Sequence requirements for membrane assembly of polytopic membrane proteins: Molecular dissection of the membrane insertion process and topogenesis of the human MDR3 P-glycoprotein

Jian Ting Zhang

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The biogenesis of membrane proteins with a single transmembrane (TM) segment is well understood. However, understanding the biogenesis and membrane assembly of membrane proteins with multiple TM segments is still incomplete because of the complexity and diversity of polytopic membrane proteins. In an attempt to investigate further the biogenesis of polytopic membrane proteins, I used the human MDR3 P-glycoprotein (Pgp) as a model polytopic membrane protein and expressed it in a coupled cell-free translation/translocation system. I showed that the topogenesis of the C- terminal half MDR3 Pgp molecule is different from that of the N-terminal half. This observation is similar to that of the human MDR1 Pgp. The membrane insertion properties of the TM1 and TM2 in the N-terminal half molecule are different. The proper membrane anchorage of both TM1 and TM2 of the MDR3 Pgp is affected by their C-terminal amino acid sequences, whereas only the membrane insertion of the TM1 is dependent on the N-terminal amino acid sequences. The efficient membrane insertion of TM3 and TM5 of MDR3 Pgp, on the other hand, requires the presence of the putative TM4 and TM6, respectively. The TM8 in the C-terminal half does not contain an efficient stop-transfer activity. These observations suggest that the membrane insertion of putative TM segments in the human MDR3 Pgp does not simply follow the prevailing sequential event of the membrane insertion by signal- anchor and stop-transfer sequences. These results, together with my previous findings, suggest that different isoforms of Pgp can be used in comparison as a model system to understand the molecular mechanism of topogenesis of polytopic membrane proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1709-1721
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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