Revealing the Specificity of a Range of Antimicrobial Peptides in Lipid Nanodiscs by Native Mass Spectrometry.
ABSTRACT: Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) interact directly with lipid membranes of pathogens and may have the potential to combat antibiotic resistance. Although many AMPs are thought to form toxic oligomeric pores, their interactions within lipid membranes are not well understood. Here, we used native mass spectrometry to measure the incorporation of a range of different AMPs in lipoprotein nanodiscs. We found that the truncation of human LL37 increases the lipid specificity but decreases the specificity of complex formation. We also saw that the reduction of disulfide bonds can have a dramatic effect on the ability of AMPs to interact with lipid bilayers. Finally, by examining a wider range of peptides we discovered that AMPs tend to interact specifically with anionic lipids but form nonspecific complexes with wide oligomeric state distributions. Overall, these data reveal that each AMP has unique behaviors but some common trends apply to many AMPs.
Project description:Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are generally cationic and amphipathic peptides that show potential applications to combat the growing threat of antibiotic resistant infections. AMPs are known to interact with bacterial membranes, but their mechanisms of toxicity and selectivity are poorly understood, in part because it is challenging to characterize AMP oligomeric complexes within lipid bilayers. Here, we used native mass spectrometry to measure the stoichiometry of AMPs inserted into lipoprotein nanodiscs with different lipid components. Titrations of increasing peptide concentration and collisional activation experiments reveal that AMPs can exhibit a range of behaviors from nonspecific incorporation into the nanodisc to formation of specific complexes. This new approach to characterizing formation of AMP complexes within lipid membranes will provide unique insights into AMP mechanisms.
Project description:Phospholipids (PLs) are a major, diverse constituent of cell membranes. PL diversity arises from the nature of the fatty acid chains, as well as the headgroup structure. The headgroup charge is thought to contribute to both the strength and specificity of protein-membrane interactions. Because it has been difficult to measure membrane charge, ascertaining the role charge plays in these interactions has been challenging. Presented here are charge measurements on lipid Nanodiscs at 20°C in 100 mM NaCl, 50 mM Tris, at pH 7.4. Values are also reported for measurements made in the presence of Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) as a function of NaCl concentration, pH, and temperature, and in solvents containing other types of cations and anions. Measurements were made for neutral (phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine) and anionic (phosphatidylserine, phosphatidic acid, cardiolipin, and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2)) PLs containing palmitoyl-oleoyl and dimyristoyl fatty acid chains. In addition, charge measurements were made on Nanodiscs containing an Escherichia coli lipid extract. The data collected reveal that 1) POPE is anionic and not neutral at pH 7.4; 2) high-anionic-content Nanodiscs exhibit polyelectrolyte behavior; 3) 3 mM Ca(2+) neutralizes a constant fraction of the charge, but not a constant amount of charge, for POPS and POPC Nanodiscs; 4) in contrast to some previous work, POPC only interacts weakly with Ca(2+); 5) divalent cations interact with lipids in a lipid- and ion-specific manner for POPA and PIP2 lipids; and 6) the monovalent anion type has little influence on the lipid charge. These results should help eliminate inconsistencies among data obtained using different techniques, membrane systems, and experimental conditions, and they provide foundational data for developing an accurate view of membranes and membrane-protein interactions.
Project description:Many soluble proteins interact with membranes to perform important biological functions, including signal transduction, regulation, transport, trafficking and biogenesis. Despite their importance, these protein-membrane interactions are difficult to characterize due to their often-transient nature as well as phospholipids’ poor solubility in aqueous solution. Here, we employ nanodiscs – small, water-soluble patches of lipid bilayer encircled with amphipathic scaffold proteins – along with quantitative proteomics to identify lipid-binding proteins in S. cerevisiae. Using nanodiscs reconstituted with yeast total lipid extracts or only phosphatidylethanolamine (PE-nanodiscs), we capture several known membrane-interacting proteins, including the Rab GTPases Sec4 and Ypt1, which play key roles in vesicle trafficking. Utilizing PE-nanodiscs enriched with phosphatidic acid (PEPA-nanodiscs), we specifically capture a member of the Hsp40/J-protein family, Caj1, whose function has recently been linked to membrane protein quality control. We show that Caj1 interaction with liposomes containing PA is modulated by pH and PE lipids, and depends on two patches of positively charged residues near the C-terminus of the protein. The protein Caj1 is the first example of an Hsp40/J-domain protein with affinity for membranes and phosphatidic acid lipid specificity. These findings highlight the utility of the nanodisc system to identify and characterize protein-lipid interactions that may not be evident using other methods.
