integration and topology of membrane proteins 200527/ آ  the amino acid chain of a transmembrane

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  • Integration and topology of membrane proteins

    Carolina Boekel

  • Cover illustration: “Cell membrane” inspired by Mondrian © Carolina Boekel, Stockholm 2009, pages i-49 ISBN 978-91-7155-827-5 Printed in Sweden by Universitetsservice AB, Stockholm 2009 Distributor: Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University

  • “If you learn a lot of little things, one day you may end up knowing a big thing” - B.K.S Iyengar

  • Contents

    Abstract i

    Publications included in this thesis ii

    Introduction 4

    Background 6 Biological membranes 6 Lipids 7 Structural features of membrane proteins 7

    α-helical membrane proteins 8 β-barrel membrane proteins 9 Hydrophobic amino acids 9 Aromatic amino acids 9 Proline-induced turns 9 Snorkelling 10 Hydrophobicity scales 10

    Biogenesis of membrane proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum 12 Targeting to the endoplasmic reticular membrane 12 The signal recognition particle 12 Post –translational translocation 13 The translocon 14 Glycosylation - Oligosaccharyl transferase 18 Signal peptidase 19

    Topology - a structural model of membrane proteins 21 Membrane protein orientation 21 Single-spanning membrane proteins 22 Bioinformatics 23 Topology mapping 24

    Methodology 27 Model system - Leader peptidase 27 Expression in vivo 28 Expression in S. cerevisiae 29

    Results and discussion 30 Summary of papers 30

  • Paper I: Helix-helix interactions 30 Paper II: Opposite orientation: Nin-Cout vs. Nout-Cin transmembrane helices 32 Paper III: Insertion efficiency of the amyloid β-peptide into the ER membrane 34 Paper IV and V: Topology mapping of two eukaryotic membrane proteins 35

    Acknowledgements 37

    References 39

  • Abbreviations

    aa amino acids

    Aβ amyloid β-peptide

    APP amyloid-β precursor protein

    C-terminal carboxy-terminal

    DNA deoxyribonucleic acid

    ER endoplasmic reticulum

    Lep leader peptidase

    N-terminal amino-terminal

    OST oligosaccharyl transferase

    RNC ribosome nascent chain complex

    SP signal peptidase

    SR SRP receptor

    SRP signal recognition particle

    TM transmembrane

    TMH transmembrane helix

    TMHMM transmembrane hidden Markov model

    TRAM translocating chain-associated membrane protein

    TRAP translocon –associated protein complex

    Å Ångström

  • Amino acids Ala Alanine

    Arg Arginine

    Asn Asparagine

    Asp Aspartic acid

    Cys Cysteine

    Gly Glycine

    Gln Glutamine

    Glu Glutamic acid

    His Histindine

    Ile Isoleucine

    Leu Leucine

    Lys Lysine

    Met Methionine

    Phe Phenylalanine

    Pro Proline

    Ser Serine

    Thr Threonine

    Trp Tryptophan

    Tyr Tyrosine

    Val Valine

    Prediction server

    ΔG-pred Predicition of ΔG for TM-helix insertion

    Sfinx metaserver Prediction of transmembrane topology

  • Abstract

    Membrane proteins comprise around 20-30% of most proteomes. They play important roles in most biochemical pathways. All receptors and ion chan- nels are membrane proteins, which make them attractive targets for drug design. Membrane proteins insert and fold co-translationally into the endo- plasmic reticular membrane of eukaryotic cells. The protein-conducting channel that inserts the protein into the membrane is called Sec61 translo- con, which is a hetero-oligomeric channel that allows transmembrane seg- ments to insert laterally into the lipid bilayer. The focus of this thesis is how the translocon recognizes the transmembrane helices and integrates them into the membrane. We have investigated the sequence requirements for the translocon-mediated integration of a transmembrane α-helix into the ER by challenging the Sec61 translocon with designed polypeptide segments in an in vitro expression system that allows a quantitative assessment of membrane insertion effi- ciency. Our studies suggest that helices might interact with each other al- ready during the membrane-insertion step, possibly forming helical hairpins that partition into the membrane as a single unit. Further, the insertion effi- ciency for Nin-Cout vs. Nout-Cin transmembrane helices and the integration efficiency of Alzheimer’s Aβ-peptide fragments has been investigated. Finally, detailed topology mapping was performed on two biologically inter- esting proteins with unknown topology, the human seipin protein and Dro- sophila melanogaster odorant receptor OR83b.

