Exploring the Interplay of Lipids and Membrane proteins
Doktorsavhandling, 2014

The interplay between lipids and membrane proteins is known to affect membrane protein topology and thus have significant effect (control) on their functions. In this PhD thesis, the influence of lipids on the membrane protein function was studied using three different membrane protein models. A monotopic membrane protein, monoglucosyldiacylglyecerol synthase (MGS) from Acholeplasma laidlawii is known to induce intracellular vesicles when expressed in Escherichia coli. The mechanism leading to this unusual phenomenon was investigated by various biochemical and biophysical techniques. The results indicated a doubling of lipid synthesis in the cell, which was triggered by the selective binding of MGS to anionic lipids. Multivariate data analysis revealed a good correlation with MGS production. Furthermore, preferential anionic lipid sequestering by MGS was shown to induce a different fatty acid modeling of E. coli membranes. The roles of specific lipid binding and the probable mechanism leading to intracellular vesicle formation were also investigated. As a second model, a MGS homolog from Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 was selected. MgdA is an integral membrane protein with multiple transmembrane helices and a unique membrane topology. The influence of different type of lipids on MgdA activity was tested with different membrane fractions of Synechocystis. Results indicated a very distinct profile compared to Acholeplasma laidlawii MGS. SQDG, an anionic lipid was found to be the species of the membrane that increased the MgdA activity 7-fold whereas two other lipids (PG and PE) had only minor effects on MgdA. Additionally, a working model of MgdA for the biosynthesis and flow of sugar lipids between Synechocystis membranes was proposed. The last model system was another integral membrane protein with a distinct structure but also a different function. The envelope stress sensor, CpxA and its interaction with E. coli membranes were studied. CpxA autophosphorylation activity was found to be positively regulated by phosphatidylethanolamine and negatively by anionic lipids. In contrast, phosphorylation of CpxR by CpxA revealed to be increased with PG but inhibited by CL. Non-bilayer lipids had a negative impact on CpxA phosphotransfer activity. Taken together, these studies provide a better understanding of the significance of the interplay of lipids and model membrane proteins discussed here.

Opponent: Prof. Malcolm East




Biokemi och molekylärbiologi

Biologiska vetenskaper




Livsvetenskaper och teknik




Opponent: Prof. Malcolm East