Incorporation of [2,3,4,5,6-2H5]Phenylalanine, [3,5-2H2]Tyrosine, and [2,4,5,6,7-2H5]Tryptophan into...

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ocedure was performed in 12.5% polyacrylamide gel (PAAG) containing 0.1% SDS. The samples were prepared for elec-trophoresis by standard procedures (LKB protocol, Sweden). Electrophoretic gel stained with Coomassie blue R-250 was scanned on a CDS-200 laser densitom-eter (Beckman, USA) for quantitative analysis of the protein level.

Hydrolysis of BR. The protein (4 mg) was placed into glass ampoules (10 x 50 mm in size), and 4 N Ba(OH)2 (5 ml) was added. The mixture was kept at 110C for 24 h. The reaction mixture was suspended in 5 ml of hot distilled water and neutralized with 2 N H2SO4 to pH 7.0. The sediment of BaSO4 was removed by centrifugation at 200 g for 10 min, and the supernatant was evaporated in a rotor evaporator at 40C.

Synthesis of N-DNS derivatives of amino acids. DNS chloride (25.6 mg) in 2 ml of acetone was added gradually to 4 mg of dry hydrolysate of BR in 1 ml of 2 M NaHCO3 (pH 9-10) under conditions of constant mixing. The reaction mixture was kept at 40C and mixing for 1 h, acidified with 2 N HCI to pH 3, and extracted (three times) with 5 ml of ethyl acetate. The combined extract was washed with distilled water to pH 7.0 and dried with anhydrous Na2SO4. The solvent was removed at 10 mmHg.

Methyl esters of N-DNS derivatives of amino acids. Wet N-nitroso-.N-methylurea (3 g) was added to 20 ml of 40% KOH in 40 ml of diethyl ether and then mixed

on a water bath with ice for 15-20 min for obtaining diazomethane. After the completion of gas release, the ether layer was separated, washed with distilled water to pH 7.0, dried with anhydrous Na2SO4, and used for the treatment of /V-DNS derivatives of amino acids.

Separation of the mixture of methyl esters ofN-DNS derivatives of amino acids. This was performed by the method of reverse-phase high-performance liquid chro-matography on a Knauer liquid chromatograph (Germany) equipped with a Knauer pump, 2563 UV detector, and C-R 3A integrator (Shimadzy, Japan). The column of 250 x 10 mm in size was used. Separon C18 (Kova, Czech) served as the stationary reverse phase. The diameter of granules was 12 urn. The injection volume was 10 mkl. The following systems of solvents were used: (A) acetonitrile and trifluoroacetic acid (at a volume ratio of 100 : 0.1-0.5) and (B) acetonitrile. Gradient elution processes were performed at a rate of 1.5 ml/min for 5 min (from 0% to 20% B), 30 min (from 20% to 100% B), 5 min (100% B), 2 min (from 100% to 0% B), and 10 min (0% B).

Mass spectra. Mass spectra of methyl esters of N-DNS derivatives of amino acids were obtained by the method of electron impact on an MB-80 A instrument (Hitachi, Japan) at the energy of ionizing electrons of 70 eV, accelerating potential of 8 kV, and a temperature of the cathode source of 180-200C. Scanning of the samples analyzed was performed at a resolution of 7500 conditional units and a 10% image definition.


Incorporation of [2,3,4,5,6-2H5]phenylalanine, [3,5-2H2]tyrosine, and [2,4,5,6,7-2H5]tryptophan into the molecule of BR. The method of incorporation of 2H-labeled amino acids into the molecule of BR was selected because of the fact that this work was designed to reveal the possibility for obtaining 2H-labeled preparations of the membrane protein (in semipreparative amounts) for the reconstruction of artificial membranes. [2,3,4,5,6-2H5]PhenyIalanine, [3,5-2H2]ryrosine, and [2,4,5,6,7-2H5;]tryptophan play important roles in hydrophobic interaction of the BR molecule with the lipid bilayer of the cell membrane. They are stable to the H-2H exchange in water medium under growth conditions. Moreover, high-sensitivity El mass spec-trometry can be used for the analysis of their incorporation, which was performed microbio logically by growing the strain of halophilic bacteria Halobacte-rium halobium on a synthetic medium containing 2H-labeled aromatic amino acids. Thus, these compounds were selected as sources of deuterium. Under the optimum growth conditions (exponential growth on a synthetic medium with 4.3 M NaCl at 35-37C and illumination), the cells synthesized a purple pigment whose spectral characteristics were identical to those of native BR. Figure 1 shows the dynamics of (2) bacterial growth on the medium containing -H-labeled aromatic amino acids in relation to (1) growth under control con-

Fig. 1. The dynamics of Che growth of Che strain//, halobium under various experimental conditions: (/) protonated synthetic medium and (2) synthetic medium with [2,3,4,5,6-2H5]phenylalanine, [3,5-2H2Jtyrosine, and [2,4,5,6,7-2H5]tryptophan.

ditions. The growth of this strain on the medium containing 2H-Iabeled aromatic amino acids was only slightly inhibited. This is important for producing the raw 2H-labeled biomass for further isolation of BR.

