Local polarity and hydrogen bonding inside the Sec14p phospholipid-binding cavity: high-field multi-frequency electron paramagnetic resonance studies. Academic Article uri icon


  • Sec14p promotes the energy-independent transfer of either phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) or phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) between lipid bilayers in vitro and represents the major PtdIns/PtdCho transfer protein in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Herein, we employ multi-frequency high-field electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) to analyze the electrostatic and hydrogen-bonding microenvironments for series of doxyl-labeled PtdCho molecules bound by Sec14p in a soluble protein-PtdCho complex. A structurally similar compound, 5-doxyl stearic acid dissolved in a series of solvents, was used for experimental calibration. The experiments yielded two-component rigid limit 130- and 220-GHz EPR spectra with excellent resolution in the gx region. Those components were assigned to hydrogen-bonded and nonhydrogen-bonded nitroxide species. Partially resolved 130-GHz EPR spectra from n-doxyl-PtdCho bound to Sec14p were analyzed using this two-component model and allowed quantification of two parameters. First, the fraction of hydrogen-bonded nitroxide species for each n-doxyl-PtdCho was calculated. Second, the proticity profile along the phospholipid-binding cavity of Sec14p was characterized. The data suggest the polarity gradient inside the Sec14p cavity is a significant contributor to the driving molecular forces for extracting a phospholipid from the bilayer. Finally, the enhanced g-factor resolution of EPR at 130 and 220 GHz provides researchers with a spectroscopic tool to deconvolute two major contributions to the x-component of the nitroxide g-matrix: hydrogen-bond formation and local electrostatic effects.

published proceedings

  • Biophys J

author list (cited authors)

  • Smirnova, T. I., Chadwick, T. G., Voinov, M. A., Poluektov, O., van Tol, J., Ozarowski, A., ... Bankaitis, V. A.

citation count

  • 45

complete list of authors

  • Smirnova, Tatyana I||Chadwick, Thomas G||Voinov, Maxim A||Poluektov, Oleg||van Tol, Johan||Ozarowski, Andrzej||Schaaf, Gabriel||Ryan, Margaret M||Bankaitis, Vytas A

publication date

  • January 2007