A diverse range of membrane peptides and proteins utilize membrane-curvature generation to carry out their biological function. Examples include cationic membrane peptides that disrupt microbial membranes or cross the membrane into cells by forming permanent or transient pores, and hydrophobic domains of viral fusion proteins that merge the virus envelope and the target cell membrane to cause viral entry. Elucidating how protein structures underlie membrane curvature generation has broad biomedical significance in enabling the design of more potent and resistance-free antibiotics and the development of new vaccines and antiviral drugs. The long-term objective of this project is to understand and quantify lipid-specific interactions of curvature-inducing membrane peptides. We will use solid-state NMR as our principal tool, because it is uniquely capable of simultaneously yielding high-resolution structures of membrane proteins and revealing the physical properties of the lipid membrane - curvature, dynamics, domain heterogeneity, and hydration - in which these peptides are embedded. We propose four specific aims. 1) We will investigate cationic-peptide- induced lipid clustering in bacteria-mimetic membranes. Potential segregation of anionic lipids from the main zwitterionic lipid of bacterial membranes, phosphatidylethanolamine, may be a key factor in promoting membrane curvature. Isotope-edited NMR experiments that probe lipid dynamics and peptide-lipid interactions will be conducted. Representative antimicrobial and cell-penetrating peptides such as PG-1 and HIV TAT will be examined. 2) We will develop 31P exchange NMR techniques to measure the curvature of mixed lipid membranes and the localization of cationic peptides in curvature-distinct domains. 3) We will determine the membrane-bound conformation, dynamics, depth of insertion, and oligomeric structure of the fusion peptide and the transmembrane domain of the paramyxovirus, PIV5. Structure information on PIV5 fusion protein will provide new insights into the mechanism of action of the important class I viral fusion proteins. 4) We will investigate the lipid interactions of the PIV5 fusion peptide using a variety of 2H, 31P, and 1H NMR experiments. Membrane curvature, fusion peptide localization, and membrane hydration will be characterized using both oriented and unoriented membranes, with the goal of understanding how the fusion peptide modifies the membrane structure to cause fusion.

Public Health Relevance

Elucidating the structures and membrane interactions of antimicrobial peptides, cell-penetrating peptides, and viral fusion peptides may help the development of new resistance-free antibiotics, better drug-delivery agents, and new vaccines and antiviral drugs.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BCMB-B (02))
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Chin, Jean
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Iowa State University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Kwon, Byungsu; Lee, Myungwoon; Waring, Alan J et al. (2018) Oligomeric Structure and Three-Dimensional Fold of the HIV gp41 Membrane-Proximal External Region and Transmembrane Domain in Phospholipid Bilayers. J Am Chem Soc 140:8246-8259
Roos, Matthias; Wang, Tuo; Shcherbakov, Alexander A et al. (2018) Fast Magic-Angle-Spinning 19F Spin Exchange NMR for Determining Nanometer 19F-19F Distances in Proteins and Pharmaceutical Compounds. J Phys Chem B 122:2900-2911
Gelenter, Martin D; Hong, Mei (2018) Efficient 15N-13C Polarization Transfer by Third-Spin-Assisted Pulsed Cross-Polarization Magic-Angle-Spinning NMR for Protein Structure Determination. J Phys Chem B 122:8367-8379
Lee, Myungwoon; Yao, Hongwei; Kwon, Byungsu et al. (2018) Conformation and Trimer Association of the Transmembrane Domain of the Parainfluenza Virus Fusion Protein in Lipid Bilayers from Solid-State NMR: Insights into the Sequence Determinants of Trimer Structure and Fusion Activity. J Mol Biol 430:695-709
Shcherbakov, Alexander A; Hong, Mei (2018) Rapid measurement of long-range distances in proteins by multidimensional 13C-19F REDOR NMR under fast magic-angle spinning. J Biomol NMR 71:31-43
Mandala, Venkata S; Williams, Jonathan K; Hong, Mei (2018) Structure and Dynamics of Membrane Proteins from Solid-State NMR. Annu Rev Biophys 47:201-222
Liao, Shu Y; Lee, Myungwoon; Hong, Mei (2018) Interplay between membrane curvature and protein conformational equilibrium investigated by solid-state NMR. J Struct Biol :
Wang, Tuo; Jo, Hyunil; DeGrado, William F et al. (2017) Water Distribution, Dynamics, and Interactions with Alzheimer's ?-Amyloid Fibrils Investigated by Solid-State NMR. J Am Chem Soc 139:6242-6252
Lee, Myungwoon; Wang, Tuo; Makhlynets, Olga V et al. (2017) Zinc-binding structure of a catalytic amyloid from solid-state NMR. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114:6191-6196
Fritzsching, Keith J; Hong, Mei; Schmidt-Rohr, Klaus (2016) Conformationally selective multidimensional chemical shift ranges in proteins from a PACSY database purged using intrinsic quality criteria. J Biomol NMR 64:115-30

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