Effect of SP-C and its palmitoylation state on membrane fragmentation and vesicle uptake

Extracellular Vesicles

Moran Lalangui, Mishelle, Jesus Perez-Gil, and Begoña Garcia-Alvarez. 2022. “Effect of SP-C and Its Palmitoylation State on Membrane Fragmentation and Vesicle Uptake.” Biophysical Journal 121 (3): 463a. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2021.11.477.

One of the largest surfaces of the human body in contact with the environment is the respiratory epithelium, constituted by different specialized cells. Alveolar type I cells are involved in gas exchange whereas alveolar type II cells prevent the alveoli from collapsing due to the synthesis and secretion of lung surfactant (LS). This lipid-protein complex covers the alveolar surface and reduces surface tension at the air-liquid interface. LS, the first element in contact with inhaled air, is also involved in innate defense mechanisms. Surfactant protein C (SP-C) is a small hydrophobic transmembrane protein crucial for the biophysical function of LS. Different studies have revealed that the palmitoylation state of SP-C modulates important protein-lipid interactions within surfactant layers. Moreover, recent research has revealed that SP-C oligomerization, presumably through two structural motifs in SP-C sequence, could promote membrane fragmentation and enhance membrane vesicle alveolar uptake highlighting a key potential role of SP-C in LS homeostasis. In this work, we have analyzed the effect of palmitoylation on SP-C-promoted membrane fragmentation and vesicle uptake in the LS context. To do so, we have compared the behavior in different assays of the native palmitoylated protein and a recombinant SP-C version lacking palmitoyl chains, once reconstituted in two different lipid models mimicking LS membranes. Likewise, we have studied the implication of the proposed dimerization motifs in the SP-C sequence by testing synthetic peptides with selected sequence variations. Results from tunable resistive pulse sensing experiments suggest that both palmitoylation and the oligomerization state of SP-C are important to promote fission of membranes. Protein oligomerization and membrane fragmentation have been also analyzed with respect to membrane vesicle internalization by alveolar-derived cell lines, as evaluated by flow cytometry of cell cultures exposed to fluorescent lipid/protein complexes.

View full article

Recent Publications

Cigarette smoke (CS) represents one of the most relevant environmental risk factors for several chronic pathologies. Tissue damage caused by CS exposure is mediated, at least in part, by oxidative stress induced by its toxic and pro-oxidant components. Evidence demonstrates that extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by various cell types exposed to CS extract (CSE) are characterized by altered biochemical cargo and gained pathological properties. In the present study, we evaluated the content of oxidized proteins and phospholipid fatty acid profiles of EVs released by human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells treated with CSE. This specific molecular characterization has hitherto not been performed. After confirmation that CSE reduces viability of BEAS-2B cells and elevates intracellular ROS levels, in a dose-dependent manner, we demonstrated that 24 h exposure at 1% CSE, a concentration that only slight modifies cell viability but increases ROS levels, was able to increase carbonylated protein levels in cells and released EVs. The release of oxidatively modified proteins via EVs might represent a mechanism used by cells to remove toxic proteins in order to avoid their intracellular overloading. Moreover, 1% CSE induced only few changes in the fatty acid asset in BEAS-2B cell membrane phospholipids, whereas several rearrangements were observed in EVs released by CSE-treated cells. The impact of changes in acyl chain composition of CSE-EVs accounted for the increased saturation levels of phospholipids, a membrane parameter that might influence EV stability, uptake and, at least in part, EV-mediated biological effects. The present in vitro study adds new information concerning the biochemical composition of CSE-related EVs, useful to predict their biological effects on target cells. Furthermore, the information regarding the presence of oxidized proteins and the specific membrane features of CSE-related EVs can be useful to define the utilization of circulating EVs as marker for diagnosing of CS-induced lung damage and/or CS-related diseases.

No items found.
No items found.
No items found.