Allostery revealed within lipid binding events to membrane proteins.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, Volume 115, Issue 12, p.2976-2981 (2018)


<p>Membrane proteins interact with a myriad of lipid species in the biological membrane, leading to a bewildering number of possible protein-lipid assemblies. Despite this inherent complexity, the identification of specific protein-lipid interactions and the crucial role of lipids in the folding, structure, and function of membrane proteins is emerging from an increasing number of reports. Fundamental questions remain, however, regarding the ability of specific lipid binding events to membrane proteins to alter remote binding sites for lipids of a different type, a property referred to as allostery [Monod J, Wyman J, Changeux JP (1965) 12:88-118]. Here, we use native mass spectrometry to determine the allosteric nature of heterogeneous lipid binding events to membrane proteins. We monitored individual lipid binding events to the ammonia channel (AmtB) from , enabling determination of their equilibrium binding constants. We found that different lipid pairs display a range of allosteric modulation. In particular, the binding of phosphatidylethanolamine and cardiolipin-like molecules to AmtB exhibited the largest degree of allosteric modulation, inspiring us to determine the cocrystal structure of AmtB in this lipid environment. The 2.45-Å resolution structure reveals a cardiolipin-like molecule bound to each subunit of the trimeric complex. Mutation of a single residue in AmtB abolishes the positive allosteric modulation observed for binding phosphatidylethanolamine and cardiolipin-like molecules. Our results demonstrate that specific lipid-protein interactions can act as allosteric modulators for the binding of different lipid types to integral membrane proteins.</p>