Effect of bacteriorhodopsin on the orientation of the headgroup of 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine in bilayers: a 31P- and 2H-NMR study.
Gale P., Watts A.
Bacteriorhodopsin (BR), purified from the halophilic bacterium, Halobacterium halobium, has been separated from the endogenous purple membrane lipids and reconstituted by detergent dialysis into bilayers of the zwitterionic phospholipid, 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC), which was selectively deuterated at the headgroup in the choline alpha- and beta-methylene segments and the choline gamma-methyl groups. Complexes of DMPC/BR contents from 67:1 to 222:1 (mol/mol) were produced under conditions to promote formation of large vesicles (mean diameters 600-700 nm). The magnitudes of the 2H-NMR quadrupole splittings recorded from the deuterium-labelled headgroup segments, and the 31P-NMR chemical shift anisotropy (CSA) of the phosphate group appeared to vary linearly with the BR content in the complexes over the range of DMPC/BR ratios studied. On increasing the proportion of BR in the DMPC-BR complexes, the 2H-NMR quadrupole splittings measured from the choline gamma-methyl groups and the beta-methylene segments and the 31P-NMR CSA increased in magnitude, while the 2H-NMR quadrupole splitting from the alpha-methylene segment decreased. Such opposing changes in the choline alpha- and beta-methylene segment quadrupole splittings are similar to those reported on increasing the proportion of positively charged amphiphile at the bilayer surface (Seelig et al. (1987) Biochemistry 26, 7535-7541). It is suggested that BR presents a net positive charge to the phosphocholine headgroups at the protein/lipid interface.