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1.  CHARACTERIZATION OF THE PURIFIED HYALURONAN SYNTHASE FROM STREPTOCOCCUS EQUISIMILIS* 
Biochemistry  2004;43(28):9234-9242.
Hyaluronan synthase (HAS) utilizes UDP-GlcUA and UDP-GlcNAc in the presence of Mg2+ to form the GAG hyaluronan (HA). The purified HAS from Streptococcus equisimilis (seHAS) shows high fidelity in that it only polymerizes the native substrates, UDP-GlcNAc and UDP-GlcUA. However, other uridinyl nucleotides and UDP-sugars inhibited enzyme activity, including UDP-GalNAc, UDP-Glc, UDP-Gal, UDP-GalUA, UMP, UDP and UTP. Purified seHAS was ~40% more active in 25 mM, compared to 50 mM, PO4 in the presence of either 50 mM NaCl or KCl, and displayed a slight preference for KCl over NaCl. The pH profile was surprisingly broad, with an effective range of pH 6.5–11.5 and the optimum between pH 9 and 10. SeHAS displayed two apparent pKa values at pH 6.6 and 11.8. As the pH was increased from ~6.5, both Km and Vmax increased until pH ~10.5, above which the kinetic constants gradually declined. Nonetheless, the overall catalytic constant (120/sec) was essentially unchanged from pH 6.5 to pH 10.5. The enzyme is temperature labile, but more stable in the presence of substrate and cardiolipin. Purified seHAS requires exogenous cardiolipin for activity and is very sensitive to the fatty acyl composition of the phospholipid. The enzyme was inactive or highly activated by synthetic cardiolipins containing, respectively, C14:0 or C18:1(Δ9) fatty acids. The apparent Ea for HA synthesis is 40 kJ (9.5 kcal/mol) disaccharide. Increasing the viscosity by increasing concentrations of PEG, ethylene glycol, glycerol, or sucrose inhibited seHAS activity. For PEGs, the extent of inhibition was proportional to their molecular mass. PEGs with average masses of 2.7, 11.7, and 20 Kg/mol caused 50% inhibition of Vmax at 21, 6.5, and 3.5 mM, respectively. The apparent Ki values for ethylene glycol, glycerol, and sucrose were, respectively, 4.5, 3.3 and 1.2 mM.
doi:10.1021/bi049468v
PMCID: PMC1586113  PMID: 15248781
streptococcal; kinetics; pH; viscogens; temperature; divalent cations; CLm cardiolipin; ECM, extracellular matrix; GAG, glycosaminoglycan; HA, hyaluronic acid, hyaluronate, hyaluronan; HAS, HA synthase; seHAS, Streptococcus equisimilis HAS; PBS, phosphate buffered saline; Tris, trishydroxymethylamino methane; TBS, tris-buffered saline; TBST, tris-buffered saline containing 0.05% Tween20
2.  IDENTIFICATION OF A MEMBRANE-LOCALIZED CYSTEINE CLUSTER NEAR THE SUBSTRATE BINDING SITES OF THE STREPTOCOCCUS EQUISIMILIS HYALURONAN SYNTHASE 
Glycobiology  2004;15(5):529-539.
The membrane-bound hyaluronan synthase (HAS) from Streptococcus equisimilis (seHAS), which is the smallest Class I HAS, has four cysteine residues (positions 226, 262, 281, and 367) that are generally conserved within this family. Although Cys-null seHAS is still active, chemical modification of cysteine residues causes inhibition of wildtype enzyme (Kumari et al., J. Biol. Chem. 277, 13943, 2002). Here we studied the effects of N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) treatment on a panel of seHAS Cys-mutants to examine the structural and functional roles of the four cysteine residues in the activity of the enzyme. We found that Cys226, Cys262, and Cys281 are reactive with NEM, but that Cys367 is not. Substrate protection studies of wildtype seHAS and a variety of Cys-mutants revealed that binding of UDP-GlcUA, UDP-GlcNAc or UDP can protect Cys226 and Cys262 from NEM inhibition. Inhibition of the six double Cys-mutants of seHAS by sodium arsenite, which can crosslink vicinyl sulfhydryl groups, also supported the conclusion that Cys262 and Cys281 are close enough to be crosslinked. Similar results indicated that Cys281 and Cys367 are also very close in the active enzyme. We conclude that three of the four Cys residues in seHAS (Cys262, Cys281, and Cys367 ) are clustered very close together, that these Cys residues and Cys226 are located at the inner surface of the cell membrane, and that Cys226 and Cys262 are located in or near a UDP binding site.
doi:10.1093/glycob/cwi030
PMCID: PMC1242197  PMID: 15616126
Sulfhydryl reagents; N-ethylmaleimide; enzyme inhibition; Cysteine modification; site directed mutagenesis; DTE, dithioerythritol; HA, hyaluronan or hyaluronic acid; HAS, HA synthase; NEM, N-ethylmaleimide; PBS, phosphate buffered saline; seHAS, Streptococcus equisimilis HAS; spHAS, Streptococcus pyogenes HAS
3.  Hyaluronan synthase polymerizing activity and control of product size are discrete enzyme functions that can be uncoupled by mutagenesis of conserved cysteines 
Glycobiology  2012;22(10):1302-1310.
Streptococcus equisimilis hyaluronan (HA) synthase (SeHAS) contains four cysteines (C226, C262, C281 and C367) that are conserved in the mammalian HAS family. Previous studies of single Cys-to-Ser and all possible Cys-to-Ala mutants of SeHAS found that: the Cys-null mutant is active, Cys modification inhibits HAS activity and the conserved cysteines are clustered at the membrane–enzyme interface in substrate-binding sites (Kumari K, Weigel PH. 2005. Identification of a membrane-localized cysteine cluster near the substrate binding sites of the Streptococcus equisimilis hyaluronan synthase. Glycobiology. 15:529–539). We re-examined these Cys mutants using a single technique (size exclusion chromatography–multi-angle laser light scattering) that allows simultaneous assays on the same sample for both HA synthesis activity and HA product size. Among 18 mutants compared with wild type, 4 showed no change in either function and 3 showed changes in both (decreased activity and HA size). Only one of the two functions was altered in 11 other mutants, which showed either decreased polymerizing activity or product size. No mutants made larger HA, 8 made smaller HA and 10 showed no change in HA size. Nine mutants showed no change in activity and nine were less active. The mutants fell into four of nine possible groups in terms of changes in HA size or synthesis rate (i.e. none, increased or decreased). Specific Cys residues were associated with each mutant group and the pattern of effects on both functions. Thus, the four conserved Cys residues, individually and in specific combinations, influence the rate of sugar assembly by HAS and HA product size, but their participation in one function is independent of the other.
doi:10.1093/glycob/cws102
PMCID: PMC3425326  PMID: 22745284
active-site cysteines; elongation rate; polymer length; size control; size control model
4.  SEC-MALLS ANALYSIS OF HYALURONAN SIZE DISTRIBUTIONS MADE BY MEMBRANE-BOUND HYALURONAN SYNTHASE 
Analytical biochemistry  2006;352(2):243-251.
