We demonstrate a combined experimental and computational approach for the quantitative characterization of lateral interactions between membrane-associated proteins. In particular, weak, lateral (cis) interactions between E-cadherin extracellular domains tethered to supported lipid bilayers, were studied using a combination of dynamic single-molecule Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) and kinetic Monte Carlo (kMC) simulations. Cadherins are intercellular adhesion proteins that assemble into clusters at cell-cell contacts through cis- and trans- (adhesive) interactions. A detailed and quantitative understanding of cis-clustering has been hindered by a lack of experimental approaches capable of detecting and quantifying lateral interactions between proteins on membranes. Here single-molecule intermolecular FRET measurements of wild-type E-cadherin and cis-interaction mutants combined with simulations demonstrate that both nonspecific and specific cis-interactions contribute to lateral clustering on lipid bilayers. Moreover, the intermolecular binding and dissociation rate constants are quantitatively and independently determined, demonstrating an approach that is generalizable for other interacting proteins.
All data generated or analyzed in this work are included in the main text, figure supplements, and Supplementary File 1.
- Connor J Thompson
- Zhaoqian Su
- Vinh H Vu
- Yinghao Wu
- Deborah E Leckband
- Daniel K Schwartz
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Nir Ben-Tal, Tel Aviv University, Israel
© 2020, Thompson 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.
Previously we showed that 2D template matching (2DTM) can be used to localize macromolecular complexes in images recorded by cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) with high precision, even in the presence of noise and cellular background (Lucas et al., 2021; Lucas et al., 2022). Here, we show that once localized, these particles may be averaged together to generate high-resolution 3D reconstructions. However, regions included in the template may suffer from template bias, leading to inflated resolution estimates and making the interpretation of high-resolution features unreliable. We evaluate conditions that minimize template bias while retaining the benefits of high-precision localization, and we show that molecular features not present in the template can be reconstructed at high resolution from targets found by 2DTM, extending prior work at low-resolution. Moreover, we present a quantitative metric for template bias to aid the interpretation of 3D reconstructions calculated with particles localized using high-resolution templates and fine angular sampling.
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