Secondary structure analysis of individual transmembrane segments of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor by circular dichroism and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.

Abstract

Circular dichroism (CD) and attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy are used to establish the secondary structure of peptides containing one or more transmembrane segments (M1-M4) of the Torpedo californica nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR). Peptides containing the M2-M3 and M1-M2-M3 transmembrane segments of the AChR beta-subunit and the M4 segment of the alpha- and gamma-subunits were isolated from proteolytic digests of receptor subunits, purified, and reconstituted into lipid vesicles. For each peptide, an amide I vibrational frequency centered between 1650 and 1656 cm-1 and negative CD absorption bands at 208 and 222 nm indicate that the peptide is largely alpha-helical. In addition, the CD spectrum of a tryptic peptide of the alpha-subunit containing the M1 segment is also consistent with a largely alpha-helical structure. However, secondary structure analysis of the alpha-M1 CD spectrum indicates the presence of other structures, suggesting that the M1 segment may represent either a distorted alpha-helix, likely the consequence of several proline residues, or may not be entirely alpha-helical. Overall, these findings are consistent with studies that indicate that the transmembrane region of the AChR comprises predominantly, if not exclusively, membrane-spanning alpha-helices.

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@article{Corbin1998SecondarySA, title={Secondary structure analysis of individual transmembrane segments of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor by circular dichroism and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.}, author={Joshua Corbin and Nathalie M{\'e}thot and Harris H. Wang and John Baenziger and Michael Paul Blanton}, journal={The Journal of biological chemistry}, year={1998}, volume={273 2}, pages={771-7} }