SEC-MALLS analyses of E. coli membranes expressing Streptococcus equisimilis hyaluronan synthase (seHAS) demonstrated an inherent artifact (10–100 MDa) that co-eluted with HA, and skewed the apparent weight-average mass of HA to erroneously high values. Briefly heating samples to 65–75°C eliminated this artifact and increased the yield of recovered HA, due to the release of HA chains that were attached to membrane-bound HAS. Inclusion of alkaline phosphatase, which removed UDP produced during the reaction, improved the linearity of HA synthesis - even at high substrate utilization. Surprisingly, addition of EDTA, to chelate Mg+2 ions, did not completely stop the HAS reaction at 30°C or at 4°C. The best conditions for stopping the reaction without altering SEC-MALLS profiles of the product HA were to chill samples on ice in the presence of both EDTA and UDP. Even with excess substrate, the maximum size of product HA decreased as the enzyme concentration increased. Therefore, the maximum HA size made by HAS was determined by extrapolation to zero enzyme concentration. Using the above conditions, membrane-bound seHAS synthesized a cohort of HA products that steadily increased in weight-average molar mass, reaching a final maximal steady-state size of 4–6 MDa within 2–4 hours.
doi:10.1016/j.ab.2006.01.019
PMCID: PMC1586112  PMID: 16476403
streptococcal; hyaluronan synthase; light scattering; size distribution; membranes; molar mass
5.  Mechanisms of α-defensin bactericidal action 
Biochemistry  2008;47(47):12626-12634.
Mammalian α-defensins all have a conserved triple-stranded β-sheet structure that is constrained by an invariant tridisulfide array, and the peptides exert bactericidal effects by permeabilizing the target cell envelope. Curiously, the disordered, disulfide-null variant of mouse α-defensin cryptdin-4 (Crp4), termed (6C/A)-Crp4, has equal or greater bactericidal activity than the native peptide, providing rationale for comparing the mechanisms by which the peptides interact with and disrupt phospholipid vesicles of defined composition. For both live E. coli ML35 cells and model membranes, disordered (6C/A)-Crp4 induced leakage similar to Crp4 but had less overall membrane-permeabilizing activity. Crp4 induction of fluorophore leakage from electronegative liposomes was strongly dependent on vesicle lipid charge and composition, and the incorporation of cardiolipin into liposomes of low electronegative charge to mimic bacterial membrane composition conferred sensitivity to Crp4- and (6C/A)-Crp4-mediated vesicle lysis. Membrane perturbation studies using biomimetic lipid/polydiacetylene vesicles showed that Crp4 had more pronounced bilayer surface interactions than (6C/A)-Crp4 in low rather than high negatively charged liposomes, correlating directly with measurements of induced leakage. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments provided evidence that Crp4 translocates across highly charged or cardiolipin-containing membranes, in a process coupled with membrane permeabilization, but (6C/A)-Crp4 did not translocate across lipid bilayers and consistently displayed membrane surface association. Thus, despite the greater in vitro bactericidal activity of (6C/A)-Crp4, native, β-sheet containing Crp4 induces membrane permeabilization more effectively than disulfide-null Crp4 by translocating and forming transient membrane defects. (6C/A)-Crp4, on the other hand, appears to induce greater membrane disintegration.
doi:10.1021/bi800335e
PMCID: PMC2645939  PMID: 18973303
6.  Mitochondrial Outer Membrane Proteins Assist Bid in Bax-mediated Lipidic Pore Formation 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2009;20(8):2276-2285.
Mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) is a critical step in apoptosis and is regulated by Bcl-2 family proteins. In vitro systems using cardiolipin-containing liposomes have demonstrated the key features of MOMP induced by Bax and cleaved Bid; however, the nature of the “pores” and how they are formed remain obscure. We found that mitochondrial outer membranes contained very little cardiolipin, far less than that required for liposome permeabilization, despite their responsiveness to Bcl-2 family proteins. Strikingly, the incorporation of isolated mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM) proteins into liposomes lacking cardiolipin conferred responsiveness to cleaved Bid and Bax. Cardiolipin dependence was observed only when permeabilization was induced with cleaved Bid but not with Bid or Bim BH3 peptide or oligomerized Bax. Therefore, we conclude that MOM proteins specifically assist cleaved Bid in Bax-mediated permeabilization. Cryoelectron microscopy of cardiolipin-liposomes revealed that cleaved Bid and Bax produced large round holes with diameters of 25–100 nm, suggestive of lipidic pores. In sum, we propose that activated Bax induces lipidic pore formation and that MOM proteins assist cleaved Bid in this process in the absence of cardiolipin.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E08-10-1056
PMCID: PMC2669034  PMID: 19244344
7.  Physiochemical characterization of the nisin-membrane interaction with liposomes derived from Listeria monocytogenes. 
Mechanistic information about the bacteriocin nisin was obtained by examining the efflux of 5(6)-carboxy-fluorescein from Listeria monocytogenes-derived liposomes. The initial leakage rate (percentage of efflux per minute) of the entrapped dye was dependent on both nisin and lipid concentrations. At all nisin concentrations tested, 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein efflux plateaued before all of the 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein was released (suggesting that pore formation was transient), but efflux resumed when more nisin was added. Isotherms for the binding of nisin to liposomes constructed on the basis of the Langmuir isotherm gave an apparent binding constant of 6.2 x 10(5)M(-1) at pH 6.0. The critical number of nisin molecules required to induce efflux from liposomes at pH 6.0 was approximately 7,000 molecules per liposome. The pH affected the 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein leakage rates, with higher pH values resulting in higher leakage rates. The increased leakage rate observed at higher pH values was not due to an increase in the binding affinity of the nisin molecules towards the liposomal membrane. Rather, the critical number of nisin molecules required to induce activity was decreased (approximately 1,000 nisin molecules per liposome at pH 7.0). These data are consistent with a poration mechanism in which the ionization state of histidine residues in nisin plays an important role in membrane permeabilization.
