Full-length mercury transporter protein MerF in lipid bilayer membranes

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Conformers Calculated: 200 
  • Conformers Submitted: 10 
  • Selection Criteria: structures with the lowest energy 

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This is version 1.2 of the entry. See complete history


The Structure of the Mercury Transporter MerF in Phospholipid Bilayers: A Large Conformational Rearrangement Results from N-Terminal Truncation.

Lu, G.J.Tian, Y.Vora, N.Marassi, F.M.Opella, S.J.

(2013) J Am Chem Soc 135: 9299-9302

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/ja4042115
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    The three-dimensional structure of the 81-residue mercury transporter MerF determined in liquid crystalline phospholipid bilayers under physiological conditions by Rotationally Aligned (RA) solid-state NMR has two long helices, which extend well beyond the bilayer, with a well-defined interhelical loop. Truncation of the N-terminal 12 residues, which are mobile and unstructured when the protein is solubilized in micelles, results in a large structural rearrangement of the protein in bilayers. In the full-length protein, the N-terminal helix is aligned nearly parallel to the membrane normal and forms an extension of the first transmembrane helix. By contrast, this helix adopts a perpendicular orientation in the truncated protein. The close spatial proximity of the two Cys-containing metal binding sites in the three-dimensional structure of full-length MerF provides insights into possible transport mechanisms. These results demonstrate that major changes in protein structure can result from differences in amino acid sequence (e.g., full-length vs truncated proteins) as well as the use of a non-native membrane mimetic environment (e.g., micelles) vs liquid crystalline phospholipid bilayers. They provide further evidence of the importance of studying unmodified membrane proteins in near-native bilayer environments in order to obtain accurate structures that can be related to their functions.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0307, United States.

Find similar proteins by:  (by identity cutoff)  |  3D Structure
Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains Sequence LengthOrganismDetailsImage
MerF81Morganella morganiiMutation(s): 0 
Gene Names: merF
Membrane Entity: Yes 
Find proteins for Q56446 (Morganella morganii)
Explore Q56446 
Go to UniProtKB:  Q56446
Entity Groups  
Sequence Clusters30% Identity50% Identity70% Identity90% Identity95% Identity100% Identity
UniProt GroupQ56446
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Conformers Calculated: 200 
  • Conformers Submitted: 10 
  • Selection Criteria: structures with the lowest energy 

Structure Validation

View Full Validation Report

Entry History 

Deposition Data

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2013-07-03
    Type: Initial release
  • Version 1.1: 2013-07-10
    Changes: Database references
  • Version 1.2: 2023-06-14
    Changes: Data collection, Database references, Other