A biophysical study of protein-lipid interactions in membranes of Escherichia coli. Fluoromyristic acid as a probe
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Fluorine-19 nuclear magentic resonance spectroscopy and transport assays have been used to investigate and compare the membrane properties of unsaturated fatty acid auxotrophs of two strains of Escherichia coli, K1060B5 and ML 308-225-UFA-8. A fluorinated analog of myristic acid, 8, 8-difluoromyristic acid, can be incorporated into the membrane phospholipids by substitution for oleate in the growth medium. Growth for one generation on 8, 8-difluoromyristate results in a 20% content of fluorinated fatty acid in the membranes, changes in the protein to lipid ratio, and altered transport of methyl beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside. The differences in membrane composition and transport behavior seen in oleate supplemented E. coli K1060B5 relative to ML 308-225-UFA-8 are enhanced by the incorporation of 8, 8-difluoromyristate. The phase transition behavior becomes distinctly different and some differences in lipid organization persist above the transition temperature. Concomitantly, the rate and extent of concentration of methyl beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside are reduced two-fold more in E. coli K1060B5 compared to ML 308-225-UFA-8. Such behavior suggests that these fluorinated fatty acid supplemented strains of E. coli are useful to study subtle differences in protein-lipid interactions and their effects on the function of membrane-bound enzymes.
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