3 years ago

Single-molecule force spectroscopy of protein-membrane interactions

Erdem Karatekin, Ben O'Shaughnessy, Yongli Zhang, Pietro De Camilli, Yiying Cai, Junyi Jiao, Zhenyong Wu, Yanghui Li, Lu Ma
Many biological processes rely on protein-membrane interactions in the presence of mechanical forces, yet high resolution methods to quantify such interactions are lacking. Here, we describe a single-molecule force spectroscopy approach to quantify membrane binding of C2 domains in Synaptotagmin-1 (Syt1) and Extended Synaptotagmin-2 (E-Syt2). Syts and E-Syts bind the plasma membrane via multiple C2 domains, bridging the plasma membrane with synaptic vesicles or endoplasmic reticulum to regulate membrane fusion or lipid exchange, respectively. In our approach, single proteins attached to membranes supported on silica beads are pulled by optical tweezers, allowing membrane binding and unbinding transitions to be measured with unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution. C2 domains from either protein resisted unbinding forces of 2-7 pN and had binding energies of 4-14 kBT per C2 domain. Regulation by bilayer composition or Ca2+ recapitulated known properties of both proteins. The method can be widely applied to study protein-membrane interactions.

Publisher URL: https://elifesciences.org/articles/30493

DOI: 10.7554/eLife.30493

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