Conformation of the acylation site of palmitoylgramicidin in lipid bilayers of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine

by Koeppe, R. E.; Vogt, T. C. B.; Greathouse, D. V.; Killian, J. A.; deKruijff, B.

Gramicidin A (gA) call be palmitoylated by means of an ester linkage to the OH group of the terminal ethanolamine that sits at the membrane-water interface in the functional gA channel. We have investigated palmitoyl-gA as a model transmembrane acylprotein. Ethanolamine-d(4) (NH2CD2CD2OH) was incorporated into gA by total synthesis, and a portion of the labeled gA was palmitoylated. Solid-state H-2-NMR spectra of acyl- and nonacyl-gA in hydrated dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) bilayers were compared. The spectra for both oriented and nonoriented samples at 4 and at 40 degrees C indicate that the ethanolamine of gA is highly mobile prior to acylation, but essentially immobile after palmitoylation. The H-2 quadrupolar splittings allow the conformation of the ethanolamine group in acyl-gA to be determined. By combining our data with the previously determined quadrupolar splittings for deuterium labels on the palmitoyl chain [Vogt, T. C. B., Killian, J. A, & de Kruijff, B. (1994) Biochemistry 33, 2063-2070], we also propose a model for the acyl chain. The ethanolamine group rotates over Leu(10) and toward the outside of the gA channel's cylinder upon acylation, so that the attached acyl chain passes between the side chains of Trp(9) and Leu(10). To accommodate the acyl chain, the six-membered portion of the indole ring of Trp(9) is displaced by about 0.9 Angstrom, by means of 1-2 degrees rotations in chi(1) and chi(2).

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1520-4995; 0006-2960