Real-Time Monitoring of Membrane-Protein Reconstitution by Isothermal Titration Calorimetry
Sprache des Titels:
Phase diagrams offer a wealth of thermodynamic information on aqueous mixtures of bilayer-forming lipids and micelle-forming detergents, providing a straightforward means of monitoring and adjusting the supramolecular state of such systems. However, equilibrium phase diagrams are of very limited use for the reconstitution of membrane proteins because of the occurrence of irreversible, unproductive processes such as aggregation and precipitation that compete with productive reconstitution. Here, we exemplify this by dissecting the effects of the K+ channel KcsA on the process of bilayer self-assembly in a mixture of Escherichia coli polar lipid extract and the nonionic detergent octyl-?-d-glucopyranoside. Even at starting concentrations in the low micromolar range, KcsA has a tremendous impact on the supramolecular organization of the system, shifting the critical lipid/detergent ratios at the onset and completion of vesicle formation by more than 2-fold. Thus, equilibrium phase diagrams obtained for protein-free lipid/detergent mixtures would be misleading when used to guide the reconstitution process. To address this issue, we demonstrate that, even under such nonequilibrium conditions, high-sensitivity isothermal titration calorimetry can be exploited to monitor the progress of membrane-protein reconstitution in real time, in a noninvasive manner, and at high resolution to yield functional proteoliposomes with a narrow size distribution for further downstream applications.