Studying Transmembrane Helix Interactions in SDS micelles

Title: Studying Transmembrane Helix Interactions in SDS micelles
Authors: Qureshi, Tabussom
Date: 2016
Abstract: The importance of interactions between transmembrane domains of integral membrane proteins has been well-established in a range of essential cellular functions. Most integral membrane proteins also possess regions that lie on the exterior of the membrane that may influence the ability of these transmembrane domains to interact. We sought to test this hypothesis by quantifying the energetics of transmembrane helix self-association in the absence and presence of an amphipathic helix that can bind to the membrane surface. The model chosen for this study was the major coat protein (MCP) of M13 bacteriophage, which has an N-terminal amphipathic helix linked to its single transmembrane segment via a flexible linker. Dimerization of both full-length MCP and a peptide containing only the transmembrane domain (MCPTM) was studied by solution NMR in SDS micelles. We found that there was an increase in the apparent dimerization affinity in the absence of the N-terminal helix. However, this increase in apparent affinity could be attributed to differences in detergent-binding properties of the two polypeptides in monomeric versus dimeric states when the empty micelle was considered to be a participant in the dimer dissociation. Preliminary results from the integral membrane protein, p7 of the hepatitis C virus are also presented in this thesis. It has been demonstrated that p7 enhances viral infectivity and accumulation, and that this function may require oligomerization in the membrane. While we encountered limitations due to challenges in the generation of sufficient quantities of pure p7 samples, we were able to perform circular dichroism spectroscopy under conditions that may favor different oligomeric states. These studies suggest that there is a change in the degree of helicity upon oligomerization, and suggest that SDS could be a suitable system to characterize the interactions of the p7 oligomer in the future.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -