An Inward-Rectifier Potassium Channel Coordinates the Properties of Biologically Derived Membranes

Collin G. Borcik, Derek B. Versteeg, Benjamin J. Wylie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


KirBac1.1 is a prokaryotic inward-rectifier K + channel from Burkholderia pseudomallei. It shares the common inward-rectifier K + channel fold with eukaryotic channels, including conserved lipid-binding pockets. Here, we show that KirBac1.1 changes the phase properties and dynamics of the surrounding bilayer. KirBac1.1 was reconstituted into vesicles composed of 13 C-enriched biological lipids. Two-dimensional liquid-state and solid-state NMR experiments were used to assign lipid 1 H and 13 C chemical shifts as a function of lipid identity and conformational degrees of freedom. A solid-state NMR temperature series reveals that KirBac1.1 lowers the primary thermotropic phase transition of Escherichia coli lipid membranes while introducing both fluidity and internal lipid order into the fluid phases. In B. thailandensis liposomes, the bacteriohopanetetrol hopanoid, and potentially ornithine lipids, introduce a similar primary lipid-phase transition and liquid-ordered properties. Adding KirBac1.1 to B. thailandensis lipids increases B. thailandensis lipid fluidity while preserving internal lipid order. This synergistic effect of KirBac1.1 in bacteriohopanetetrol-rich membranes has implications for bilayer dynamic structure. If membrane proteins can anneal lipid translational degrees of freedom while preserving internal order, it could offer an explanation to the nature of liquid-ordered protein-lipid organization in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1701-1718
Number of pages18
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 7 2019


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