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Title: Sulfolobus acidocaldarius Microvesicles Exhibit Unusually Tight Packing Properties as Revealed by Optical Spectroscopy
In this study, we used optical spectroscopy to characterize the physical properties of microvesicles released from the thermoacidophilic archaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius (Sa-MVs). The most abundant proteins in Sa-MVs are the S-layer proteins, which self-assemble on the vesicle surface forming an array of crystalline structures. Lipids in Sa-MVs are exclusively bipolar tetraethers. We found that when excited at 275 nm, intrinsic protein fluorescence of Sa-MVs at 23 °C has an emission maximum at 303 nm (or 296 nm measured at 75 °C), which is unusually low for protein samples containing multiple tryptophans and tyrosines. In the presence of 10–11 mM of the surfactant n-tetradecyl-β-d-maltoside (TDM), Sa-MVs were disintegrated, the emission maximum of intrinsic protein fluorescence was shifted to 312 nm, and the excitation maximum was changed from 288 nm to 280.5 nm, in conjunction with a significant decrease (>2 times) in excitation band sharpness. These data suggest that most of the fluorescent amino acid residues in native Sa-MVs are in a tightly packed protein matrix and that the S-layer proteins may form J-aggregates. The membranes in Sa-MVs, as well as those of unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) made of the polar lipid fraction E (PLFE) tetraether lipids isolated from S. acidocaldarius (LUVPLFE), LUVs more » reconstituted from the tetraether lipids extracted from Sa-MVs (LUVMV) and LUVs made of the diester lipids, were investigated using the probe 6-dodecanoyl-2-dimethylaminonaphthalene (Laurdan). The generalized polarization (GP) values of Laurdan in tightly packed Sa-MVs, LUVMV, and LUVPLFE were found to be much lower than those obtained from less tightly packed DPPC gel state, which echoes the previous finding that the GP values from tetraether lipid membranes cannot be directly compared with the GP values from diester lipid membranes, due to differences in probe disposition. Laurdan’s GP and red-edge excitation shift (REES) values in Sa-MVs and LUVMV decrease with increasing temperature monotonically with no sign for lipid phase transition. Laurdan’s REES values are high (9.3–18.9 nm) in the tetraether lipid membrane systems (i.e., Sa-MVs, LUVMV and LUVPLFE) and low (0.4–5.0 nm) in diester liposomes. The high REES and low GP values suggest that Laurdan in tetraether lipid membranes, especially in the membrane of Sa-MVs, is in a very motionally restricted environment, bound water molecules and the polar moieties in the tetraether lipid headgroups strongly interact with Laurdan’s excited state dipole moment, and “solvent” reorientation around Laurdan’s chromophore in tetraether lipid membranes occurs very slowly compared to Laurdan’s lifetime. « less
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International Journal of Molecular Sciences
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National Science Foundation
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