LETTERS pubs.acs.org/acschemicalbiology Solubilization of a Membrane Protein by Combinatorial


bS Supporting Information ABSTRACT: Hydrophobic and aggregation-prone, membrane proteins often prove too insoluble for conventional in vitro biochemical studies. To engineer soluble variants of human caveolin-1, a phage-displayed library of caveolin variants targeted the hydrophobic intramembrane domain with substitutions to charged residues. Anti-selections for insolubility removed hydro-phobic variants, and positive selections for binding to the known caveolin ligand HIV gp41 isolated functional, folded variants. Assays with several caveolin binding partners demonstrated the successful folding and functionality by a solubilized, full-length caveolin variant selected from the library. This caveolin variant allowed assay of the direct interaction between caveolin and cavin. Clustered along one face of a putative helix, the solubilizing mutations suggest a structural model for the intramembrane domain of caveolin. The approach provides a potentially general method for solubilization and engineering of membrane-associated proteins by phage display. Membrane-associated proteins contribute essential functionsto the cell, including energy generation, communication

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