Investigating the Lipid Selectivity of Membrane Proteins in Heterogeneous Nanodiscs

James E. Keener, Hiruni S. Jayasekera, Michael T. Marty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The structure and function of membrane proteins can be significantly impacted by the surrounding lipid environment, but membrane protein-lipid interactions in lipid bilayers are often difficult to study due to their transient and polydisperse nature. Here, we used two native mass spectrometry (MS) approaches to investigate how the Escherichia coli ammonium transporter trimer (AmtB) and aquaporin Z (AqpZ) selectively remodel their local lipid environment in heterogeneous lipoprotein nanodiscs. First, we used gas-phase ejection to isolate the membrane protein with bound lipids from heterogeneous nanodiscs with different combinations of lipids. Second, we used solution-phase detergent extraction as an orthogonal approach to study membrane protein remodeling of lipids in the nanodisc with native MS. Our results showed that Triton X-100 and lauryldimethylamine oxide retain lipid selectivity that agrees with gas-phase ejection, but C8E4 distorts some preferential lipid interactions. Both approaches reveal that AmtB has a few selective binding sites for phosphatidylcholine (PC) lipids, is selective for binding phosphatidylglycerols (PG) overall, and is nonselective for phosphatidylethanolamines (PE). In contrast, AqpZ prefers either PC or PG over PE and prefers PC over PG. Overall, these experiments provide a picture of how membrane proteins bind different lipid head groups in the context of mixed lipid bilayers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8497-8505
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 14 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Investigating the Lipid Selectivity of Membrane Proteins in Heterogeneous Nanodiscs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this