Hemolysin II (HlyII), one of several cytolytic proteins encoded by the opportunistic human pathogen Bacillus cereus, is a member of the family of oligomeric β-barrel pore-forming toxins. This work has studied the pore-forming properties of HlyII using a number of biochemical and biophysical approaches. According to electron microscopy, HlyII protein interacts with liposomes to form ordered heptamer-like macromolecular assemblies with an inner pore diameter of 1.5-2 nm and an outer diameter of 6-8 nm. This is consistent with inner pore diameter obtained from osmotic protection assay. According to the 3D model obtained, seven HlyII monomers might form a pore, the outer size of which has been estimated to be slightly larger than by the other method, with an inner diameter changing from 1 to 4 nm along the channel length. The hemolysis rate has been found to be temperature-dependent, with an explicit lag at lower temperatures. Temperature jump experiments have indicated the pore structures formed at 37 °C and 4 °C to be different. The channels formed by HlyII are anion-selective in lipid bilayers and show a rising conductance as the salt concentration increases. The results presented show for the first time that at high salt concentration HlyII pores demonstrate voltage-induced gating observed at low negative potentials. Taken together we have found that the membrane-binding properties of hemolysin II as well as the properties of its pores strongly depend on environmental conditions. The study of the properties together with structural modeling allows a better understanding of channel functioning.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology