Preferential lipid association and mode of penetration of apocytochrome c in mixed model membranes as monitored by tryptophanyl fluorescence quenching using brominated phospholipids
de Kruijff, Ben
The fluorescence of the single tryptophan residue at position 59 in apocytochrome c, the biosynthetic precursor of the inner mitochondrial membrane protein cytochrome c, was studied in small unilamellar vesicles composed of phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylcholine (PC) with or without specifically Br-labelled acyl chains at the sn-2 position. The protein has a very high affinity for PS-containing vesicles (dissociation constant Kd less than 1 microM). From the relative quenching efficiency by the brominated phospholipids, it could be concluded that the protein specifically associates with the PS component in mixed vesicles and that maximal quenching occurred with phospholipids in which the bromine was present at the 6,7-position of the 2-acyl chain suggesting that (part of) the bound protein penetrates 7-8 A deep into the hydrophobic core of the bilayer.