Molecular insight into the effect of lipid bilayer environments on thrombospondin-1 and calreticulin interactions

Academic Article


  • Thrombospondin-1 (TSP1) binding to cell surface calreticulin (CRT) stimulates the association of CRT with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor-related protein (LRP1) to signal focal adhesion disassembly and engagement of cellular activities. A recent study demonstrated that membrane rafts are necessary for TSP1-mediated focal adhesion disassembly, but the molecular role of membrane rafts in mediating TSP1-CRT-LRP1 signaling is unknown. In this study, we investigated the effect of lipid bilayer environments on TSP1 and CRT interactions via atomically detailed molecular dynamics simulations. Results showed that the microscopic structural properties of lipid molecules and mesoscopic mechanical properties and electrostatic potential of the bilayer were significantly different between a 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) bilayer and a raftlike lipid bilayer [a POPC/cholesterol (CHOL) raftlike lipid bilayer or a POPC/CHOL/sphingomyelin (SM) raftlike lipid bilayer], and the difference was enhanced by SM lipids in a raftlike lipid bilayer. These bilayer property differences affect the interactions of CRT with the bilayer, further influencing CRT conformation and TSP1-CRT interactions. A raftlike lipid bilayer stabilized CRT conformation as compared to a POPC bilayer environment. TSP1 binding to CRT resulted in a conformation for the CRT N-domain more "open" than that of the CRT P-domain in a raftlike lipid bilayer environment, which could facilitate binding of CRT to LRP1 to engage downstream signaling. The open conformational changes of CRT by binding to TSP1 in a raftlike lipid bilayer were enhanced by SM lipids in a lipid bilayer. The direct interactions of both the N- and P-domains of CRT with the bilayer contribute to the more open conformation of CRT in the TSP1-CRT complex on a raftlike lipid bilayer as compared to that on a POPC bilayer. The interactions of CRT or the TSP1-CRT complex with the lipid bilayer also caused CHOL molecules and/or lipids to be more coordinated and to aggregate into patchlike regions in the raftlike lipid bilayers. The lipid and CHOL molecule coordination and aggregation could in turn affect the interactions of CRT with the membrane raft, thereby altering TSP1-CRT interactions and CRT conformational changes that potentially regulate its interactions with LRP1. This study provides molecular insights into the role of lipid bilayer environments in TSP1-CRT interactions and in the CRT conformational changes that are predicted to facilitate binding of CRT to LRP1 to engage downstream signaling events.
  • Published In

  • Biochemistry  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wang L; Murphy-Ullrich JE; Song Y
  • Start Page

  • 6309
  • End Page

  • 6322
  • Volume

  • 53
  • Issue

  • 40