PMCID: PMC167801  PMID: 8593036
8.  Proton-Dependent Gating and Proton Uptake by Wzx Support O-Antigen-Subunit Antiport Across the Bacterial Inner Membrane 
mBio  2013;4(5):e00678-13.
ABSTRACT
Wzx flippases are crucial for bacterial cell surface polysaccharide assembly as they transport undecaprenyl pyrophosphate-linked sugar repeat units from the cytoplasmic to the periplasmic leaflets of the inner membrane (IM) for final assembly. Our recently reported three-dimensional (3D) model structure of Wzx from Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 (WzxPa) displayed a cationic internal vestibule and functionally essential acidic amino acids within transmembrane segment bundles. Herein, we examined the intrinsic transport function of WzxPa following its purification and reconstitution in phospholipid liposomes. WzxPa was capable of mediating anion flux, consistent with its cationic interior. This flux was electrogenic and modified by extraliposomal pH. Mutation of the above-mentioned acidic residues (E61, D269, and D359) reduced proton (H+)-modified anion flux, showing the role of these amino acid side chains in H+-dependent transport. Wzx also mediated acidification of the proteoliposome interior in the presence of an outward anion gradient. These results indicate H+-dependent gating and H+ uptake by WzxPa and allow for the first H+-dependent antiport mechanism to be proposed for lipid-linked oligosaccharide translocation across the bacterial IM.
IMPORTANCE
Many bacterial cell surface polysaccharides that are important for survival and virulence are synthesized at the periplasmic leaflet of the inner membrane (IM) using precursors produced in the cytoplasm. Wzx flippases are responsible for translocation of lipid-linked sugar repeat units across the IM and had been previously suggested to simply facilitate passive substrate diffusion. Through our characterization of purified Wzx in a reconstitution system described herein, we have observed protein-dependent intrinsic transport producing a change in the electrical potential of the system, with H+ identified as the coupling ion. These results provide the first evidence for coupled (i.e., secondary active) transport by these proteins and, in conjunction with structural data, allow for an antiport mechanism to be proposed for the directed transport of lipid-linked sugar substrates across the IM. These findings bring our understanding of lipid-linked polysaccharide transporter proteins more in line with the efflux pumps to which they are evolutionarily related.
doi:10.1128/mBio.00678-13
PMCID: PMC3774195  PMID: 24023388
9.  An improved method of encapsulation of doxorubicin in liposomes: pharmacological, toxicological and therapeutic evaluation. 
British Journal of Cancer  1996;74(1):43-48.
We describe here an improved method of encapsulating doxorubicin in liposomes using phosphatidylcholine, cholesterol and synthetic tetramyristoyl cardiolipin. With this new composition of lipids the entrapment of doxorubicin was found to be > 90%. Cytotoxicity studies using vincristine-resistant HL-60/VCR leukaemia cells showed that liposome-encapsulated doxorubicin reverses multidrug resistance 5-fold compared with conventional doxorubicin and at levels equivalent to that obtained using liposomes with natural cardiolipin. In normal mice, liposome-encapsulated doxorubicin was much less toxic than the conventional drug. A dose of 25 mg kg-1 i.v. of conventional doxorubicin produced 100% mortality in mice by day 14, whereas liposomal doxorubicin exhibited only 10% mortality by day 60. Liposomal doxorubicin demonstrated enhanced anti-tumour activity against murine ascitic L1210 leukaemia compared with conventional doxorubicin. At a dose of 15 mg kg-1, liposomal doxorubicin increased the median life span with 12 of 18 long-term (60 days) survivors compared with only 3 of 18 with conventional drug. Mice injected i.v. with liposomal doxorubicin had plasma levels 44-fold higher than conventional doxorubicin, producing significantly higher (P < 0.02) area under the plasma concentration curve. An altered tissue distribution was also observed with liposomal doxorubicin; cardiac tissue demonstrating at least 2-fold lower levels with liposomal doxorubicin probably accounting for its lower toxicity. This altered pharmacokinetics of liposome-encapsulated doxorubicin, providing enhanced therapeutic advantage and the ability to modulate multidrug resistance, could be useful in a clinical setting.
PMCID: PMC2074597  PMID: 8679456
10.  Autoreactivity and Exceptional CDR Plasticity (but Not Unusual Polyspecificity) Hinder Elicitation of the Anti-HIV Antibody 4E10 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(9):e1003639.
The broadly-neutralizing anti-HIV antibody 4E10 recognizes an epitope in the membrane-proximal external region of the HIV envelope protein gp41. Previous attempts to elicit 4E10 by vaccination with envelope-derived or reverse-engineered immunogens have failed. It was presumed that the ontogeny of 4E10-equivalent responses was blocked by inherent autoreactivity and exceptional polyreactivity. We generated 4E10 heavy-chain knock-in mice, which displayed significant B cell dysregulation, consistent with recognition of autoantigen/s by 4E10 and the presumption that tolerance mechanisms may hinder the elicitation of 4E10 or 4E10-equivalent responses. Previously proposed candidate 4E10 autoantigens include the mitochondrial lipid cardiolipin and a nuclear splicing factor, 3B3. However, using carefully-controlled assays, 4E10 bound only weakly to cardiolipin-containing liposomes, but also bound negatively-charged, non-cardiolipin-containing liposomes comparably poorly. 4E10/liposome binding was predominantly mediated by electrostatic interactions rather than presumed hydrophobic interactions. The crystal structure of 4E10 free of bound ligands showed a dramatic restructuring of the combining site, occluding the HIV epitope binding site and revealing profound flexibility, but creating an electropositive pocket consistent with non-specific binding of phospholipid headgroups. These results strongly suggested that antigens other than cardiolipin mediate 4E10 autoreactivity. Using a synthetic peptide library spanning the human proteome, we determined that 4E10 displays limited and focused, but unexceptional, polyspecificity. We also identified a novel autoepitope shared by three ER-resident inositol trisphosphate receptors, validated through binding studies and immunohistochemistry. Tissue staining with 4E10 demonstrated reactivity consistent with the type 1 inositol trisphosphate receptor as the most likely candidate autoantigen, but is inconsistent with splicing factor 3B3. These results demonstrate that 4E10 recognition of liposomes competes with MPER recognition and that HIV antigen and autoepitope recognition may be distinct enough to permit eliciting 4E10-like antibodies, evading autoimmunity through directed engineering. However, 4E10 combining site flexibility, exceptional for a highly-matured antibody, may preclude eliciting 4E10 by conventional immunization strategies.
