• The effect of lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA) on α-tocopherol transfer protein (α-TTP) binding to lipid membranes

      Baptist, Matilda; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2010-03-09)
      The a-tocopherol transfer protein (a-TTP) is responsible for the retention of the atocopherol form of vitamin E in living organisms. The detailed ligand transfer mechanism by a-TTP is still yet to be fully elucidated. To date, studies show that a-TTP transfers a-tocopherol from late endosomes in liver cells to the plasma membrane where it is repackaged into very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) and released into the circulation. Late endosomes have been shown to contain a lipid known as lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBP A) that is unique to this cellular compartment. LBPA plays a role in intracellular trafficking and controlling membrane curvature. Taking these observations into account plus the fact that certain proteins are recruited to membranes based on membrane curvature, the specific aim of this project was to examine the effect of LBP A on a-TTP binding to lipid membranes. To achieve this objective, dual polarization interferometry (DPI) and a vesicle binding assay were employed. Whilst DPI allows protein binding affinity to be measured on a flat lipid surface, the vesicle binding assay determines protein binding affinity to lipid vesicles mimicking curved membranes. DPI analysis revealed that the amount of a-TTP bound to lipid membranes is higher when LBPA is present. Using the vesicle binding assay, a similar result was seen where a greater amount of protein is bound to large unilamellar vesicles (LUV s) containing LBP A. However, the effect of LBP A was attenuated when small unilamellar vesicles (SUVs) were replaced with LUVs. The outcome of this project suggests that aTTP binding to membranes is influenced by membrane curvature, which in turn is induced by the presence of LBP A.