Effect of transmembrane helix packing on tryptophan and tyrosine environments in detergent-solubilized bacterio-opsin
Bacterio-opsin (bO) is folded in a nearly native conformation in mixed micelles of dimyristoyl phosphatidyl choline (DMPC) and 3-[(3-cholamidopropyl)-dimehtylamonio]-1-propane sulfonic acid (CHAPS), but bO is partially unfolded in sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). UV difference spectroscopy was used to study the changes in environment of bO aromatic amino acid side chains that occur upon partial unfolding. The UV difference spectra of peptides in CHAPS/DMPC minus peptides in SDS were measured for bO and the following subfragments of bO: C1 (residues 72–248), C2 (1–71), V1 (1–166), V2 (167–248), CB7 (119–145), CB9 (164–209), and CB10 (72–118). The spectra show that, in partially unfolded bO in SDS, the Tyr and Trp absorbance is blue-shifted. The difference spectra were compared to solvent perturbation difference spectra of N-acetyl-l-tyrosine ethyl ester and N-acetyl-l-tryptophanamide. The exposure change calculated from the difference spectra was found to correlate with the change in the number of van der Waals contacting atoms upon partial unfolding, and also with the number of transmembrane helical segments. This result suggests a simple experimental method of testing helix packing arrangements derived from hydropathy plots and model building.
Key wordsBacteriorhodopsin protein folding UV difference spectroscopy detergent micelles proteolysis CNBr
sodium dodecyl sulfate
3-[(3-cholamidopropyl)-dimethylamonio]-1-propane sulfonic acid
bacteriorhodopsin residues 72–248
di-sodium ethylenediamine tetra-aceticacid
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