Author Summary
4E10 is an example of an anti-HIV, broadly neutralizing antibody that is uncommon in infected patients and has not been successfully elicited by any vaccine approach attempted. 4E10 has been proposed to neutralize HIV through a mechanism that requires broad recognition of other antigens, including membrane phospholipids. Such a mechanism would also block the generation of 4E10 during B cell development, confounding vaccination strategies. Analysis of B cell development in 4E10 heavy-chain knock-in mice confirmed that 4E10 does recognize self-antigens. However, a previously proposed autoantigen candidate, the mitochondrial lipid cardiolipin, was not consistent with binding studies which showed that while 4E10 does bind liposomes containing cardiolipin, it does so only weakly and nonspecifically, also binding liposomes without cardiolipin. Using a synthetic human peptidome, 4E10 was shown to be polyreactive, binding peptides from various proteins, but only in a limited manner. Three of the top five hits are from types 1, 2 and 3 inositol trisphosphate receptors, with high scoring peptides sharing a conserved sequence motif. Validation of the top hits was performed by binding analyses and staining of tissue sections, which combined to identify the type 1 inositol trisphosphate receptor as the most likely 4E10 physiological autoantigen.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003639
PMCID: PMC3784475  PMID: 24086134
11.  The role of C-terminus carbohydrate-binding domain of Vibrio cholerae haemolysin/cytolysin in the conversion of the pre-pore β-barrel oligomer to a functional diffusion channel 
Background & objectives:
Vibrio cholerae cytolysin/hemolysin (VCC) is a 65 kDa pore-forming toxin (PFT) secreted by O1 El Tor and non-O1 strains. The purified toxin, which contains two C-terminus carbohydrate-binding domains in addition to the cytolytic domain at the core, causes lysis of a wide spectrum of eukaryotic cells at picomolar concentrations, apoptogenesis of intestinal and immune cells and accumulation of fluid in rabbit ligated ileal loop. Therefore, it may potentially complement the action of cholera toxin (CT) in diarrheagenic strains that do not produce CT. We showed earlier that β1-galactosyl-terminated glycoconjugates are strong inhibitors of its pore-forming activity, though carbohydrates are not functional receptors of VCC. Here, we investigate how the 15 kDa C-terminus β-prism lectin domain contributed to pore formation in erthrocytes.
Methods:
VCC was isolated from the culture supernatant of late log phase grown bacteria and purified to homogeneity by chromatography. The 50 kDa truncated variant was generated by restricted proteolysis. Liposome was prepared by sonication of a suspension of phospholipids and calceine release assay was done by spectrofluorometric monitoring of the released dye trapped in liposome. Formation of β-barrel oligomers in erythrocyte stroma was monitored by scanning electron microscopy.
Results:
Proteolytic truncation of the C-terminus β-prism lectin domain decreased hemolytic activity of the toxin by ~800-fold without causing a significant change in pore-forming activity toward synthetic lipid vesicles devoid of incorporated glycoproteins/glycolipids. Truncation at the C-terminus did not impair membrane-binding or assembly to the oligomeric pore.
Interpretation & conclusions:
Our data indicated that the C-terminus domain played a critical role in translocation of the pre-pore oligomeric assembly from the cell surface or lipid-water interface to the hydrocarbon core of the membrane bilayer, signaling the formation of functional diffusion channels.
PMCID: PMC3089043  PMID: 21415486
Haemolysin; Lectin domain; Lipid bilayer; Pore-formation; V. cholerae
12.  Calcium Influx Rescues Adenylate Cyclase-Hemolysin from Rapid Cell Membrane Removal and Enables Phagocyte Permeabilization by Toxin Pores 
PLoS Pathogens  2012;8(4):e1002580.
Bordetella adenylate cyclase toxin-hemolysin (CyaA) penetrates the cytoplasmic membrane of phagocytes and employs two distinct conformers to exert its multiple activities. One conformer forms cation-selective pores that permeabilize phagocyte membrane for efflux of cytosolic potassium. The other conformer conducts extracellular calcium ions across cytoplasmic membrane of cells, relocates into lipid rafts, translocates the adenylate cyclase enzyme (AC) domain into cells and converts cytosolic ATP to cAMP. We show that the calcium-conducting activity of CyaA controls the path and kinetics of endocytic removal of toxin pores from phagocyte membrane. The enzymatically inactive but calcium-conducting CyaA-AC− toxoid was endocytosed via a clathrin-dependent pathway. In contrast, a doubly mutated (E570K+E581P) toxoid, unable to conduct Ca2+ into cells, was rapidly internalized by membrane macropinocytosis, unless rescued by Ca2+ influx promoted in trans by ionomycin or intact toxoid. Moreover, a fully pore-forming CyaA-ΔAC hemolysin failed to permeabilize phagocytes, unless endocytic removal of its pores from cell membrane was decelerated through Ca2+ influx promoted by molecules locked in a Ca2+-conducting conformation by the 3D1 antibody. Inhibition of endocytosis also enabled the native B. pertussis-produced CyaA to induce lysis of J774A.1 macrophages at concentrations starting from 100 ng/ml. Hence, by mediating calcium influx into cells, the translocating conformer of CyaA controls the removal of bystander toxin pores from phagocyte membrane. This triggers a positive feedback loop of exacerbated cell permeabilization, where the efflux of cellular potassium yields further decreased toxin pore removal from cell membrane and this further enhances cell permeabilization and potassium efflux.
Author Summary
The adenylate cyclase toxin (CyaA) of pathogenic Bordetellae eliminates the first line of host innate immune defense by inhibiting the oxidative burst and complement-mediated opsonophagocytic killing of bacteria. The toxin penetrates myeloid phagocytes, such as neutrophil, macrophage or dendritic cells, and subverts their signaling by catalyzing a rapid and massive conversion of intracellular ATP to the key signaling molecule cAMP. In parallel, the toxin forms cation-selective pores and permeabilizes the cytoplasmic membrane of phagocytes. This so-called ‘hemolysin’ activity synergizes with the enzymatic AC activity of CyaA in promoting apoptotic or necrotic cell death, depending on the toxin dose. Moreover, the pore-forming activity promotes activation of NALP3 inflammasome and release of interleukin IL-1β. We show here that the capacity of CyaA to permeabilize phagocytes depends on its ability to mediate influx of extracellular calcium ions into cells. This enables bystander CyaA pores to escape rapid macropinocytic removal from cell membrane and exacerbate the permeabilization of cells. These observations set a new paradigm for the mechanism of action of pore-forming RTX leukotoxins on phagocytes.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002580
PMCID: PMC3320606  PMID: 22496638
13.  N-acylated Peptides Derived from Human Lactoferricin Perturb Organization of Cardiolipin and Phosphatidylethanolamine in Cell Membranes and Induce Defects in Escherichia coli Cell Division 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90228.