Project description:The molecular interactions between antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and lipid A-containing supported lipid bilayers were probed using single-molecule total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. Hybrid supported lipid bilayers with lipid A outer leaflets and phospholipid (1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DOPE)) inner leaflets were prepared and characterized, and the spatiotemporal trajectories of individual fluorescently labeled LL37 and Melittin AMPs were determined as they interacted with the bilayer surfaces comprising either monophosphoryl or diphosphoryl lipid A (from Escherichia coli) to determine the impact of electrostatic interactions. Large numbers of trajectories were obtained and analyzed to obtain the distributions of surface residence times and the statistics of the spatial trajectories. Interestingly, the AMP species were sensitive to subtle differences in the charge of the lipid, with both peptides diffusing more slowly and residing longer on the diphosphoryl lipid A. Furthermore, the single-molecule dynamics indicated a qualitative difference between the behavior of AMPs on hybrid Lipid A bilayers and on those composed entirely of DOPE. Whereas AMPs interacting with a DOPE bilayer exhibited two-dimensional Brownian diffusion with a diffusion coefficient of ?1.7 ?m2/s, AMPs adsorbed to the lipid A surface exhibited much slower apparent diffusion (on the order of ?0.1 ?m2/s) and executed intermittent trajectories that alternated between two-dimensional Brownian diffusion and desorption-mediated three-dimensional flights. Overall, these findings suggested that bilayers with lipid A in the outer leaflet, as it is in bacterial outer membranes, are valuable model systems for the study of the initial stage of AMP-bacterium interactions. Furthermore, single-molecule dynamics was sensitive to subtle differences in electrostatic interactions between cationic AMPs and monovalent or divalent anionic lipid A moieties.
Project description:The lipid composition of the cellular membrane plays an important role in a number of biological processes including the binding of membrane-active peptides. Characterization of membrane binding remains challenging, due to the technical limitations associated with the use of standard biophysical techniques and available membrane models. Here, we investigate the lipid binding properties of two membrane-active peptides, VSTx1, a well characterized ion-channel inhibitor, identified from spider venom, that preferentially binds to anionic lipid mixtures, and AA139 an antimicrobial ?-hairpin peptide with uncharacterised lipid binding properties, currently in pre-clinical development. The lipid binding properties of these peptides are elucidated using nanodiscs formed by both linear and circularized (sortase-mediated) forms of a membrane scaffold protein (MSP1D1?H5). We find that nanodiscs formed by circularized MSPs-in contrast to those formed by linear MSPs-are sufficiently stable under sample conditions typically used for biophysical measurements (including lipid composition, a range of buffers, temperatures and concentrations). Using these circularized nanodiscs, we are able to extract detailed thermodynamic data using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) as well as atomic resolution mapping of the lipid binding interfaces of our isotope labeled peptides using solution-state, heteronuclear, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. This represents a novel and general approach for elucidating the thermodynamics and molecular interface of membrane-active peptides toward flat lipid bilayers of variable composition. Our approach is validated by first determining the thermodynamic parameters and binding interface of VSTx1 toward the lipid bilayer, which shows good agreement with previous studies using lipid micelles and liposomes. The method is then applied to AA139, where the membrane binding properties are unknown. This characterization, involved solving the high-resolution structure of AA139 in solution using NMR spectroscopy and the development of a suitable expression system for isotope labeling. AA139 was found to bind exclusively to anionic membranes with moderate affinity (K d~low ?M), and was found to have a lipid binding interface involving the termini of the ?-hairpin structure. The preference of AA139 for anionic lipids supports a role for membrane binding in the mode-of-action of this peptide, which is also consistent with its higher inhibitory activity against bacterial cells compared to mammalian cells. The described approach is a powerful method for investigation of the membrane binding properties of this important class of molecules.
