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Preserved Transmembrane Segment Topology, Structure, and Dynamics in Disparate Micellar Environments

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journal contribution
posted on 11.05.2017, 00:00 by David N. Langelaan, Aditya Pandey, Muzaddid Sarker, Jan K. Rainey
Detergent micelles are frequently employed as membrane mimetics for solution-state membrane protein nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Here we compare topology, structure, ps–ns time-scale dynamics, and hydrodynamics of a model protein with one transmembrane (TM) segment (residues 1–55 of the apelin receptor, APJ, a G-protein-coupled receptor) in three distinct, commonly used micellar environments. In each environment, two solvent-protected helical segments connected by a solvent-exposed kink were observed. The break in helical character at the kink was maintained in a helix-stabilizing fluorinated alcohol environment, implying that this structural feature is inherent. Molecular dynamics simulations also substantiate favorable self-assembly of compact protein–micelle complexes with a more dynamic, solvent-exposed kink. Despite the observed similarity in TM segment behavior, micelle-dependent differences were clear in the structure, dynamics, and compactness of the 30-residue, extramembrane N-terminal tail of the protein. This would affect intermolecular interactions and, correspondingly, the functional state of the membrane protein.