Nanodiscs are an example of discoidal nanoscale self-assembled lipid/protein particles similar to nascent high-density lipoproteins, which reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. The major protein component of high-density lipoproteins is human apolipoprotein A-I, and the corresponding protein component of Nanodiscs is membrane scaffold protein 1 (MSP1), a 200-residue lipid-binding domain of human apolipoprotein A-I. Here we present magic-angle spinning (MAS) solid-state NMR studies of uniformly 13C,15N-labeled MSP1 in polyethylene glycol precipitated Nanodiscs. Two-dimensional MAS 13C-13C correlation spectra show excellent microscopic order of MSP1 in precipitated Nanodiscs. Secondary isotropic chemical shifts throughout the protein are consistent with a predominantly helical structure. Moreover, the backbone conformations of prolines derived from their 13C chemical shifts are consistent with the molecular belt model but not the picket fence model of lipid-bound MSP1. Overall comparison of experimental spectra and 13C chemical shifts predicted from several structural models also favors the belt model. Our study thus supports the belt model of Nanodisc structure and demonstrates the utility of MAS NMR to study the structure of high molecular weight lipid-protein complexes.
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