Alternating access to the transmembrane domain of the ATP-binding cassette protein cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (ABCC7).
ABSTRACT The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel is a member of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) protein family, most members of which act as active transporters. Actively transporting ABC proteins are thought to alternate between "outwardly facing" and "inwardly facing" conformations of the transmembrane substrate pathway. In CFTR, it is assumed that the outwardly facing conformation corresponds to the channel open state, based on homology with other ABC proteins. We have used patch clamp recording to quantify the rate of access of cysteine-reactive probes to cysteines introduced into two different transmembrane regions of CFTR from both the intracellular and extracellular solutions. Two probes, the large [2-sulfonatoethyl]methanethiosulfonate (MTSES) molecule and permeant Au(CN)(2)(-) ions, were applied to either side of the membrane to modify cysteines substituted for Leu-102 (first transmembrane region) and Thr-338 (sixth transmembrane region). Channel opening and closing were altered by mutations in the nucleotide binding domains of the channel. We find that, for both MTSES and Au(CN)(2)(-), access to these two cysteines from the cytoplasmic side is faster in open channels, whereas access to these same sites from the extracellular side is faster in closed channels. These results are consistent with alternating access to the transmembrane regions, however with the open state facing inwardly and the closed state facing outwardly. Our findings therefore prompt revision of current CFTR structural and mechanistic models, as well as having broader implications for transport mechanisms in all ABC proteins. Our results also suggest possible locations of both functional and dysfunctional ("vestigial") gates within the CFTR permeation pathway.
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ABSTRACT: Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a member of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter superfamily, but little is known about how this ion channel that harbors an uninterrupted ion permeation pathway evolves from a transporter that works by alternately exposing its substrate conduit to the two sides of the membrane. Here, we assessed reactivity of intracellularly applied thiol-specific probes with cysteine residues substituted into the 12th transmembrane segment (TM12) of CFTR. Our experimental data showing high reaction rates of substituted cysteines toward the probes, strong blocker protection of cysteines against reaction, and reaction-induced alterations in channel conductance support the idea that TM12 of CFTR contributes to the lining of the ion permeation pathway. Together with previous work, these findings raise the possibility that pore-lining elements of CFTR involve structural components resembling those that form the substrate translocation pathway of ABC transporters. In addition, comparison of reaction rates in the open and closed states of the CFTR channel leads us to propose that upon channel opening, the wide cytoplasmic vestibule tightens and the pore-lining TM12 rotates along its helical axis. This simple model for gating conformational changes in the inner pore domain of CFTR argues that the gating transition of CFTR and the transport cycle of ABC proteins share analogous conformational changes. Collectively, our data corroborate the popular hypothesis that degradation of the cytoplasmic-side gate turned an ABC transporter into the CFTR channel.The Journal of General Physiology 11/2011; 138(5):495-507. · 4.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The variety of methods used to identify the structural determinants of anion selectivity in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator Cl(-) channel has made it difficult to assemble the data into a coherent framework that describes the three-dimensional structure of the pore. Here, we compare the relative importance of sites previously studied and identify new sites that contribute strongly to anion selectivity. We studied Cl(-) and substitute anions in oocytes expressing wild-type cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator or 12-pore-domain mutants to determine relative permeability and relative conductance for 9 monovalent anions and 1 divalent anion. The data indicate that the region of strong discrimination resides between T338 and S341 in transmembrane 6, where mutations affected selectivity between Cl(-) and both large and small anions. Mutations further toward the extracellular end of the pore only strongly affected selectivity between Cl(-) and larger anions. Only mutations at S341 affected selectivity between monovalent and divalent anions. The data are consistent with a narrowing of the pore between the extracellular end and a constriction near the middle of the pore.AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 11/2001; 281(4):L852-67. · 3.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The human ATP-binding cassette (ABC) protein CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) is a chloride channel, whose dysfunction causes cystic fibrosis. To gain structural insight into the dynamic interaction between CFTR's nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs) proposed to underlie channel gating, we introduced target cysteines into the NBDs, expressed the channels in Xenopus oocytes, and used in vivo sulfhydryl-specific crosslinking to directly examine the cysteines' proximity. We tested five cysteine pairs, each comprising one introduced cysteine in the NH(2)-terminal NBD1 and another in the COOH-terminal NBD2. Identification of crosslinked product was facilitated by co-expression of NH(2)-terminal and COOH-terminal CFTR half channels each containing one NBD. The COOH-terminal half channel lacked all native cysteines. None of CFTR's 18 native cysteines was found essential for wild type-like, phosphorylation- and ATP-dependent, channel gating. The observed crosslinks demonstrate that NBD1 and NBD2 interact in a head-to-tail configuration analogous to that in homodimeric crystal structures of nucleotide-bound prokaryotic NBDs. CFTR phosphorylation by PKA strongly promoted both crosslinking and opening of the split channels, firmly linking head-to-tail NBD1-NBD2 association to channel opening.The EMBO Journal 11/2006; 25(20):4728-39. · 9.82 Impact Factor