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Biochemistry. 1993 Sep 14;32(36):9473-9.

Mapping a membrane-associated conformation of colicin Ia.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


Channel-forming colicins exist in at least two different membrane-associated conformations: a voltage-independent closed-channel state and a voltage-dependent open-channel state. In a voltage-independent membrane-associated conformation, we find that two major regions of colicin Ia are protected from pepsin proteolysis after association with negatively charged membranes. In contrast, colicin Ia is rapidly and completely proteolyzed in the absence of membranes. The major protected region includes an electrophysiologically defined C-terminal channel-forming domain as well as 96 residues upstream of this region. Approximately 100 residues spanning Ala79- approximately Arg189 within the N-terminal domain are protected as well. The first N-terminal 76 residues of colicin Ia and a large region which includes much of the putative central receptor-binding domain are not protected from proteolysis. Both N- and C-termini of protected peptides have been identified using a combination of gel electrophoresis, N-terminal sequencing, and mass spectrometry, thereby defining specific residues that are located on the outside of the lipid bilayer. These data suggest a role for regions other than the electrophysiologically defined C-terminal channel-forming domain in membrane insertion and channel formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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