A mechanism for stabilization of membranes at low temperatures by an antifreeze protein

Melanie M. Tomczak, Dirk K. Hincha, Sergio D. Estrada, Willem F. Wolkers, Lois M. Crowe, Robert E. Feeney, Fern Tablin, John H. Crowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Polar fish, cold hardy plants, and overwintering insects produce antifreeze proteins (AFPs), which lower the freezing point of solutions noncolligatively and inhibit ice crystal growth. Fish AFPs have been shown to stabilize membranes and cells in vitro during hypothermic storage, probably by interacting with the plasma membrane, but the mechanism of this stabilization has not been clear. We show here that during chilling to nonfreezing temperatures the α-helical AFP type I from polar fish inhibits leakage across model membranes containing an unsaturated chloroplast galactolipid. The mechanism involves binding of the AFP to the bilayer, which increases the phase transition temperature of the membranes and alters the molecular packing of the acyl chains. We suggest that this change in acyl chain packing results in the reduced membrane permeability. The data suggest a hydrophobic interaction between the peptide and the bilayer. Further, we suggest that the expression of AFP type I in transgenic plants may be significant for thermal adaptation of chilling-sensitive plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-881
Number of pages8
JournalBiophysical Journal
Volume82
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

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Antifreeze Proteins
Type I Antifreeze Proteins
Temperature
Membranes
Galactolipids
Cell Membrane
Fish Proteins
Transition Temperature
Genetically Modified Plants
Phase Transition
Ice
Chloroplasts
Crystallization
Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
Freezing
Insects
Permeability
Carrier Proteins
Fishes
Peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

Cite this

Tomczak, M. M., Hincha, D. K., Estrada, S. D., Wolkers, W. F., Crowe, L. M., Feeney, R. E., ... Crowe, J. H. (2002). A mechanism for stabilization of membranes at low temperatures by an antifreeze protein. Biophysical Journal, 82(2), 874-881.

A mechanism for stabilization of membranes at low temperatures by an antifreeze protein. / Tomczak, Melanie M.; Hincha, Dirk K.; Estrada, Sergio D.; Wolkers, Willem F.; Crowe, Lois M.; Feeney, Robert E.; Tablin, Fern; Crowe, John H.

In: Biophysical Journal, Vol. 82, No. 2, 2002, p. 874-881.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tomczak, MM, Hincha, DK, Estrada, SD, Wolkers, WF, Crowe, LM, Feeney, RE, Tablin, F & Crowe, JH 2002, 'A mechanism for stabilization of membranes at low temperatures by an antifreeze protein', Biophysical Journal, vol. 82, no. 2, pp. 874-881.
Tomczak MM, Hincha DK, Estrada SD, Wolkers WF, Crowe LM, Feeney RE et al. A mechanism for stabilization of membranes at low temperatures by an antifreeze protein. Biophysical Journal. 2002;82(2):874-881.
Tomczak, Melanie M. ; Hincha, Dirk K. ; Estrada, Sergio D. ; Wolkers, Willem F. ; Crowe, Lois M. ; Feeney, Robert E. ; Tablin, Fern ; Crowe, John H. / A mechanism for stabilization of membranes at low temperatures by an antifreeze protein. In: Biophysical Journal. 2002 ; Vol. 82, No. 2. pp. 874-881.
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