Highly Efficient Transfer of 7TM Membrane Protein from Native Membrane to Covalently Circularized Nanodisc
Vivien Yeh, Tsung-Yen Lee, Chung-Wen Chen, Pai-Chia Kuo, Jessie Shiue, Li-Kang Chu, Tsyr-Yan Yu
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.
Circular dichroism, Protein structure, Nanostructures, Visible region, Materials, Biochemistry