Two types of recently described antibacterial peptides derived from human lactoferricin, either nonacylated or N-acylated, were studied for their different interaction with membranes of Escherichia coli in vivo and in model systems. Electron microscopy revealed striking effects on the bacterial membrane as both peptide types induced formation of large membrane blebs. Electron and fluorescence microscopy, however demonstrated that only the N-acylated peptides partially induced the generation of oversized cells, which might reflect defects in cell-division. Further a different distribution of cardiolipin domains on the E. coli membrane was shown only in the presence of the N-acylated peptides. The lipid was distributed over the whole bacterial cell surface, whereas cardiolipin in untreated and nonacylated peptide-treated cells was mainly located at the septum and poles. Studies with bacterial membrane mimics, such as cardiolipin or phosphatidylethanolamine revealed that both types of peptides interacted with the negatively charged lipid cardiolipin. The nonacylated peptides however induced segregation of cardiolipin into peptide-enriched and peptide-poor lipid domains, while the N-acylated peptides promoted formation of many small heterogeneous domains. Only N-acylated peptides caused additional severe effects on the main phase transition of liposomes composed of pure phosphatidylethanolamine, while both peptide types inhibited the lamellar to hexagonal phase transition. Lipid mixtures of phosphatidylethanolamine and cardiolipin revealed anionic clustering by all peptide types. However additional strong perturbation of the neutral lipids was only seen with the N-acylated peptides. Nuclear magnetic resonance demonstrated different conformational arrangement of the N-acylated peptide in anionic and zwitterionic micelles revealing possible mechanistic differences in their action on different membrane lipids. We hypothesized that both peptides kill bacteria by interacting with bacterial membrane lipids but only N-acylated peptides interact with both charged cardiolipin and zwitterionic phosphatidylethanolamine resulting in remodeling of the natural phospholipid domains in the E. coli membrane that leads to defects in cell division.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090228
PMCID: PMC3940911  PMID: 24595074
14.  Expression of monolysocardiolipin acyltransferase activity is regulated in concert with the level of cardiolipin and cardiolipin biosynthesis in the mammalian heart 
BMC Biochemistry  2002;3:9.
Background
Monolysocardiolipin acyltransferase (MLCL AT) catalyzes the acylation of monolysocardiolipin to cardiolipin in mammalian tissues. We previously reported that cardiac cardiolipin levels, MLCL AT and cardiolipin synthase activities were all elevated in rats made hyperthyroid by thyroxine treatment. In this study, we examined if cardiac mitochondrial MLCL AT activity was dependent upon the biosynthesis and level of cardiolipin in the heart. Rat heart mitochondrial MLCL AT activity was determined under conditions in which the levels of cardiac cardiolipin and cardiolipin synthase activity were either reduced or unaltered using four different disease models in the rat. In addition, these parameters were examined in a murine model of cardiac cell differentiation.
Results
In rats made hypothyroid by treatment with 6-n-propyl-2-thiouracil in the drinking water for 34 days, cardiac cardiolipin content was decreased 29% (p < 0.025) and this was associated with a 32% decrease (p < 0.025) in cardiolipin synthase and a 35% reduction (p < 0.025) in MLCL AT activities. Streptozotocin-induced diabetes or hyperinsulinemia in rats did not affect cardiac cardiolipin content nor MLCL AT and cardiolipin synthase activities. Finally, cardiolipin content, MLCL AT and cardiolipin synthase activities were unaltered during murine P19 teratocarcinoma cell differentiation into cardiac myocytes. In all models, phospholipase A2 activities were unaltered compared with controls.
Conclusion
We propose a general model in which the expression of MLCL AT activity is regulated in concert with the biosynthesis and level of cardiolipin in the heart.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-3-9
PMCID: PMC113744  PMID: 12019031
15.  Enhanced bactericidal potency of nanoliposomes by modification of the fusion activity between liposomes and bacterium 
Background
Pseudomonas aeruginosa represents a good model of antibiotic resistance. These organisms have an outer membrane with a low level of permeability to drugs that is often combined with multidrug efflux pumps, enzymatic inactivation of the drug, or alteration of its molecular target. The acute and growing problem of antibiotic resistance of Pseudomonas to conventional antibiotics made it imperative to develop new liposome formulations to overcome these mechanisms, and investigate the fusion between liposome and bacterium.
Methods
The rigidity, stability and charge properties of phospholipid vesicles were modified by varying the cholesterol, 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE), and negatively charged lipids 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol sodium salt (DMPG), 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phopho-L-serine sodium salt (DMPS), 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphate monosodium salt (DMPA), nature phosphatidylserine sodium salt from brain and nature phosphatidylinositol sodium salt from soybean concentrations in liposomes. Liposomal fusion with intact bacteria was monitored using a lipid-mixing assay.
Results
It was discovered that the fluid liposomes-bacterium fusion is not dependent on liposomal size and lamellarity. A similar degree of fusion was observed for liposomes with a particle size from 100 to 800 nm. The fluidity of liposomes is an essential pre-request for liposomes fusion with bacteria. Fusion was almost completely inhibited by incorporation of cholesterol into fluid liposomes. The increase in the amount of negative charges in fluid liposomes reduces fluid liposomes-bacteria fusion when tested without calcium cations due to electric repulsion, but addition of calcium cations brings the fusion level of fluid liposomes to similar or higher levels. Among the negative phospholipids examined, DMPA gave the highest degree of fusion, DMPS and DMPG had intermediate fusion levels, and PI resulted in the lowest degree of fusion. Furthermore, the fluid liposomal encapsulated tobramycin was prepared, and the bactericidal effect occurred more quickly when bacteria were cultured with liposomal encapsulated tobramycin.
