Monitoring oligomerization dynamics of individual human neurotensin receptors 1 in living cells and in SMALP nanodiscs
Lukas Spantzel, Iván Pérez, Thomas Heitkamp, Anika Westphal, Stefanie Reuter, Ralf Mrowka, Michael Börsch
G-Protein coupled receptor, Receptor Dynamics
The human neurotensin receptor 1 (NTSR1) is a G protein-coupled receptor. The receptor is activated by a small peptide ligand neurotensin. NTSR1 can be expressed in HEK cells by stable transfection. Previously we used the fluorescent protein markers mRuby3 or mNeonGreen fused to NTSR1 for EMCCD-based structured illumination microscopy (SIM) in living HEK cells. Ligand binding induced conformational changes in NTSR1 which triggered the intracellular signaling processes. Recent single-molecule studies revealed a dynamic monomer/dimer equilibrium of this receptor in artificial lipid bilayers. Here we report on the oligomerization state of human NTSR1 from living cells by trapping them into lipid nanodiscs. Briefly, SMALPs (styrene-maleic acid copolymer lipid nanoparticles) were produced directly from the plasma membranes of living HEK293T FlpIn cells. SMALPs with a diameter of 15 nm were soluble and stable. NTSR1 in SMALPs were analyzed by single-molecule intensity measurements one membrane patch at a time using a custom-built confocal anti-Brownian electrokinetic trap (ABEL trap) microscope. We found oligomerization changes before and after stimulation of the receptor with its ligand neurotensin.