Project: Research project

Project Details


In our studies of fd coat protein/lipid interactions, we have observed a
totally unexpected result: the structure of the coat protein changes
radically, from about 50% alpha-helix to about 50% beta-sheet, in response
to changes in the lipid/protein ratio and in response to changes in the
saturated/unsaturated lipid ratio. Such a lipid-tail group dependence of
membrane protein structure has never been reported previously so far as I
know. The trhust of the proposed research is to further define and further
extend these findings. Specifically we will titrate the alpha-helix to
beta-sheet conversion as a function of lipid/protein ratio for different
saturated lipids and for different saturated/unsaturated ratios. Laser
Raman spectroscopy and circular dichroism will be used to characterize the
protein structure. From these studies, we will determine the midpoints of
the titration curve and also the widths of the curves. Finally, using
these data we will deterine whether temperature can shift the relative
amount of the alpha-helix and beta-sheet at a given lipid/protein ratio or
at a given saturated/unsaturated ratio. These fundamental studies into the
nature of lipid/protein interactions may yield results of considerable
importance for the understanding of biological membranes.
Effective start/end date4/1/828/31/86


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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