Liprotides assist in folding of outer membrane proteins

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Proteins and lipids can form complexes called liprotides, in which the partially denatured protein forms a shell encasing a lipid core. This effectively stabilizes a lipid micelle in an aqueous solvent and suggests that liprotides may provide a suitable vessel for membrane proteins. Accordingly we have investigated if liprotides consisting of α-lactalbumin and oleate could aid folding of four different outer membrane proteins (OMPs) tOmpA, PagP, BamA, and OmpF. tOmpA was able to fold in the presence of the liprotide, and folding did not occur if only oleate or α-lactalbumin were added. Although the liprotides did not fold the other three OMPs on its own, it was able to assist their folding in the presence of vesicles. Incubation with liprotides before folding into vesicles increased the folding yield of the outer membrane proteins to a level higher than using micelles of the non-ionic surfactant DDM. Even though the liprotide was stable at both high urea concentrations and high pH, it failed to efficiently fold OmpA at high pH. Instead, optimal folding was seen at pH 8–9, suggesting that important changes in the liprotide occurred when increasing the pH. We conclude that an otherwise folding-inactive fatty acid can be activated when presented by a liprotide and thereby work as an in vitro chaperone for outer membrane proteins.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProtein Science
Volume27
Issue2
Pages (from-to)451-462
Number of pages12
ISSN0961-8368
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • BamA, chaperone, folding, liprotide, OmpF, outer membrane proteins, PagP, tOmpA

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