Although the central role of the signal sequence in protein export is well established, the molecular details underlying signal sequence in vivo function remain unclear. As part of our continuing effort to relate signal sequence phenotypes to specific biophysical properties, we have carried out an extensive characterization of the secondary structure and lipid interactions for a family of peptides corresponding to the wild-type E. coli LamB signal sequence, and mutants that harbor charged residue point mutations in the hydrophobic core region. We used membrane-resident fluorescence quenching according to the parallax method to determine the relative depth of insertion of tryptophan-labeled analogs of these peptides into the acyl chain region of bilayer vesicles composed of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol. Also, restriction of acyl chain motion upon peptide binding was evaluated using steady-state fluorescence anisotropy of 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene. Each of these peptides showed evidence of insertion into the acyl chain region, although most likely not in a transmembrane orientation. The mutant peptides were shown to have a reduced insertion potential relative to the wild-type peptide. Furthermore, tryptophan spectral properties indicated that insertion of the wild-type and mutant peptides enhances bilayer hydration. This effect was particularly pronounced with peptides harboring negatively charged aspartate point substitutions. The results are discussed in relation to the potential roles of signal sequences in mediating protein translocation. © 1994, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.
Jones, J. D., & Gierasch, L. M. (1994). Effect of charged residue substitutions on the membrane-interactive properties of signal sequences of the Escherichia coli LamB protein. Biophysical Journal, 67(4), 1534–1545. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(94)80627-7