Direct observation of defects and increased ion permeability of a membrane induced by structurally disordered cu/zn-superoxide dismutase aggregates

Inhee Choi, Hyeon Don Song, Suseung Lee, Young In Yang, Joo Hyun Nam, Sung Joon Kim, Jung Joon Sung, Taewook Kang, Jongheop Yi

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16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Interactions between protein aggregates and a cellular membrane have been strongly implicated in many protein conformational diseases. However, such interactions for the case of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) protein, which is related to fatal neurodegenerative disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), have not been explored yet. For the first time, we report the direct observation of defect formation and increased ion permeability of a membrane induced by SOD1 aggregates using a supported lipid bilayer and membrane patches of human embryonic kidney cells as model membranes. We observed that aggregated SOD1 significantly induced the formation of defects within lipid membranes and caused the perturbation of membrane permeability, based on surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy and electrophysiology. In the case of apo SOD1 with an unfolded structure, we found that it bound to the lipid membrane surface and slightly perturbed membrane permeability, compared to other folded proteins (holo SOD1 and bovine serum albumin). The changes in membrane integrity and permeability were found to be strongly dependent on the type of proteins and the amount of aggregates present. We expect that the findings presented herein will advance our understanding of the pathway by which structurally disordered SOD1 aggregates exert toxicity in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28982
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume6
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Dec 2011

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