Tuning membrane protein mobility by confinement into nanodomains


A. Karner, B. Nimmervoll, B. Plochberger, E. Klotzsch, A. Horner, D. Knyazev, R. Kuttner, K. Winkler, L. Winter, C. Siligan, N. Ollinger, P. Pohl, J. Preiner - Tuning membrane protein mobility by confinement into nanodomains - Nature Nanotechnology, Vol. 12, No. 3, 2017


High-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) can be used to visualize function-related conformational changes of single soluble proteins. Similar studies of single membrane proteins are, however, hampered by a lack of suitable flat, noninteracting membrane supports and by high protein mobility. Here we show that streptavidin crystals grown on micasupported lipid bilayers can be used as porous supports for membranes containing biotinylated lipids. Using SecYEG (protein translocation channel) and GlpF (aquaglyceroporin), we demonstrate that the platform can be used to tune the lateral mobility of transmembrane proteins to any value within the dynamic range accessible to HS-AFM imaging through glutaraldehyde-cross-linking of the streptavidin. This allows HS-AFM to study the conformation or docking of spatially confined proteins, which we illustrate by imaging GlpF at sub-molecular resolution and by observing the motor protein SecA binding to SecYEG.