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      A Conformational Investigation of Propeptide Binding to the Integral Membrane Protein γ-Glutamyl Carboxylase Using Nanodisc Hydrogen Exchange Mass Spectrometry

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          Gamma (γ)-glutamyl carboxylase (GGCX) is an integral membrane protein responsible for the post-translational catalytic conversion of select glutamic acid (Glu) residues to γ-carboxy glutamic acid (Gla) in vitamin K-dependent (VKD) proteins. Understanding the mechanism of carboxylation and the role of GGCX in the vitamin K cycle is of biological interest in the development of therapeutics for blood coagulation disorders. Historically, biophysical investigations and structural characterizations of GGCX have been limited due to complexities involving the availability of an appropriate model membrane system. In previous work, a hydrogen exchange mass spectrometry (HX MS) platform was developed to study the structural configuration of GGCX in a near-native nanodisc phospholipid environment. Here we have applied the nanodisc–HX MS approach to characterize specific domains of GGCX that exhibit structural rearrangements upon binding the high-affinity consensus propeptide (pCon; AVFLSREQANQVLQRRRR). pCon binding was shown to be specific for monomeric GGCX-nanodiscs and promoted enhanced structural stability to the nanodisc-integrated complex while maintaining catalytic activity in the presence of carboxylation co-substrates. Noteworthy modifications in HX of GGCX were prominently observed in GGCX peptides 491–507 and 395–401 upon pCon association, consistent with regions previously identified as sites for propeptide and glutamate binding. Several additional protein regions exhibited minor gains in solvent protection upon propeptide incorporation, providing evidence for a structural reorientation of the GGCX complex in association with VKD carboxylation. The results herein demonstrate that nanodisc–HX MS can be utilized to study molecular interactions of membrane-bound enzymes in the absence of a complete three-dimensional structure and to map dynamic rearrangements induced upon ligand binding.

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          WebLogo: a sequence logo generator.

          WebLogo generates sequence logos, graphical representations of the patterns within a multiple sequence alignment. Sequence logos provide a richer and more precise description of sequence similarity than consensus sequences and can rapidly reveal significant features of the alignment otherwise difficult to perceive. Each logo consists of stacks of letters, one stack for each position in the sequence. The overall height of each stack indicates the sequence conservation at that position (measured in bits), whereas the height of symbols within the stack reflects the relative frequency of the corresponding amino or nucleic acid at that position. WebLogo has been enhanced recently with additional features and options, to provide a convenient and highly configurable sequence logo generator. A command line interface and the complete, open WebLogo source code are available for local installation and customization. Copyright 2004 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
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            Sequence logos: a new way to display consensus sequences.

            A graphical method is presented for displaying the patterns in a set of aligned sequences. The characters representing the sequence are stacked on top of each other for each position in the aligned sequences. The height of each letter is made proportional to its frequency, and the letters are sorted so the most common one is on top. The height of the entire stack is then adjusted to signify the information content of the sequences at that position. From these 'sequence logos', one can determine not only the consensus sequence but also the relative frequency of bases and the information content (measured in bits) at every position in a site or sequence. The logo displays both significant residues and subtle sequence patterns.
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              Directed self-assembly of monodisperse phospholipid bilayer Nanodiscs with controlled size.

              Using a recently described self-assembly process (Bayburt, T. H.; Grinkova, Y. V.; Sligar, S. G. Nano Letters 2002, 2, 853-856), we prepared soluble monodisperse discoidal lipid/protein particles with controlled size and composition, termed Nanodiscs, in which the fragment of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) bilayer is surrounded by a helical protein belt. We have customized the size of these particles by changing the length of the amphipathic helical part of this belt, termed membrane scaffold protein (MSP). Herein we describe the design of extended and truncated MSPs, the optimization of self-assembly for each of these proteins, and the structure and composition of the resulting Nanodiscs. We show that the length of the protein helix surrounding the lipid part of a Nanodisc determines the particle diameter, as measured by HPLC and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Using different scaffold proteins, we obtained Nanodiscs with the average size from 9.5 to 12.8 nm with a very narrow size distribution (+/-3%). Functionalization of the N-terminus of the scaffold protein does not perturb their ability to form homogeneous discoidal structures. Detailed analysis of the solution scattering confirms the presence of a lipid bilayer of 5.5 nm thickness in Nanodiscs of different sizes. The results of this study provide an important structural characterization of self-assembled phospholipid bilayers and establish a framework for the design of soluble amphiphilic nanoparticles of controlled size.

                Author and article information

                Department of Chemistry and Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, United States
                [§ ]Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Northeastern University , Boston, Massachusetts 02115, United States
                Author notes
                [* ]Present address: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, CFSAN/HFS-707, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740. E-mail: Christine.Parker@ . Telephone: (240) 402-2019.
                American Chemical Society
                10 February 2015
                10 February 2014
                11 March 2014
                : 53
                : 9
                : 1511-1520
                Copyright © 2014 American Chemical Society
                National Institutes of Health, United States
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