Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

Steric trapping reveals a cooperativity network in the intramembrane protease GlpG


Membrane proteins are assembled through balanced interactions among proteins, lipids and water. Studying their folding while maintaining the native lipid environment is necessary but challenging. Here we present methods for analyzing key elements of membrane protein folding including thermodynamic stability, compactness of the unfolded state and folding cooperativity under native conditions. The methods are based on steric trapping, which couples the unfolding of a doubly biotinylated protein to the binding of monovalent streptavidin (mSA). We further advanced this technology for general application by developing versatile biotin probes possessing spectroscopic reporters that are sensitized by mSA binding or protein unfolding. By applying these methods to the Escherichia coli intramembrane protease GlpG, we elucidated a widely unraveled unfolded state, subglobal unfolding of the region encompassing the active site, and a network of cooperative and localized interactions to maintain stability. These findings provide crucial insights into the folding energy landscape of membrane proteins.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View