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Biochemistry. 2000 Dec 26;39(51):16155-62.

Role of aromatic residues at the lipid-water interface in micelle-bound bacteriophage M13 major coat protein.

Author information

1
Division of Structural Biology and Biochemistry, Research Institute, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 1X8.

Abstract

Analyses of transmembrane domains of proteins have revealed that aromatic residues tend to cluster at or near the lipid-water interface of the membrane. To assess protein-membrane interactions of such residues, a viable mutant library was generated of the major coat protein of bacteriophage M13 (a model single membrane-spanning protein) in which one or the other of its interfacial tyrosine residues (Tyr-21 and Tyr-24) is mutated. Using the interfacial tryptophan (Trp-26) as an intrinsic probe, blue shifts in fluorescence emission spectra and quenching constants indicated that mutants with a polar amino acid substitution (such as Y24D or Y24N) are less buried in a deoxycholate micelle environment than in the wild type protein. These polar mutants also exhibited alpha-helix to beta-structure transition temperatures in incremental-heating circular dichroism studies relatively lower than those of wild type and nonpolar mutants (such as Y21V, Y21I, and Y24A), indicating that specific side chains in the lipid-water interface influence local protein-micelle interactions. Mutant Y21F exhibited the highest transition temperature, suggesting that phenylalanine is ostensibly the most effective interfacial anchoring residue. Using phage viability as the assay in a combination of site-directed and saturation mutagenesis experiments, it was further observed that both Tyr residues could not simultaneously be "knocked out". The overall results support the notion that an interfacial Tyr is a primary recognition element for precise strand positioning in vivo, a function that apparently cannot be performed optimally by residues with simple aliphatic character.

PMID:
11123944
DOI:
10.1021/bi0016117
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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