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Characterisation of a synthetic Archeal membrane reveals a possible new adaptation route to extreme conditions

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Title: Characterisation of a synthetic Archeal membrane reveals a possible new adaptation route to extreme conditions
Authors: Salvador-Castell, M
Golub, M
Erwin, N
Demé, B
Brooks, NJ
Winter, R
Peters, J
Oger, PM
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: It has been proposed that adaptation to high temperature involved the synthesis of monolayer-forming ether phospholipids. Recently, a novel membrane architecture was proposed to explain the membrane stability in polyextremophiles unable to synthesize such lipids, in which apolar polyisoprenoids populate the bilayer midplane and modify its physico-chemistry, extending its stability domain. Here, we have studied the effect of the apolar polyisoprenoid squalane on a model membrane analogue using neutron diffraction, SAXS and fluorescence spectroscopy. We show that squalane resides inside the bilayer midplane, extends its stability domain, reduces its permeability to protons but increases that of water, and induces a negative curvature in the membrane, allowing the transition to novel non-lamellar phases. This membrane architecture can be transposed to early membranes and could help explain their emergence and temperature tolerance if life originated near hydrothermal vents. Transposed to the archaeal bilayer, this membrane architecture could explain the tolerance to high temperature in hyperthermophiles which grow at temperatures over 100 °C while having a membrane bilayer. The induction of a negative curvature to the membrane could also facilitate crucial cell functions that require high bending membranes.
Issue Date: Dec-2021
Date of Acceptance: 29-Apr-2021
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/89440
DOI: 10.1038/s42003-021-02178-y
ISSN: 2399-3642
Publisher: Nature Research
Start Page: 1
End Page: 13
Journal / Book Title: Communications Biology
Volume: 4
Issue: 1
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Funder's Grant Number: EP/J017566/1
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location: https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-021-02178-y
Article Number: 653
Online Publication Date: 2021-06-02
Appears in Collections:Chemistry
Biological and Biophysical Chemistry

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons