The canonical mechanism for multispanning membrane protein topogenesis suggests that protein topology is established during cotranslational membrane integration. However, this mechanism is inconsistent with the behavior of EmrE, a dual-topology protein for which the mutation of positively charged loop residues, even close to the C-terminus, leads to dramatic shifts in its topology. We use coarse-grained simulations to investigate the Sec-facilitated membrane integration of EmrE and its mutants on realistic biological timescales. This work reveals a mechanism for regulating membrane-protein topogenesis, in which initially misintegrated configurations of the proteins undergo post-translational annealing to reach fully integrated multispanning topologies. The energetic barriers associated with this post-translational annealing process enforce kinetic pathways that dictate the topology of the fully integrated proteins. The proposed mechanism agrees well with the experimentally observed features of EmrE topogenesis and provides a range of experimentally testable predictions regarding the effect of translocon mutations on membrane protein topogenesis.
- Gerhard Hummer, The Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Germany
© 2015, Van Lehn et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.