Journal of Biomolecular NMR

, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp 179–190 | Cite as

High resolution solid-state NMR spectroscopy of the Yersinia pestis outer membrane protein Ail in lipid membranes

  • Yong Yao
  • Samit Kumar Dutta
  • Sang Ho Park
  • Ratan Rai
  • L. Miya Fujimoto
  • Andrey A. Bobkov
  • Stanley J. Opella
  • Francesca M. Marassi


The outer membrane protein Ail (Adhesion invasion locus) is one of the most abundant proteins on the cell surface of Yersinia pestis during human infection. Its functions are expressed through interactions with a variety of human host proteins, and are essential for microbial virulence. Structures of Ail have been determined by X-ray diffraction and solution NMR spectroscopy, but those samples contained detergents that interfere with functionality, thus, precluding analysis of the structural basis for Ail’s biological activity. Here, we demonstrate that high-resolution solid-state NMR spectra can be obtained from samples of Ail in detergent-free phospholipid liposomes, prepared with a lipid to protein molar ratio of 100. The spectra, obtained with 13C or 1H detection, have very narrow line widths (0.40–0.60 ppm for 13C, 0.11–0.15 ppm for 1H, and 0.46–0.64 ppm for 15N) that are consistent with a high level of sample homogeneity. The spectra enable resonance assignments to be obtained for N, CO, CA and CB atomic sites from 75 out of 156 residues in the sequence of Ail, including 80% of the transmembrane region. The 1H-detected solid-state NMR 1H/15N correlation spectra obtained for Ail in liposomes compare very favorably with the solution NMR 1H/15N TROSY spectra obtained for Ail in nanodiscs prepared with a similar lipid to protein molar ratio. These results set the stage for studies of the molecular basis of the functional interactions of Ail with its protein partners from human host cells, as well as the development of drugs targeting Ail.


Membrane protein Solid-state NMR Magic angle spinning Ail Yersinia pestis 



This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (GM 118186, GM 099986, and GM 066978) and by the Biotechnology Resource for Molecular Imaging of Proteins at UCSD supported by the National Institutes of Health (P41 EB 002031).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yong Yao
    • 1
  • Samit Kumar Dutta
    • 1
  • Sang Ho Park
    • 2
  • Ratan Rai
    • 2
  • L. Miya Fujimoto
    • 1
  • Andrey A. Bobkov
    • 1
  • Stanley J. Opella
    • 2
  • Francesca M. Marassi
    • 1
  1. 1.Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery InstituteLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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