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ROLE OF MEMBRANE LIPIDS IN MODULATING PROTEIN STRUCTURE & FUNCTION

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Date Issued:
2011
Abstract/Description:
A-B family of toxins consists of plant toxins such as ricin and bacterial toxins such as cholera. The A subunit is the enzymatic domain and the B subunit is the receptor binding domain. Commonly, these toxins bind to the target cell plasma membrane receptors through their B subunit followed by endocytosis and a transport to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Inside the ER, the A subunit dissociates from the rest of the toxin, unfolds and triggers the ER quality control mechanism of ER-associated degradation (ERAD). Most ERAD substrates are purged out of the ER into the cytosol for proteasomal degradation. However, the low content of lysine amino acid residues allows the toxin to evade polyubiquitination and subsequent proteasomal degradation. The toxin A subunit refolds into an active conformation in the cytosol, setting off downstream toxic events. In the first part of my thesis, the hypothesis was tested that inhibiting the unfolding of the toxin A subunit inside the ER will prevent ERAD activation, toxin export to the cytosol and intoxication. The chemical chaperones glycerol and sodium 4-phenyl butyrate (PBA) were used to inhibit the toxin A chain unfolding. In vitro biophysical experiments indicated that both chemical chaperones indeed stabilize the cholera toxin A subunit and prevent cytotoxicity. In case of ricin, both chaperones stabilized the toxin A chain but only glycerol prevented cytotoxicity. Additional experiments showed that PBA-treated ricin A chain is destabilized when exposed to anionic lipid membranes mimicking the properties of the ER membrane. In contrast, anionic lipid did not prevent ricin A chain stabilization by glycerol. This explains why glycerol but not PBA blocked ricin intoxication, as only glycerol stabilizes ricin A chain in the presence of ER membranes. Cholera toxin in contrast, remained either unaffected or slightly stabilized in presence of anionic lipids both in presence and absence of PBA. This shows that destabilization by anionic lipids is a toxin-specific rather than a general effect. In the second part of my thesis, the effect of inner leaflet of plasma membrane on the structure of cholera toxin A chain (CTA1) was studied. Since CTA1 refolds into an active conformation in the cytosol in association with unidentified host factors, I hypothesized that inner leaflet of the plasma membrane might play a role to stabilization and/or refolding of CTA1. CTA1 was shown to be a membrane interacting protein, and membranes mimicking lipid rafts had a significant stabilizing effect on its structure. Lipid rafts helped in the regaining of the tertiary and secondary structure of CTA1, while non-raft lipids had a smaller stabilizing effect on CTA1 structure. In the next part of my thesis, I studied the effect of membrane binding on the structure and function of human pancreatic phospholipase A2 (PLA2). Lipid thermal phase transition was found to have a dramatic effect on PLA2 activity. It was also established that although membrane binding and insertion was essential for of PLA2 activity, lipid structural heterogeneity was more important than the depth of membrane insertion for enzyme activation. Most importantly, significant changes in PLA2 secondary and tertiary structures were identified that evidently contribute to the interfacial activation of PLA2. Overall, we conclude that the function of membrane binding enzymes can be significantly modulated via conformational changes induced by interactions with membranes. Thus, we have elucidated various roles of membrane lipids from unfolding and refolding to activation and modulation of membrane binding enzymes. Physical properties of lipids help in regulating various aspects of protein structure and function and their analysis helped us in appreciating the influence wielded by the membrane lipids in the enzyme's surrounding environment.
Title: ROLE OF MEMBRANE LIPIDS IN MODULATING PROTEIN STRUCTURE & FUNCTION.
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Name(s): Ray, Supriyo, Author
Tatulian, Suren, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: A-B family of toxins consists of plant toxins such as ricin and bacterial toxins such as cholera. The A subunit is the enzymatic domain and the B subunit is the receptor binding domain. Commonly, these toxins bind to the target cell plasma membrane receptors through their B subunit followed by endocytosis and a transport to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Inside the ER, the A subunit dissociates from the rest of the toxin, unfolds and triggers the ER quality control mechanism of ER-associated degradation (ERAD). Most ERAD substrates are purged out of the ER into the cytosol for proteasomal degradation. However, the low content of lysine amino acid residues allows the toxin to evade polyubiquitination and subsequent proteasomal degradation. The toxin A subunit refolds into an active conformation in the cytosol, setting off downstream toxic events. In the first part of my thesis, the hypothesis was tested that inhibiting the unfolding of the toxin A subunit inside the ER will prevent ERAD activation, toxin export to the cytosol and intoxication. The chemical chaperones glycerol and sodium 4-phenyl butyrate (PBA) were used to inhibit the toxin A chain unfolding. In vitro biophysical experiments indicated that both chemical chaperones indeed stabilize the cholera toxin A subunit and prevent cytotoxicity. In case of ricin, both chaperones stabilized the toxin A chain but only glycerol prevented cytotoxicity. Additional experiments showed that PBA-treated ricin A chain is destabilized when exposed to anionic lipid membranes mimicking the properties of the ER membrane. In contrast, anionic lipid did not prevent ricin A chain stabilization by glycerol. This explains why glycerol but not PBA blocked ricin intoxication, as only glycerol stabilizes ricin A chain in the presence of ER membranes. Cholera toxin in contrast, remained either unaffected or slightly stabilized in presence of anionic lipids both in presence and absence of PBA. This shows that destabilization by anionic lipids is a toxin-specific rather than a general effect. In the second part of my thesis, the effect of inner leaflet of plasma membrane on the structure of cholera toxin A chain (CTA1) was studied. Since CTA1 refolds into an active conformation in the cytosol in association with unidentified host factors, I hypothesized that inner leaflet of the plasma membrane might play a role to stabilization and/or refolding of CTA1. CTA1 was shown to be a membrane interacting protein, and membranes mimicking lipid rafts had a significant stabilizing effect on its structure. Lipid rafts helped in the regaining of the tertiary and secondary structure of CTA1, while non-raft lipids had a smaller stabilizing effect on CTA1 structure. In the next part of my thesis, I studied the effect of membrane binding on the structure and function of human pancreatic phospholipase A2 (PLA2). Lipid thermal phase transition was found to have a dramatic effect on PLA2 activity. It was also established that although membrane binding and insertion was essential for of PLA2 activity, lipid structural heterogeneity was more important than the depth of membrane insertion for enzyme activation. Most importantly, significant changes in PLA2 secondary and tertiary structures were identified that evidently contribute to the interfacial activation of PLA2. Overall, we conclude that the function of membrane binding enzymes can be significantly modulated via conformational changes induced by interactions with membranes. Thus, we have elucidated various roles of membrane lipids from unfolding and refolding to activation and modulation of membrane binding enzymes. Physical properties of lipids help in regulating various aspects of protein structure and function and their analysis helped us in appreciating the influence wielded by the membrane lipids in the enzyme's surrounding environment.
Identifier: CFE0004035 (IID), ucf:49184 (fedora)
Note(s): 2011-08-01
Ph.D.
Medicine, Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences
Doctorate
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Toxins
Circular Dichroism
Lipid rafts
Phospholipids
Fluorescence Spectroscopy
Cholera
Ricin
PLA
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0004035
Restrictions on Access: campus 2012-07-01
Host Institution: UCF

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