We have tested the role of different charged residues flanking the sides of the signal/anchor (S/A) domain of a eukaryotic type II (NcytCexo) integral membrane protein in determining its topology. The removal of positively charged residues on the N-terminal side of the S/A yields proteins with an inverted topology, while the addition of positively charged residues to only the C-terminal side has very little effect on orientation. Expression of chimeric proteins composed of domains from a type II protein (HN) and the oppositely oriented membrane protein M2 indicates that the HN N-terminal domain is sufficient to confer a type II topology and that the M2 N-terminal ectodomain can direct a type II topology when modified by adding positively charged residues. These data suggest that eukaryotic membrane protein topology is governed by the presence or absence of an N-terminal signal for retention in the cytoplasm that is composed in part of positive charges.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)