Dual-topology membrane proteins in Escherichia coli
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Cellular life, as we know it, is absolutely dependent on biological membranes; remarkable superstructures made of lipids and proteins. For example, all living cells are surrounded by at least one membrane that protects the cell and holds it together. The proteins that are embedded in the membranes carry out a wide variety of key functions, from nutrient uptake and waste disposal to cellular respiration and communication. In order to function accurately, any integral membrane protein needs to be inserted into the cellular membrane where it belongs, and in that particular membrane it has to attain its proper structure and find partners that might be required for proper function. All membrane proteins have evolved to be inserted in a specific overall orientation, so that e.g. substrate-binding parts are exhibited on the ‘right side’ of the membrane. So, what determines in which way a membrane protein is inserted? Are all membrane proteins inserted just so?
The focus of this thesis is on these fundamental questions: how, and when, is the overall orientation of a membrane protein established? A closer look at the inner membrane proteome of the familiar gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli revealed a small group of proteins that, oddly enough, seemed to be able to insert into the membrane in two opposite orientations. We could show that these dual-topology membrane proteins are delicately balanced, and that even the slightest manipulations make them adopt a fixed orientation in the membrane. Further, we show that these proteins are topologically malleable until the very last residue has been synthesized, implying interesting questions about the topogenesis of membrane proteins in general. In addition, by looking at the distribution of homologous proteins in other organisms, we got some ideas about how membrane proteins might evolve in size and complexity. Structural data has revealed that many membrane bound transporters have internal, inverted symmetries, and we propose that perhaps some of these proteins derive from dual-topology ancestors.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University , 2011. , 66 p.
membrane protein topology, dual-topology, evolution, Escherichia coli
Research subject Biochemistry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-61944ISBN: 978-91-7447-351-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-61944DiVA: diva2:443191
2011-10-28, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16 B, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Slotboom, Dirk Jan, Professor
von Heijne, Gunnar, Professor
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Manuscript.2011-10-062011-09-052013-04-22Bibliographically approved
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