometry of Lipoprotein Complexes.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:Nanodiscs are a promising system for studying gas-phase and solution complexes of membrane proteins and lipids. We previously demonstrated that native electrospray ionization allows mass spectral analysis of intact Nanodisc complexes at single lipid resolution. This report details an improved theoretical framework for interpreting and deconvoluting native mass spectra of Nanodisc lipoprotein complexes. In addition to the intrinsic lipid count and charge distributions, Nanodisc mass spectra are significantly shaped by constructive overlap of adjacent charge states at integer multiples of the lipid mass. We describe the mathematical basis for this effect and develop a probability-based algorithm to deconvolute the underlying mass and charge distributions. The probability-based deconvolution algorithm is applied to a series of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine Nanodisc native mass spectra and used to provide a quantitative picture of the lipid loss in gas-phase fragmentation.
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:Hydrogen deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (H/DX MS) provides a quantitative comparison of the relative rates of exchange of amide protons for solvent deuterons. In turn, the rate of amide exchange depends on a complex combination of the stability of local secondary structure, solvent accessibility, and dynamics. H/DX MS has, therefore, been widely used to probe structure and function of soluble proteins, but its application to membrane proteins was limited previously to detergent solubilized samples. The large excess of lipids from model membranes, or from membrane fractions derived from in vivo samples, presents challenges with mass spectrometry. The lipid nanodisc platform, consisting of apolipoprotein A-derived membrane scaffold proteins, provides a native like membrane environment in which to capture analyte membrane proteins with a well defined, and low, ratio of lipid to protein. Membrane proteins in lipid nanodiscs are amenable to H/DX MS, and this is expected to lead to a rapid increase in the number of membrane proteins subjected to this analysis. Here we review the few literature examples of the application of H/DX MS to membrane proteins in nanodiscs. The incremental improvements in the experimental workflow of the H/DX MS are described and potential applications of this approach to study membrane proteins are described.
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: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: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: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:Membrane proteins work within asymmetric bilayers of lipid molecules that are critical for their biological structures, dynamics and interactions. These properties are lost when detergents dislodge lipids, ligands and subunits, but are maintained in native nanodiscs formed using styrene maleic acid (SMA) and diisobutylene maleic acid (DIBMA) copolymers. These amphipathic polymers allow extraction of multicomponent complexes of post-translationally modified membrane-bound proteins directly from organ homogenates or membranes from diverse types of cells and organelles. Here, we review the structures and mechanisms of transmembrane targets and their interactions with lipids including phosphoinositides (PIs), as resolved using nanodisc systems and methods including cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). We focus on therapeutic targets including several G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), as well as ion channels and transporters that are driving the development of next-generation native nanodiscs. The design of new synthetic polymers and complementary biophysical tools bodes well for the future of drug discovery and structural biology of native membrane:protein assemblies (memteins).
Project description: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.