Spectrin, a major component of the membrane skeletal meshwork of metazoan cells, is implicated to associate with membrane domains and is known to act as a scaffold for stabilization and activation of different signalling modules. We have studied the effect of GM1 (monosialotetrahexosyl ganglioside), a well-known model ganglioside and a signalling moiety, on the interaction of non-erythroid brain spectrin with both saturated and unsaturated aminophospholipids by spectroscopic methods. We observe that GM1 modulates brain spectrin-aminophospholipid interaction to the greatest degree whereas its effect on erythroid spectrin is not as pronounced. Fluorescence quenching studies show that brain spectrin interacts with DMPC/DMPE-based vesicles with a 10-fold increased affinity in presence of very low amounts of 2% and 5% GM1, and the extent of quenching decreases progressively in presence of increasing amounts of GM1. Interaction of brain spectrin with unsaturated membrane systems of DOPC/DOPE weakens in presence GM1. Increase in the mean lifetime of the Trp residues of brain spectrin in presence of GM1 indicates change in the microenvironment of spectrin, without affecting the secondary structure of the protein significantly. Studies on pressure – area isotherm of Langmuir-Blodgett monolayer and Brewster's angle microscopy show that GM1 has an expanding effect on the aminophospholipid monolayers, and ordered regions in DMPC/DMPE mixed monolayers are formed and are stabilized at higher pressure. GM1-induced fluidization of the phospholipid membranes and probable physical contact between bulky sugar head group of GM1 and spectrin, may explain the modulatory role of GM1 on aminophospholipid interactions with nonerythroid brain spectrin.
Sarkar, S., Bose, D., Giri, R. P., Mukhopadhyay, M. K., & Chakrabarti, A. (2019). Effects of GM1 on brain spectrin-aminophospholipid interactions. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes, 1861(1), 298–305. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamem.2018.06.011