Project description:The bacterial membrane represents an attractive target for the design of new antibiotics to combat widespread bacterial resistance. Understanding how antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and other membrane-active agents attack membranes could facilitate the design of new, effective antimicrobials. Despite intense study of AMPs on model membranes, we do not know how well the mechanism of attack translates to real biological membranes. To that end, we have characterized the attack of AMPs on Escherichia coli cytoplasmic membranes and directly compared this action to model membranes. AMPs induce membrane permeability in E. coli spheroplasts or giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) under well-defined concentrations of AMPs and fluorescent molecules. The action of AMPs on spheroplasts is unique in producing an intracellular fluorescence intensity time curve that increases in a sigmoidal fashion to a steady state. This regular pattern is reproducible by melittin, LL37, and alamethicin but not by CCCP or daptomycin, agents known to cause ion leakage. Remarkably, a similar pattern was also reproduced in GUVs. Indeed the steady-state membrane permeability induced by AMPs is quantitatively the same in spheroplasts and GUVs. There are, however, interesting dissimilarities in details that reveal differences between bacterial and lipid membranes. Spheroplast membranes are permeabilized by a wide range of AMP concentrations to the same steady-state membrane permeability. In contrast, only a narrow range of AMP concentrations permeabilized GUVs to a steady state. Tension in GUVs also influences the action of AMPs, whereas the spheroplast membranes are tensionless. Despite these differences, our results provide a strong support for using model membranes to study the molecular interactions of AMPs with bacterial membranes. As far as we know, this is the first time the actions of AMPs, on bacterial membranes and on model membranes, have been directly and quantitatively compared.
Project description:Here we present a modular method for manufacturing large-sized nanodiscs using DNA-origami barrels as scaffolding corrals. Large-sized nanodiscs can be produced by first decorating the inside of DNA barrels with small lipid-bilayer nanodiscs, which open up when adding extra lipid to form large nanodiscs of diameters ?45 or ?70 nm as prescribed by the enclosing barrel dimension. Densely packed membrane protein arrays are then reconstituted within these large nanodiscs for potential structure determination. Furthermore, we demonstrate the potential of these nanodiscs as model membranes to study poliovirus entry.
Project description:Lipid nanodiscs are playing increasingly important roles in studies of the structure and function of membrane proteins. Development of lipid nanodiscs as a membrane-protein-supporting platform, or a drug targeting and delivery vehicle in general, is undermined by the fluidic and labile nature of lipid bilayers. Here, we report the discovery of polymer nanodiscs, i.e., discoidal amphiphilic block copolymer membrane patches encased within membrane scaffold proteins, as a novel two-dimensional nanomembrane that maintains the advantages of lipid nanodiscs while addressing their weaknesses. Using MsbA, a bacterial ATP-binding cassette transporter as a membrane protein prototype, we show that the protein can be reconstituted into the polymer nanodiscs in an active state. As with lipid nanodiscs, reconstitution of detergent-solubilized MsbA into the polymer nanodiscs significantly enhances its activity. In contrast to lipid nanodiscs that undergo time- and temperature-dependent structural changes, the polymer nanodiscs experience negligible structural evolution under similar environmental stresses, revealing a critically important property for the development of nanodisc-based characterization methodologies or biotechnologies. We expect that the higher mechanical and chemical stability of block copolymer membranes and their chemical versatility for adaptation will open new opportunities for applications built upon diverse membrane protein functions, or involved with drug targeting and delivery.
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:In the study of membrane proteins and antimicrobial peptides, nanodiscs have emerged as a valuable membrane mimetic to solubilze these molecules in a lipid bilayer. We present the structural characterization of nanodiscs using native mass spectrometry and surface-induced dissociation, which are powerful tools in structural biology.