On the structure of the hemocyanin channel in lipid bilayers.
Keyhole limpet hemocyanin has been shown by others (Alvarez, O., Diaz, E. and Latorre, R. (1975) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 389, 444-448) to form single conductance channels in black lipid membranes. In an attempt to visualize how the large (300 A) water-soluble hemocyanin molecule interacts with lipid bilayers, we have examined hemocyanin in the presence of lipids with the electron microscope. We find that incubation of lipids with keyhole limpet hemocyanin produces a characteristic 70 A in diameter, ring-shaped particle or annulus associated with the bilayer. This annulus, which appears to be quite distinct from previously observed aggregated and dissociated forms of hemocyanin, may be responsible for the channel formation in black lipid membranes.
McIntosh, TJ; Robertson, JD; Ting-Beall, HP; Walter, A; Zampighi, G
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