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0 Q&A 3564 Views Feb 20, 2020
Non-covalent binding of cholesterol to the transmembrane region of proteins affect their functionalities, but methods to prove such an interaction are rare. We describe our protocol to label the hemagglutinin (HA) of Influenza virus with a cholesterol derivative in living cells or with immunoprecipitated protein. We synthesized a “clickable” photocholesterol compound, which closely mimics authentic cholesterol. It contains a reactive diazirine group that can be activated by UV-illumination to form a covalent bond with amino acids in its vicinity. Incorporation of photocholesterol into HA is then visualized by “clicking” it to a fluorophore, which can be detected in an SDS-gel by fluorescence scanning. This method provides a convenient and practical way to demonstrate cholesterol-binding to other proteins and probably to identify the binding site.
0 Q&A 8462 Views Aug 20, 2018
Rubella virus (RuV) is an enveloped, positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus that is pathogenic to humans. RuV binds to the target cell via the viral envelope protein E1, but the specific receptor molecules on the target cell are yet to be fully elucidated. Here, we describe a protocol for liposome flotation assay to study direct interactions between RuV particles and lipid membranes in a qualitative manner. Interactions are examined by a Nycodenz density gradient fractionation using UV-inactivated RuV particles and fluorescent-labeled liposomes consisting of pure lipids. Fractionated RuV particles are detected using standard sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) followed by Western blot analysis for viral proteins. On the Nycodenz gradient, RuV particles bound to liposomes shift to lower density fractions than unbound RuV particles. Using this protocol, we provide compelling evidence that, at neutral pH in a calcium-dependent manner, RuV particles bind to lipid membranes containing both sphingomyelin (SM) and cholesterol in certain cell types.

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