Conclusion
The bactericidal potency of fluid liposomes is dramatically enhanced with respect to fusion ability when the fusogenic lipid, DOPE, is included. Regardless of changes in liposome composition, fluid liposomes-bacterium fusion is universally enhanced by calcium ions. The information obtained in this study will increase our understanding of fluid liposomal action mechanisms, and help in optimizing the new generation of fluid liposomal formulations for the treatment of pulmonary bacterial infections.
doi:10.2147/IJN.S42617
PMCID: PMC3700910  PMID: 23847417
liposomes; fusion; bacteria; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; lipid composition
16.  Tic20 forms a channel independent of Tic110 in chloroplasts 
BMC Plant Biology  2011;11:133.
Background
The Tic complex (Translocon at the inner envelope membrane of chloroplasts) mediates the translocation of nuclear encoded chloroplast proteins across the inner envelope membrane. Tic110 forms one prominent protein translocation channel. Additionally, Tic20, another subunit of the complex, was proposed to form a protein import channel - either together with or independent of Tic110. However, no experimental evidence for Tic20 channel activity has been provided so far.
Results
We performed a comprehensive biochemical and electrophysiological study to characterize Tic20 in more detail and to gain a deeper insight into its potential role in protein import into chloroplasts. Firstly, we compared transcript and protein levels of Tic20 and Tic110 in both Pisum sativum and Arabidopsis thaliana. We found the Tic20 protein to be generally less abundant, which was particularly pronounced in Arabidopsis. Secondly, we demonstrated that Tic20 forms a complex larger than 700 kilodalton in the inner envelope membrane, which is clearly separate from Tic110, migrating as a dimer at about 250 kilodalton. Thirdly, we defined the topology of Tic20 in the inner envelope, and found its N- and C-termini to be oriented towards the stromal side. Finally, we successfully reconstituted overexpressed and purified full-length Tic20 into liposomes. Using these Tic20-proteoliposomes, we could demonstrate for the first time that Tic20 can independently form a cation selective channel in vitro.
Conclusions
The presented data provide first biochemical evidence to the notion that Tic20 can act as a channel protein within the chloroplast import translocon complex. However, the very low abundance of Tic20 in the inner envelope membranes indicates that it cannot form a major protein translocation channel. Furthermore, the independent complex formation of Tic20 and Tic110 argues against a joint channel formation. Thus, based on the observed channel activity of Tic20 in proteoliposomes, we speculate that the chloroplast inner envelope contains multiple (at least two) translocation channels: Tic110 as the general translocation pore, whereas Tic20 could be responsible for translocation of a special subset of proteins.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-11-133
PMCID: PMC3203047  PMID: 21961525
17.  Production and partial purification of membrane proteins using a liposome-supplemented wheat cell-free translation system 
BMC Biotechnology  2011;11:35.
Background
Recently, some groups have reported on cell-free synthesis of functional membrane proteins (MPs) in the presence of exogenous liposomes (liposomes). Previously, we reported synthesis of a functional AtPPT1 plant phosphate transporter that was associated with liposomes during translation. However, it is unclear whether or not lipid/MP complex formation is common to all types of MPs in the wheat cell-free system.
Results
AtPPT1 was synthesized using a wheat cell-free system with or without liposomes. AtPPT1 synthesized with liposomes showed high transport activity, but the activity of AtPPT1 synthesized without liposomes was less than 10% activity of that with liposomes. To test whether co-translational association with liposomes is observed in the synthesis of other MPs, we used 40 mammalian MPs having one to 14 transmembrane domains (TMDs) and five soluble proteins as a control. The association rate of all 40 MPs into liposomes was more than 40% (mean value: 59%), while that of the five soluble proteins was less than 20% (mean value: 12%). There were no significant differences in association rate among MPs regardless of the number of TMDs and synthesis yield. These results indicate that the wheat cell-free system is a highly productive method for lipid/MP complex formation and is suitable for large-scale preparation. The liposome association of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-fusion MPs were also tested and recovered as lipid/MP complex after floatation by Accudenz density gradient ultracentrifugation (DGU). Employment of GFP-MPs revealed optimal condition for Accudenz floatation. Using the optimized Accudenz DGU condition, P2RX4/lipid complexes were partially purified and detected as a major band by Coomassie Brilliant Blue (CBB)-staining after SDS-PAGE.
Conclusion
Formation of lipid/AtPPT1 complex during the cell-free synthesis reaction is critical for synthesis of a functional MP. The lipid/MP complex during the translation was observed in all 40 MPs tested. At least 29 MPs, as judged by their higher productivity compared to GFP, might be suitable for a large-scale preparation. MPs synthesized by this method form lipid/MP complexes, which could be readily partially purified by Accudenz DGU. Wheat cell-free protein synthesis in the presence of liposomes will be a useful method for preparation of variety type of MPs.
doi:10.1186/1472-6750-11-35
PMCID: PMC3090341  PMID: 21481249
18.  Membrane Interaction of the Glycosyltransferase MurG: a Special Role for Cardiolipin 
Journal of Bacteriology  2003;185(13):3773-3779.
MurG is a peripheral membrane protein that is one of the key enzymes in peptidoglycan biosynthesis. The crystal structure of Escherichia coli MurG (S. Ha, D. Walker, Y. Shi, and S. Walker, Protein Sci. 9:1045-1052, 2000) contains a hydrophobic patch surrounded by basic residues that may represent a membrane association site. To allow investigation of the membrane interaction of MurG on a molecular level, we expressed and purified MurG from E. coli in the absence of detergent. Surprisingly, we found that lipid vesicles copurify with MurG. Freeze fracture electron microscopy of whole cells and lysates suggested that these vesicles are derived from vesicular intracellular membranes that are formed during overexpression. This is the first study which shows that overexpression of a peripheral membrane protein results in formation of additional membranes within the cell. The cardiolipin content of cells overexpressing MurG was increased from 1 ± 1 to 7 ± 1 mol% compared to nonoverexpressing cells. The lipids that copurify with MurG were even further enriched in cardiolipin (13 ± 4 mol%). MurG activity measurements of lipid I, its natural substrate, incorporated in pure lipid vesicles showed that the MurG activity is higher for vesicles containing cardiolipin than for vesicles with phosphatidylglycerol. These findings support the suggestion that MurG interacts with phospholipids of the bacterial membrane. In addition, the results show a special role for cardiolipin in the MurG-membrane interaction.
doi:10.1128/JB.185.13.3773-3779.2003
PMCID: PMC161595  PMID: 12813070
19.  Differential metabolic effects of glucosamine and N-acetylglucosamine in human articular chondrocytes 
Objective
Aminosugars are commonly used to treat osteoarthritis; however, molecular mechanisms mediating their anti-arthritic activities are still poorly understood. This study analyzes facilitated transport and metabolic effects of glucosamine (GlcN) and N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) in human articular chondrocytes.
