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Biopolymers. 2001 Oct 5;59(4):243-56.

Structure and topology of a peptide segment of the 6th transmembrane domain of the Saccharomyces cerevisae alpha-factor receptor in phospholipid bilayers.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


A detailed analysis of the structure of an 18-residue peptide AQSLLVPSIIFILAYSLK [M6(252-269, C252A)] in 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-phosphocholine bilayers was carried out using solid state NMR and attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The peptide corresponds to a portion of the 6th transmembrane domain of the alpha-factor receptor of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Ten homologs of M6(252-269, C252A) were synthesized in which individual residues were labeled with (15)N. One- and two-dimensional solid state NMR experiments were used to determine the chemical shifts and (1)H-(15)N dipolar coupling constants for the (15)N-labeled peptides in oriented dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine bilayers on stacked glass plates. These parameters were used to calculate the structure and orientation of M6(252-269, C252A) in the bilayers. The results indicate that the carboxyl terminal residues (9-14) are alpha-helical and oriented with an angle of about 8 degrees with respect to the bilayer normal. Independently, an attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis on M6(252-269, C252A) in a 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-phosphocholine bilayer concluded that the helix tilt angle was about 12.5 degrees. The results on the structure of M6(252-269, C252A) in bilayers are in good agreement with the structure determined in trifluoroethanol/water solutions (B. Arshava et al. Biopolymers, 1998, Vol. 46, pp. 343-357). The present study shows that solid state NMR spectroscopy can provide high resolution information on the structure of transmembrane domains of a G protein-coupled receptor.

Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Biopolymers 59: 243-256, 2001

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