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Proline Kink Angle Distributions for GWALP23 in Lipid Bilayers of Different Thicknesses

Rankenberg, Johanna M., Vostrikov, Vitaly V., DuVall, Christopher D., Greathouse, Denise V., Koeppe, Roger E., Grant, Christopher V., Opella, Stanley J.
Biochemistry 2012 v.51 no.17 pp. 3554-3564
deuterium, lipid bilayers, nitrogen, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, peptides, phospholipids, probability distribution, proline, stable isotopes, tryptophan
By using selected ²H and ¹⁵N labels, we have examined the influence of a central proline residue on the properties of a defined peptide that spans lipid bilayer membranes by solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. For this purpose, GWALP23 (acetyl-GGALW⁵LALALALALALALW¹⁹LAGA-ethanolamide) is a suitable model peptide that employs, for the purpose of interfacial anchoring, only one tryptophan residue on either end of a central α-helical core sequence. Because of its systematic behavior in lipid bilayer membranes of differing thicknesses [Vostrikov, V. V., et al. (2010) J. Biol. Chem. 285, 31723–31730], we utilize GWALP23 as a well-characterized framework for introducing guest residues within a transmembrane sequence; for example, a central proline yields acetyl-GGALW⁵LALALAP¹²ALALALW¹⁹LAGA-ethanolamide. We synthesized GWALP23-P12 with specifically placed ²H and ¹⁵N labels for solid-state NMR spectroscopy and examined the peptide orientation and segmental tilt in oriented DMPC lipid bilayer membranes using combined ²H GALA and ¹⁵N–¹H high-resolution separated local field methods. In DMPC bilayer membranes, the peptide segments N-terminal and C-terminal to the proline are both tilted substantially with respect to the bilayer normal, by ∼34 ± 5° and 29 ± 5°, respectively. While the tilt increases for both segments when proline is present, the range and extent of the individual segment motions are comparable to or smaller than those of the entire GWALP23 peptide in bilayer membranes. In DMPC, the proline induces a kink of ∼30 ± 5°, with an apparent helix unwinding or “swivel” angle of ∼70°. In DLPC and DOPC, on the basis of ²H NMR data only, the kink angle and swivel angle probability distributions overlap those of DMPC, yet the most probable kink angle appears to be somewhat smaller than in DMPC. As has been described for GWALP23 itself, the C-terminal helix ends before Ala²¹ in the phospholipids DMPC and DLPC yet remains intact through Ala²¹ in DOPC. The dynamics of bilayer-incorporated, membrane-spanning GWALP23 and GWALP23-P12 are less extensive than those observed for WALP family peptides that have more than two interfacial Trp residues.