Methods
Human articular chondrocytes were isolated from knee cartilage. Facilitated transport of glucose, GlcN and GlcNAc was measured by uptake of [3H]2-deoxyglucose, [3H]GlcN and [3H]GlcNAc. Glucose transporter (GLUT) expression was analyzed by Western blotting. Production of sulfated glycosaminoglycans (SGAG) was measured using [35S]SO4. Hyaluronan was quantified using hyaluronan binding protein.
Results
Chondrocytes actively import and metabolize GlcN but not GlcNAc and this represents a cell-type specific phenomenon. Similar to facilitated glucose transport, GlcN transport in chondrocytes is accelerated by cytokines and growth factors. GlcN non-competitively inhibits basal glucose transport, which in part depends on GlcN-mediated depletion of ATP stores. In IL-1β-stimulated chondrocytes, GlcN inhibits membrane translocation of GLUT1 and 6, but does not affect the expression of GLUT3. In contrast to GlcN, GlcNAc accelerates facilitated glucose transport. In parallel with the opposing actions of these aminosugars on glucose transport, GlcN inhibits hyaluronan and SGAG synthesis while GlcNAc stimulates hyaluronan synthesis. GlcNAc-accelerated hyaluronan synthesis is associated with upregulation of hyaluronan synthase-2.
Conclusion
Differences in GlcN and GlcNAc uptake, and their subsequent effects on glucose transport, GLUT expression and SGAG and hyaluronan synthesis, indicate that these two aminosugars have distinct molecular mechanisms mediating their differential biological activities in chondrocytes.
doi:10.1016/j.joca.2009.03.004
PMCID: PMC2785807  PMID: 19332174
glucosamine; N-acetylglucosamine; chondrocytes; osteoarthritis
20.  Effect of various hepatic membrane fractions on microtubule assembly- with special emphasis on the role of membrane phospholipids 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1981;89(2):300-308.
This report describes an interaction between rat brain microtubule protein and various hepatic fractions in vitro. Purified preparations of Golgi membranes, plasma membrane, rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum, nuclear membranes, and mitochondria were obtained from the livers of 200-g rats. Several concentrations of fresh or sonicated frozen membranes were incubated with twice-cycled rat brain microtubule protein in a microtubule assembly buffer for 60 min at 30 degrees C. Changes in microtubule assembly were assessed either by quantitative electron microscopy on negatively stained samples or by spectrophotometric methods. The results show that all the tested membranes "bound" microtubule protein, preventing assembly: Golgi and plasma membranes, as well as mitochondria, were especially potent in this regard. To identify the membrane-associated components responsible for microtubule protein binding, the membranes were extracted with methanol-chloroform, and liposomes were prepared from the resulting lipids. Microtubule protein incubated with these liposomes showed a differential ability to assemble that was similar to the effect obtained with intact membranes. Membrane-extracted phospholipids were identified as the lipid component responsible for these changes, with the negatively charged phospholipids (cardiolipin and phosphatidylserine) being uniquely active. These findings indicate that hepatic membranes differentially interact with brain microtubule protein; this interaction may be dependent on membrane phospholipids.
PMCID: PMC2111684  PMID: 7251654
21.  A Monoclonal Antibody That Conveys In Vitro Killing and Partial Protection in Experimental Syphilis Binds a Phosphorylcholine Surface Epitope of Treponema pallidum  
Infection and Immunity  2005;73(5):3083-3095.
Immunization with purified Treponema pallidum outer membrane vesicles (OMV) has previously resulted in high-titer complement-dependent serum bactericidal activity. In this study, OMV immunization resulted in the isolation of a monoclonal antibody, M131, with complement-dependent killing activity. Passive immunization of rabbits with M131 administered intravenously conferred significant immunity demonstrated by the failure of syphilitic lesions to appear at 29% of intradermal challenge sites (7/24) and a mean delay of approximately 8 days to lesion appearance at the remaining sites (17/24). M131 not only bound to OMV and to the surfaces of intact motile T. pallidum cells but also bound to organisms whose outer membranes were removed, indicating both surface and subsurface locations for the killing target. This target was determined to be a T. pallidum lipid. Lipid extracted from T. pallidum and made into liposomes bound M131. Reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography separation and fraction collection mass spectrometry (LC-MS+) of T. pallidum lipid showed that the target of M131 was phosphorylcholine. M131 binding required both liposome formation and a critical concentration of phospholipid containing phosphorylcholine, suggesting that the epitope has both a conformational and a compositional requirement. M131 did not react with red blood cells, which have phosphorylcholine-containing lipids in their exterior membrane leaflets, or with Venereal Disease Research Laboratory antigen that also contains phosphorylcholine, further indicating the specificity of M131. This is the first physical demonstration of an antigen on the T. pallidum surface and indication that such a surface antigen can be a target of immunity.
doi:10.1128/IAI.73.5.3083-3095.2005
PMCID: PMC1087381  PMID: 15845516
22.  Efficient isolation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa type III secretion translocators and assembly of heteromeric transmembrane pores in model membranes† 
Biochemistry  2011;50(33):7117-7131.
Translocation of bacterial toxins or effectors into host cells using the Type III Secretion (T3S) system is a conserved mechanism shared by many Gram-negative pathogens. Pseudomonas aeruginosa injects different proteins across the plasma membrane of target cells altering the normal metabolism of the host. Protein translocation presumably occurs through a proteinaceous transmembrane pore formed by two T3S secreted protein translocators, PopB and PopD. Unfolded translocators are secreted through the T3S needle prior to insertion into the target membrane. Purified PopB and PopD form pores in model membranes. However, their tendency to form heterogeneous aggregates in solution had hampered the analysis of how these proteins transition from a denatured state to a membrane-inserted state. Translocators were purified as stable complexes with the cognate chaperone PcrH, and isolated from the chaperone using 6 M urea. We report here the assembly of stable transmembrane pores by dilution of urea-denatured translocators in the presence of membranes. PopB and PopD spontaneously bound liposomes containing anionic phospholipids and cholesterol in a pH dependant manner as observed by two independent assays, time-resolved FRET and sucrose-step gradient ultracentrifugation. Using Bodipy-labeled proteins we found that PopB interacts with PopD on the membrane surface as determined by excitation energy migration and fluorescence quenching. Stable transmembrane pores are more efficiently assembled at pH lower than 5.0, suggesting that acidic-residues might be involved in the initial membrane binding and/or insertion. Altogether, the experimental setup described here represents an efficient method for the reconstitution and analysis of membrane-inserted translocators.
doi:10.1021/bi200905x
PMCID: PMC3171962  PMID: 21770428
23.  Activation of Dendritic Cells by Liposomes Prepared from Phosphatidylinositol Mannosides from Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin and Adjuvant Activity In Vivo†  
Infection and Immunity  2004;72(9):5235-5246.
