The Role of a Crystallographically Unresolved Cytoplasmic Loop in Stabilizing the Bacterial Membrane Insertase YidC2

by Harkey, Thomas; Kumar, Vivek Govind; Hettige, Jeevapani; Tabari, Seyed Hamid; Immadisetty, Kalyan; Moradi, Mahmoud

YidC, a bacterial member of the YidC/Alb3/Oxa1 insertase family, mediates membrane protein assembly and insertion. Cytoplasmic loops are known to have functional significance in membrane proteins such as YidC. Employing microsecond-level molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we show that the crystallographically unresolved C2 loop plays a crucial role in the structural dynamics of Bacillus halodurans YidC2. We have modeled the C2 loop and used all- atom MD simulations to investigate the structural dynamics of YidC2 in its apo form, both with and without the C2 loop. The C2 loop was found to stabilize the entire protein and particularly the C1 region. C2 was also found to stabilize the alphahelical character of the C-terminal region. Interestingly, the highly polar or charged lipid head groups of the simulated membranes were found to interact with and stabilize the C2 loop. These findings demonstrate that the crystallographically unresolved loops of membrane proteins could be important for the stabilization of the protein despite the apparent lack of structure, which could be due to the absence of the relevant lipids to stabilize them in crystallographic conditions.

Scientific Reports