  • Publications included in this thesis

    This thesis is based on the following publications, which will be referred to by their Roman numerals. I. Meindl-Beinker NM, Lundin C, Nilsson I, White SH, von Heijne G. (2006) Asn- and Asp-mediated interactions between transmembrane helices during translocon-mediated membrane protein assembly. EMBO Rep. 7(11): 1111–16. II. Lundin C, Kim H, Nilsson I, White SH, von Heijne G. (2008) The molecular code for protein insertion in the ER membrane is similar for Nin-Cout vs. Nout-Cin transmembrane helices. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 105(41):15702-07. III. Lundin C, Johansson S, Johnson AE, Näslund J, von Heijne G, Nilsson I. (2007) Stable insertion of Alzheimer Aβ peptide into the ER membrane strongly correlates with its length. FEBS Lett. 581(20):3809-13. IV. Lundin C, Nordström R, Wagner K, Windpassinger C, Andersson H, von Heijne G, Nilsson I. (2006) Membrane topology of the human seipin protein. FEBS Lett. 580(9):2281-4. V. Lundin C, Käll L, Kreher S A, Kapp K, Sonnhammer E L, Carlson J R, von Heijne G, Nilsson I. (2007) Membrane topology of the Drosophila OR83b odorant receptor. FEBS Lett. 581(29):5601-4. Reprints were made with permission from the publishers.

  • Additional publications:

    • Hessa T, Kim H, Bihlmaier K, Lundin C, Boekel J, Andersson H, Nilsson I, White S.H, and von Heijne G. (2005). Recognition of transmembrane helices by the endoplasmic reticulum translocon.

    Nature. 433(7024): 377-81.

    • Lerch-Bader M, Lundin C, Kim H, Nilsson I, von Heijne G. (2008) Contribution of positively charged flanking residues to the insertion of transmembrane helices into the endoplasmic reticulum.

    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 105(11):4127-32.

    • Enquist K*, Fransson M*, Boekel C*, Bengtsson I, Geiger K, Lang L, Pettersson A, Johansson S, von Heijne G, Nilsson I. (2009) Membrane-integration characteristics of two ABC transporters, CFTR and P-glycoprotein. *These authors contributed equally to this work. J. Mol. Biol. Feb 21 (Epub ahead of print)

  • 4


    All living cells contain proteins that carry out specialized functions within the membrane or aqueous spaces. Half of all proteins in a typical cell are transported across or into a membrane. How are proteins synthesized in the cytoplasm of the cell and inserted across or into the membranes? The eukaryotic cell contains both a plasma membrane and internal mem- branes. These internal membranes create vesicles and organelles such as the nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), mitochondrion, chloroplasts, perox- isomes, Golgi and lysosome/vacuoles, each with a specialized function. George Palade defined the basic structure of the secretory pathway in eu- karyotic cells and in 1970, Günter Blobel performed experiments on the translocation of proteins across membranes. He discovered that many pro- teins have a short amino acid sequence at one end that functions like a postal code for the target organelle, a signal sequence, and the “signal hypothesis” was born (Blobel and Sabatini, 1971). In the ER, the N-terminal postal code (signal sequence) of the protein is rec- ognized by the signal recognition particle (SRP) while the protein is still being synthesized by the ribosome. The synthesis pauses while the ribo- some-protein complex is transferred to an SRP receptor at the ER. There, the nascent protein is inserted into a protein channel (the transclocon) that spans the ER membrane. The translocon is also responsible for retro-translocation of misfolded polypeptides destined for degradation in the cytosol by the ER- associated degradation (ERAD) mechanism (Nakatsukasa and Brodsky, 2008; Wiertz et al., 1996). Proteins that are localized to the Golgi, lysosome/vacuole and plasma mem- brane are first inserted in the ER. Within the ER, a 14-residue oligosaccharyl core is attached to glycoproteins. Transmembrane proteins are translocated through the membrane by the translocon, until the process is interrupted by a stop-transfer sequence. The amino acid chain of a transmembrane protein can pass back and forth across the membrane one or several times.

  • 5

    This thesis is about how membrane proteins insert into the ER membrane. In papers I-III, we have investigated the sequence requirements for transloca- tion and insertion of artificial and natural transmembrane segments. Very few structures of membrane proteins are known and to broaden our under- standing of structure, we have performed topology mapping on two biologi- cally interesting membrane proteins of unknown structure, paper IV-V: the human seipin protein and the Drosophila melanogaster odorant recepto


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