Molecular Dynamics Simulation Reveals Unique Interplays Between a Tarantula Toxin and Lipid Membranes

Molecular Dynamics Simulation Reveals Unique Interplays Between a Tarantula Toxin and Lipid... Tarantula toxins compose an important class of spider toxins that target ion channels, and some are known to interact with lipid membranes. In this study, we focus on a tarantula toxin, Jingzhaotoxin-III (JZTx-III) that specifically targets the cardiac voltage-gated sodium channel Na $${_v}$$ v 1.5 and is suspected to be able to interact with lipid membranes. Here, we use an all-atom model and long-term molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the interactions between JZTx-III and lipid membranes of different compositions. Trajectory analyses show that JZTx-III has no substantial interaction with the neutral 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) lipids, but binds to membranes containing negatively charged 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-[phospho-rac-(1-glycerol)] (POPG). The most intriguing observations in our simulation are the different interactions between the toxin and the membrane in the mixed and pure POPG membrane systems. The POPC/POPG mixed membrane undergoes a phase transition to a rippled phase upon binding of the toxin, while the pure POPG membrane has no apparent change. Moreover, the binding of JZTx-III to both of the mixture and the pure POPG membrane systems induce small conformational changes. The sequence alignment shows that JZTx-III may not partition into the lipid bilayer due to the mutations of a C-terminal hydrophobic residue and some charged residues that affect toxin orientation. Taken together, JZTx-III and lipid membranes have unique effects on each other that may facilitate the specific binding of JZTx-III to Na $${_v}$$ v 1.5. This computational study also enriches our understanding of the potential complex interactions between spider toxins and lipid membranes. The Journal of Membrane Biology Springer Journals

Molecular Dynamics Simulation Reveals Unique Interplays Between a Tarantula Toxin and Lipid Membranes

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Springer US
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Life Sciences; Biochemistry, general; Human Physiology
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