Merging in-solution X-ray and neutron scattering data allows fine structural analysis of membrane-protein detergent complexes

Dias Mirandela, Gaëtan and Tamburrino, Giulia and Ivanović, Miloš T. and Strnad, Felix M. and Byron, Olwyn and Rasmussen, Tim and Hoskisson, Paul A. and Hub, Jochen S. and Zachariae, Ulrich and Gabel, Frank and Javelle, Arnaud (2018) Merging in-solution X-ray and neutron scattering data allows fine structural analysis of membrane-protein detergent complexes. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 9 (14). 3910–3914. ISSN 1948-7185

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    Abstract

    In-solution small angle X-ray and neutron scattering (SAXS/SANS) have become popular methods to characterize the structure of membrane proteins, solubilized by either detergents or nanodiscs. SANS studies of protein-detergent complexes usually require deuterium-labelled proteins or detergents, which in turn often lead to problems in their expression or purification. Here, we report an approach whose novelty is the combined analysis of SAXS and SANS data from an unlabeled membrane protein complex in solution in two complementary ways. Firstly, an explicit atomic analysis, including both protein and detergent molecules, using the program WAXSiS which has been adapted to predict SANS data. Secondly, the use of MONSA which allows to discriminate between detergent head- and tail-groups in an ab initio approach. Our approach is readily applicable to any detergent-solubilized protein and provides more detailed structural information on protein-detergent complexes from unlabeled samples than SAXS or SANS alone.