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: The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a Cl(-) channel that governs the quantity and composition of epithelial secretions. CFTR function is normally tightly controlled as dysregulation can lead to life-threatening diseases such as secretory diarrhoea and cystic fibrosis. CFTR activity is regulated by phosphorylation of its cytosolic regulatory (R) domain, and ATP binding and hydrolysis at two nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs). Here, we report that CFTR activity is also controlled by extracellular Cl(-) concentration ([Cl(-)]o). Patch clamp current recordings show that a rise in [Cl(-)]o stimulates CFTR channel activity, an effect conferred by a single arginine residue, R899, in extracellular loop 4 of the protein. Using NBD mutants and ATP dose response studies in WT channels, we determined that [Cl(-)]o sensing was linked to changes in ATP binding energy at NBD1, which likely impacts NBD dimer stability. Biochemical measurements showed that increasing [Cl(-)]o decreased the intrinsic ATPase activity of CFTR mainly through a reduction in maximal ATP turnover. Our studies indicate that sensing [Cl(-)]o is a novel mechanism for regulating CFTR activity and suggest that the luminal ionic environment is an important physiological arbiter of CFTR function, which has significant implications for salt and fluid homeostasis in epithelial tissues.Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology 10/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00424-014-1618-8 · 3.07 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cystic fibrosis, the most common lethal genetic disease affecting young people in North America, is caused by failure of the chloride ion channel known as CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator). CFTR belongs to the large family of ATP-Binding Cassette (ABC) membrane transporters. In CFTR, ATP-driven events at the nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs) open and close a gate that controls chloride permeation. However, the conformational changes concomitant with opening and closing of the CFTR gate are unknown. Diverse techniques including substituted cysteine accessibility method, disulfide cross-linking and patch-clamp recording have been used to explore CFTR channel structure. Here, we consider the architecture of both the open and the closed CFTR channel. We review how CFTR channel structure changes between the closed and the open channel conformations, and portray the relative function of both cytoplasmic and vestigial gates during the gating cycle. Understanding how the CFTR channel gates chloride permeation is central for understanding how CFTR defects lead to CF. Such knowledge opens the door for novel ways to maximize CFTR channel activity in a CF setting.Biochemistry and Cell Biology 09/2014; 92(6). DOI:10.1139/bcb-2014-0038 · 2.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Activity of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel is thought to be controlled by cytoplasmic factors. However, recent evidence has shown that overall channel activity is also influenced by extracellular anions that interact directly with the extracellular loops (ECLs) of the CFTR protein. Very little is known about the structure of the ECLs or how substances interacting with these ECLs might affect CFTR function. We used patch-clamp recording to investigate the accessibility of cysteine-reactive reagents to cysteines introduced throughout ECL1 and 2 key sites in ECL4. Furthermore, interactions between ECL1 and ECL4 were investigated by the formation of disulfide crosslinks between cysteines introduced into these 2 regions. Crosslinks could be formed between R899C (in ECL4) and a number of sites in ECL1 in a manner that was dependent on channel activity, suggesting that the relative orientation of these 2 loops changes on activation. Formation of these crosslinks inhibited channel function, suggesting that relative movement of these ECLs is important to normal channel function. Implications of these findings for the effects of mutations in the ECLs that are associated with cystic fibrosis and interactions with extracellular substances that influence channel activity are discussed.Biochemistry and Cell Biology 08/2014; 92(5):1-7. DOI:10.1139/bcb-2014-0066 · 2.35 Impact Factor