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Single-molecule spectroscopy reveals polymer effects of disordered proteins in crowded environments


Soranno, Andrea; Koenig, Iwo; Borgia, Madeleine B; Hofmann, Hagen; Zosel, Franziska; Nettels, Daniel; Schuler, Benjamin (2014). Single-molecule spectroscopy reveals polymer effects of disordered proteins in crowded environments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(13):4874-4879.

Abstract

Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are involved in a wide range of regulatory processes in the cell. Owing to their flexibility, their conformations are expected to be particularly sensitive to the crowded cellular environment. Here we use single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer to quantify the effect of crowding as mimicked by commonly used biocompatible polymers. We observe a compaction of IDPs not only with increasing concentration, but also with increasing size of the crowding agents, at variance with the predictions from scaled-particle theory, the prevalent paradigm in the field. However, the observed behavior can be explained quantitatively if the polymeric nature of both the IDPs and the crowding molecules is taken into account explicitly. Our results suggest that excluded volume interactions between overlapping biopolymers and the resulting criticality of the system can be essential contributions to the physics governing the crowded cellular milieu.

Abstract

Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are involved in a wide range of regulatory processes in the cell. Owing to their flexibility, their conformations are expected to be particularly sensitive to the crowded cellular environment. Here we use single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer to quantify the effect of crowding as mimicked by commonly used biocompatible polymers. We observe a compaction of IDPs not only with increasing concentration, but also with increasing size of the crowding agents, at variance with the predictions from scaled-particle theory, the prevalent paradigm in the field. However, the observed behavior can be explained quantitatively if the polymeric nature of both the IDPs and the crowding molecules is taken into account explicitly. Our results suggest that excluded volume interactions between overlapping biopolymers and the resulting criticality of the system can be essential contributions to the physics governing the crowded cellular milieu.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Biochemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Biochemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:01 Jul 2014 15:30
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:56
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1322611111
PubMed ID:24639500

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