Interaction of ganglioside GM1 and myelin basic protein studied by carbon‐13 and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

R. L. Ong, R. K. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The interaction of the myelin basic protein (MBP) and the major endogenous ganglioside GM1 in myelin of the central nervous system has been investigated using both 500‐MHz 1H and 67.89 MHz 13C NMR. Titration of MBP by GM1 resulted in 13C NMR signal shifts for the Ile and His residues of MBP at a GM1/MBP mole ratio of one or less. The carbohydrate head group of GM1 was also found to be perturbed. 1H NMR results obtained in a similar manner demonstrated the perturbation of His and Phe residues. At a GM1/MBP mole ratio of 0.5, small perturbation of Trp #116 was observed, and at mole ratios of two and beyond significant involvement of Phe residues and methylated Arg #107 was found. Met #167 was more perturbed than Met #20; hence, more extensive interaction of the lipid is occurring with the C‐terminus of the protein than with the N‐terminus. No resonances from GM1 bound to MBP at mole ratios of up to one appeared in the spectra. However, as the GM1/MBP mole ratio was increased to eight or greater a major conformational change of MBP was detected. An upfield shift of the GM1 midchain methylene resonance was observed for the GM1/MBP complex. This observation provides strong evidence that the state of GM1 interacting with MBP is different from that of GM1 micelles. The number of saturable GM1 binding sites on MBP is estimated to be four. The data also favor a rapid exchange between bound GM1 and GM1 micelles. Interaction of MBP with the oligosaccharide derived from GM1 was found to be weaker than with GM1. Based on our data, a model for the interaction can be proposed: the first GM1 molecule is bound to the protein molecule through its head group and hydrocarbon chains, followed by the formation of a GM1/MBP complex with a concomitant conformational change of MBP as more GM1 is added.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-393
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes


  • gangliosides
  • myelin basic protein
  • nuclear magnetic resonance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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