The main stages of isolating 2H-labeled BR (Fig, 2) were the following: production of 1 g of 2H-labeled bio-mass; isolation of the fraction of PMs; removal of low-molecular-weight and high-molecular-weight admixtures, cellular RNA, carotenoids, and lipids; fraction-ation of solubilized (in 0.05% SDS) protein by metha-nol; and purification on Sephadex G-200. Low-molecular-weight admixtures and the intracellular contents were eliminated by osmotic shock induced by distilled water (after removing 4,3 M NaCl) followed by destruction of cell membranes by ultrasound. The cellular homogenate was then treated with RNase I (two-three units of activity) to induce the maximum destruction of cellular RNA. The PM fraction obtained contained the complex of the desired protein with Hpids and polysaccharides, as well as admixtures of fixed carotenoids and foreign proteins. Therefore, it was necessary to use special methods of protein fracdonation, which would not damage the native structure of the protein native structure or cause its dissociation. This made the isolation of pure individual BR performed by the use of special fine methods for removing carotenoids and lipids, purification, and column chromatography more difficult. Decarotenoidation was conducted by a repeated treatment of PMs with 50% ethanol at -5C. Although it was a routine procedure, this stage was necessary (despite of considerable chromoprotein losses). The treatment was repeated no less than five times to obtain the absorption band of the PM suspension freed of carotenoids. Figure 3 shows (curves b, c) these bands at various stages of treatment in relation to (curve a) the band of

Growth of Halobacterium halobium on synthetic medium containing [2,3,4,5,6-2H5]phenyIalanine, [3,5-2H2]tyrosine and [2,4,5,6,7-2H5]tryptophan

Disintegration by ultrasound

Water-soluble products

of cellular content,

inorganic salts,

and other low-molecular-weight



Distilled H2O

RNase I,

125 mM NaCl, 20 mM MgCl,

4 mM Tris-HCl

Distilled H2O

Isolation of the biomass

Raw biomass

Osmotic shock

Culture liquid

4.3 M NaCl, and other

inorganic salts

and metabolites

50% ethanol

1.0.5%SDS-Na 2. Methanol



PM fraction


Delipidation + BR precipitation

Extract of carotenoids

_._ Residuals of cellular walls, lipids, and other high-molecular-weight compounds

Crystalline BR

Gel-permeation chromatography on Sephadex G-200

4NBa(OH)7 UOC,24h

  1. DNS chloride, 2 M
    NaHCO3, and ethyl acetate
  2. jV-Nitroso-N- methyl-

urea, 40% KOH

diethyl ester, and diazomethane

Purified BR

Mixture of free amino acids I

Modification into methyl esters

of /V-DNS derivatives of amino acids

Reverse-phase HPLC

BaSO4 after neutralization with 2 M 2 M H2SO4

Individual methyl esters of/V-DNS[2,3,4,5,6-2H5]phenylalanine

N-DNS-[3,5-2H2]tyrosine, and N-DNS [2,4,5,6,7-2H5]tryptophan

El mass spectrometry

Fig. 2. Experimentally designed method for isolating H-labeled BR.

native BR. In this case, an 80-85% efficiency of removing carotenoids was reached. The formation of the retinal-protein complex induced a bathochromatic shift in the absorption band of PMs (Fig. 3). The major band recorded at the maximum absorption of 568 nm and induced by the light isomerization of chromophore at

bonds positioned at C13=C14 or multiples of this number was determined by the presence of trans-retinal residue of retinal (BR568). The additional low-intensity band recorded at 412 nm characterized the presence of a minor admixture of the M412 spectral form (produced in light) containing the deprotonated aldirnine bond


between the residue of trans-retinal and the protein. The band recorded at 280 nm depended on the absorption of aromatic amino acids of the polypeptide chain of this protein (the D2%0/D56% ratio was 1.5 : 1 for pure BR).

Fractionation and careful chromatographic purification of the protein were the next necessary stages. BR is a transmembrane protein with a molecular weight of 26.7 kDa that penetrates the lipid bilayer in the form of seven a-helixes. Therefore, the use of ammo