A 25-Amino Acid Sequence of the Arabidopsis TGD2 Protein Is Sufficient for Specific Binding of Phosphatidic Acid
Genetic analysis suggests that the TGD2 protein of Arabidopsis is required for the biosynthesis of endoplasmic reticulum derived thylakoid lipids. TGD2 is proposed to be the substrate-binding protein of a presumed lipid transporter consisting of the TGD1 (permease) and TGD3 (ATPase) proteins. The TGD1, -2, and -3 proteins are localized in the inner chloroplast envelope membrane. TGD2 appears to be anchored with an N-terminal membrane-spanning domain into the inner envelope membrane, whereas the C-terminal domain faces the intermembrane space. It was previously shown that the C-terminal domain of TGD2 binds phosphatidic acid (PtdOH). To investigate the PtdOH binding site of TGD2 in detail, the C-terminal domain of the TGD2 sequence lacking the transit peptide and transmembrane sequences was fused to the C terminus of the Discosoma sp. red fluorescent protein (DR). This greatly improved the solubility of the resulting DR-TGD2C fusion protein following production in Escherichia coli. The DR-TGD2C protein bound PtdOH with high specificity, as demonstrated by membrane lipid-protein overlay and liposome association assays. Internal deletion and truncation mutagenesis identified a previously undescribed minimal 25-amino acid fragment in the C-terminal domain of TGD2 that is sufficient for PtdOH binding. Binding characteristics of this 25-mer were distinctly different from those of TGD2C, suggesting that additional sequences of TGD2 providing the proper context for this 25-mer are needed for wild type-like PtdOH binding.