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Determinants for forming a supramolecular myelin-like proteolipid lattice

By Salla Ruskamo, Oda C Krokengen, Julia Kowal, Tuomo Nieminen, Mari Lehtimäki, Arne Raasakka, Venkata P Dandey, Ilpo Vattulainen, Henning Stahlberg, Petri Kursula

Posted 07 Feb 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.02.06.937177

Myelin protein P2 is a peripheral membrane protein of the fatty acid binding protein family. It functions in the formation and maintenance of the peripheral nerve myelin sheath, and several P2 mutations causing human Charot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy have been reported. Here, electron cryomicroscopy of myelin-like proteolipid multilayers revealed a three-dimensionally ordered lattice of P2 molecules between stacked lipid bilayers, visualizing its possible assembly at the myelin major dense line. A single layer of P2 is inserted between two bilayers in a tight intermembrane space of ~3 nm, implying direct interactions between P2 and two membrane surfaces. Further details on lateral protein organization were revealed through X-ray diffraction from bicelles stacked by P2. Surface mutagenesis of P2 coupled to structural and functional experiments revealed a role for both the portal region and the opposite face of P2 in membrane interactions. Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of P2 on myelin-like and model membrane surfaces suggested that Arg88 is an important residue for P2-membrane interactions, in addition to the helical lid domain on the opposite face of the molecule. Negatively charged myelin lipid headgroups anchor P2 stably on the bilayer surface. Membrane binding may be accompanied by opening of the P2 β barrel structure and ligand exchange with the apposing lipid bilayer. Our results provide an unprecedented view into an ordered, multilayered biomolecular membrane system induced by the presence of a peripheral membrane protein from human myelin. This is an important step towards deciphering the 3-dimensional assembly of a mature myelin sheath at the molecular level.

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