Negatively Charged Residues in the IgM Stop-Transfer Effector Sequence Regulate Transmembrane Polypeptide Integration
Journal of Biological Chemistry
A non-hydrophobic sequence that contributes to the biogenesis of a transmembrane protein is termed a stoptransfer effector (STE). To examine the mechanism of STE-mediated stop-transfer, a series of fusion proteins were constructed containing variants of a putative STE from murine IgM fused to an otherwise translocated hydrophobic sequence. Unexpectedly, the fraction of molecules adopting transmembrane topology was insensitive to many amino acid substitutions within the STE sequence but varied
... quence but varied directly with the number of negative charges. Furthermore, when present at the amino terminus of a reporter, mutants were observed that adopted type I (amino terminus lumenal) and type II (amino terminus cytoplasmic) transmembrane topologies, demonstrating that the STE sequence can be located at either side of the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. Our results suggest that recognition of a broad structural feature formed primarily by negatively charged residues within the STE halts translocation and triggers membrane integration, even when the negative charges end up on the cytoplasmic side of the membrane. Since functional STE sequences photocross-link to two membrane proteins not previously identified at the translocon, these unique proteins are presumably involved in recognizing STE sequences and/or facilitating STE function.