Send to

Choose Destination
Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr. 2017 May;1859(5):767-778. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2017.01.028. Epub 2017 Jan 26.

Apela exhibits isoform- and headgroup-dependent modulation of micelle binding, peptide conformation and dynamics.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2, Canada.
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2, Canada; Department of Chemistry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2, Canada. Electronic address:


Apela (also referred to as ELABELA and toddler) is a peptide hormone that activates the apelin receptor (AR or APJ) to regulate cardiovascular system development and function. Here, we report the first biophysical characterization of three apela isoforms, apela-54, -32, and -11, alongside a monomeric C1S-apela-11 mutant, using circular dichroism (CD) spectropolarimetry and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The behaviour of apela-54 is consistent with a preprotein containing a hydrophobic, N-terminal signal peptide. The potential for apela-membrane binding, leading to membrane catalyzed interactions with AR, was tested comprehensively for apela-32 and -11 in the presence of membrane-mimetic dodecylphosphocholine (DPC), sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), and 1-palmitoyl-2-hydroxy-sn-glycero-3-[phospho-rac-(1-glycerol)] (LPPG) micelles. According to pulsed-field gradient diffusion NMR experiments, apela-32 interacts with all three micelles. Chemical shift perturbations indicate widespread interactions along apela, with DPC and LPPG micelles inducing short segments with α-helical character at distinct regions. Consistent with these data, ps-ns dynamics along the peptide backbone appear decreased in the presence of micelles. Apela-11 and C1S-apela-11, alternatively, interact preferentially with SDS and LPPG micelles, promoting β-turn character observable by CD. Distinct differences in membrane-interaction propensity are therefore apparent both as a function of apela isoform and of detergent headgroup. These results imply the potential for cell membrane involvement in apela-AR recognition and binding, with the implication that membrane catalysis has distinct functional and regulatory roles throughout the apelinergic system.


Apela; Apelin receptor (APJ); Class A GPCR; Membrane catalysis; NMR spectroscopy; Peptide-micelle interactions

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center