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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Unidirectional reconstitution into detergent-destabilized liposomes of the purified lactose transport system of Streptococcus thermophilus.

The lactose transport protein (LacS) of Streptococcus thermophilus was amplified to levels as high as 8 and 30% of total membrane protein in Escherichia coli and S. thermophilus, respectively. In both organisms the protein was functional and the expression levels were highest with the streptococcal lacS promoter. Also a LacS deletion mutant, lacking the carboxyl-terminal regulatory domain, could be amplified to levels >20% of membrane protein. Membranes from S. thermophilus proved to be superior in terms of efficient solubilization and ease and extent of purification of LacS; >95% of LacS was solubilized with relatively low concentrations of Triton X-100, n-octyl-beta-D-glucoside, n-dodecyl-beta-D-maltoside, or C12E8. The LacS protein carrying a poly-histidine tag was purified in large quantities (approximately 5 mg/liter of culture) and with a purity >98% in a two-step process involving nickel chelate affinity and anion exchange chromatography. The membrane reconstitution of LacS was studied systematically by stepwise solubilization of preformed liposomes, prepared from E. coli phospholipid and phosphatidylcholine, and protein incorporation at the different stages of liposome solubilization. The detergents were removed by adsorption onto polystyrene beads and H+-lactose symport and lactose counterflow were measured. Highest transport activities were obtained when Triton X-100 was used throughout the solubilization/purification procedure, whereas activity was lost irreversibly with n-octyl-beta-D-glucoside. For reconstitutions mediated by n-dodecyl-beta-D-maltoside, C12E8, and to a lesser extent Triton X-100, the highest transport activities were obtained when the liposomes were titrated with low amounts of detergent (onset of liposome solubilization). Importantly, under these conditions proteoliposomes were obtained in which LacS was reconstituted in an inside-out orientation, as suggested by the outside labeling of a single cysteine mutant with a membrane impermeable biotin-maleimide. The results are consistent with a mechanism of reconstitution in which the hydrophilic regions of LacS prevent a random insertion of the protein into the membrane. Consistent with the in vivo lactose/galactose exchange catalyzed by the LacS protein, the maximal rate of lactose counterflow was almost 2 orders of magnitude higher than that of H+-lactose symport.[1]


  1. Unidirectional reconstitution into detergent-destabilized liposomes of the purified lactose transport system of Streptococcus thermophilus. Knol, J., Veenhoff, L., Liang, W.J., Henderson, P.J., Leblanc, G., Poolman, B. J. Biol. Chem. (1996) [Pubmed]
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