Liposome vesicles could be formed at 65°C from the chloroform-soluble, total polar lipids (TPL) extracted from Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). Mice immunized with ovalbumin (OVA) entrapped in TPL liposomes produced both anti-OVA antibody and cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses. Murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells were activated to secrete interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-12, and tumor necrosis factor upon exposure to antigen-free TPL liposomes. Three phosphoglycolipids and three phospholipids comprising 96% of TPL were identified as phosphatidylinositol dimannoside, palmitoyl-phosphatidylinositol dimannoside, dipalmitoyl-phosphatidylinositol dimannoside, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylethanolamine, and cardiolipin. The activation of dendritic cells by liposomes prepared from each purified lipid component of TPL was evaluated in vitro. A basal activity of phosphatidylinositol liposomes to activate proinflammatory cytokine production appeared to be attributable to the tuberculosteric fatty acyl 19:0 chain characteristic of mycobacterial glycerolipids, as similar lipids lacking tuberculosteric chains showed little activity. Phosphatidylinositol dimannoside was identified as the primary lipid that activated dendritic cells to produce amounts of proinflammatory cytokines several times higher than the basal level, indicating the importance of mannose residues. Although the activity of phosphatidylinositol dimannoside was little influenced by palmitoylation of mannose at C-6, a further palmitoylation at inositol C-3 diminished the induction levels of IL-6 and IL-12. Further, OVA entrapped in palmitoyl-phosphatidylinositol dimannoside liposomes was delivered to dendritic cells for major histocompatibility complex class I presentation more effectively than TPL OVA-liposomes. BCG liposomes containing mannose lipids caused up-regulation of costimulatory molecules and CD40. Thus, the inclusion of pure phosphatidylinositol mannosides of BCG in lipid vesicle vaccines represents a simple and efficient option for targeting antigen delivery and providing immune stimulation.
doi:10.1128/IAI.72.9.5235-5246.2004
PMCID: PMC517455  PMID: 15322018
24.  Interactions of antisense DNA oligonucleotide analogs with phospholipid membranes (liposomes). 
Nucleic Acids Research  1991;19(20):5551-5559.
Antisense oligonucleotides have the ability to inhibit individual gene expression in the potential treatment of cancer and viral diseases. However, the mechanism by which many oligonucleotide analogs enter cells to exert the desired effects is unknown. In this study, we have used phospholipid model membranes (liposomes) to examine further the mechanisms by which oligonucleotide analogs cross biological membranes. Permeation characteristics of 32P or fluorescent labelled methylphosphonate (MP-oligo), phosphorothioate (S-oligo), alternating methylphosphonate-phosphodiester (Alt-MP) and unmodified phosphodiester (D-oligo) oligodeoxynucleotides were studied using liposomal membranes. Efflux rates (t1/2 values) at 37 degrees C for oligonucleotides entrapped within liposomes ranged from 7-10 days for D-, S- and Alt-MP-oligos to about 4 days for MP-oligos. This suggests that cellular uptake of oligonucleotides by passive diffusion may be an unlikely mechanism, even for the more hydrophobic MP-oligos, as biological effects are observed over much shorter time periods. We also present data that suggest oligonucleotides are unlikely to traverse phospholipid bilayers by membrane destabilization. We show further that MP-oligos exhibit saturable binding (adsorption) to liposomal membranes with a dissociation constant (Kd) of around 20nM. Binding appears to be a simple interaction in which one molecule of oligonucleotide attaches to a single lipid site. In addition, we present water-octanol partition coefficient data which shows that uncharged 12-15 mer MP-oligos are 20-40 times more soluble in water than octanol; the low organic solubility is consistent with the slow permeation of MP-oligos across liposome membranes. These results are thought to have important implications for both the cellular transport and liposomal delivery of modified oligonucleotides.
Images
PMCID: PMC328956  PMID: 1945832
25.  Transmembrane permeability channels across the outer membrane of Haemophilus influenzae type b. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1985;162(3):918-924.
Outer membranes of Haemophilus influenzae type b were fractionated to yield Triton X-100-insoluble material and lipopolysaccharide and phospholipids. Liposomes reconstituted from lipopolysaccharide and phospholipids were impermeable to sucrose (Mr, 342) and to a high-molecular-weight dextran (average Mr, 6,600). When the Triton X-100-insoluble material was introduced into the reconstituted liposomes, the vesicles became permeable to sucrose, raffinose (Mr, 504), and stachyose (Mr, 666) and fully retained dextrans of Mr greater than 1,500. Inulin (average Mr, 1,400) was tested for its efflux from the reconstituted outer membrane vesicles; 62% of the added inulin was trapped. The molecular weight exclusion limit for the outer membrane of H. influenzae type b was therefore estimated at approximately 1,400. A protein responsible for the transmembrane diffusion of solutes was purified from H. influenzae type b by extraction of whole cells with cetyl trimethyl ammonium bromide. When this extract was passed over DEAE-Sepharose, three protein-containing peaks (I, II, and III) were eluted. Peaks I and II contained mixtures of proteins as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; when tested for their pore-forming properties, these proteins were unable to render liposomes of lipopolysaccharide and phospholipid permeable to sucrose. Peak III contained only one molecular species of protein of molecular weight 40,000; this protein acted as a porin in reconstituted vesicles. The molecular weight exclusion limit for 40,000-molecular-weight protein matched the estimate of approximately 1,400 which was determined for outer membranes. A series of homologous saccharides of increasing degree of polymerization was prepared from agarose by hydrolysis with beta-agarase and fractionation on gel filtration chromatography. These oligosaccharides of Mr, 936, 1,242, 1,548, and 1,854 were assayed for retention by the complete vesicles containing 40-kilodalton protein and lipopolysaccharide and phospholipids. All of these oligosaccharides were lost by efflux through the porin. Since the molecular conformation of the largest oligosaccharide is an elongated semirigid helix, it is suggested that the pore formed by the 40-kilodalton protein does not act as a barrier to the diffusion of this compound.
Images
PMCID: PMC215863  PMID: 2987194

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