Binding of ADP in the mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier is driven by an electrostatic funnel
ABSTRACT The ADP/ATP carrier (AAC) is a membrane protein of paramount importance for the energy-fueling function of the mitochondria, transporting ADP from the intermembrane space to the matrix and ATP in the opposite direction. On the basis of the high-resolution, 2.2-A structure of the bovine carrier, a total of 0.53 micros of classical molecular dynamics simulations were conducted in a realistic membrane environment to decipher the early events of ADP (3-) translocation across the inner membrane of the mitochondria. Examination of apo-AAC underscores the impermeable nature of the carrier, impeding passive transport of permeants toward the matrix. The electrostatic funnel illuminated from three-dimensional mapping of the electrostatic potential forms a privileged passageway anticipated to drive the diphosphate nucleotide rapidly toward the bottom of the internal cavity. This conjecture is verified in the light of repeated, independent numerical experiments, whereby the permeant is dropped near the mouth of the mitochondrial carrier. Systematic association of ADP (3-) to the crevice of the AAC, an early event in its transport across the inner membrane, is accompanied by the formation of an intricate network of noncovalent bonds. Simulations relying on the use of an adaptive biasing force reveal for the first time that the proposed binding site corresponds to a minimum of the free energy landscape delineating the translocation of ADP (3-) in the carrier. The present work paves the way to the design of novel nucleotides and new experiments aimed at unveiling key structural features in the chronology of ADP/ATP transport across the mitochondrial membrane.
SourceAvailable from: Edmund R S Kunji[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial carriers, including uncoupling proteins, are unstable in detergents, which hampers structural and mechanistic studies. To investigate carrier stability, we have purified ligand-free carriers and assessed their stability with a fluorescence-based thermostability assay that monitors protein unfolding with a thiol-reactive dye. We find that mitochondrial carriers from both mesophilic and thermophilic organisms exhibit poor stability in mild detergents, indicating that instability is inherent to the protein family. Trends in the thermostability of yeast ADP/ATP carrier AAC2 and ovine uncoupling protein UCP1 allow optimal conditions for stability in detergents to be established, but also provide mechanistic insights into the interactions of lipids, substrates and inhibitors with these proteins. Both proteins exhibit similar stability profiles across various detergents, where stability increases with the size of the associated detergent micelle. Detailed analysis shows that lipids stabilise carriers indirectly by increasing the associated detergent micelle size, but cardiolipin stabilises by direct interactions as well. Cardiolipin reverses destabilising effects of ADP and bongkrekic acid on AAC2 and enhances large stabilising effects of carboxyatractyloside, revealing that this lipid interacts in the m-state and possibly other states of the transport cycle, despite being in a dynamic interface. Fatty acid activators destabilise UCP1 in a similar way, which can also be prevented by cardiolipin, indicating that they interact like transport substrates. Our controls show that carriers can be soluble but unfolded in some commonly used detergents, such as the zwitterionic Fos-choline-12, which emphasises the need for simple validation assays like the one used here. Copyright © 2015, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2015; DOI:10.1074/jbc.M114.616607 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Modulation of cellular energy expenditure is fundamental to normal and pathological cell growth and differentiation. Mitochondria stores energy as a proton gradient across their inner membrane. Uncoupling proteins (UCPs) can dissipate the gradient to produce heat or regulate metabolite fluxes. UCP-mediated proton currents require fatty acids (FAs) and are blocked by nucleotides, but the molecular basis of these processes is unknown. We find, by nuclear magnetic resonance and functional mutagenesis, that UCP2 can bind FAs laterally through its peripheral site, and this intramembrane molecular recognition is essential for UCP2-catalyzed FA flipping across the membrane, which in turn is essential for proton translocation. The antagonist GDP binds inside the UCP2 cavity and perturbs its conformation, which can displace FA from the peripheral site as a mean of inhibiting proton currents. Our data provide a biophysical perspective of the intricate interplay of UCPs, FA, and nucleotides in determining proton fluxes in mitochondria.Cell Metabolism 08/2014; 20(3). DOI:10.1016/j.cmet.2014.07.004 · 16.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In animal and plant cells, the ATP/ADP ratio and/or energy charge are generally considered key parameters regulating metabolism and respiration. The major alternative issue of whether the cytosolic and mitochondrial concentrations of ADP and ATP directly mediate cell respiration remains unclear, however. In addition, because only free nucleotides are exchanged by the mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier, whereas MgADP is the substrate of ATP synthase (EC 18.104.22.168), the cytosolic and mitochondrial Mg(2+) concentrations must be considered as well. Here we developed in vivo/in vitro techniques using (31)P-NMR spectroscopy to simultaneously measure these key components in subcellular compartments. We show that heterotrophic sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) cells incubated in various nutrient media contain low, stable cytosolic ADP and Mg(2+) concentrations, unlike ATP. ADP is mainly free in the cytosol, but complexed by Mg(2+) in the mitochondrial matrix, where [Mg(2+)] is tenfold higher. In contrast, owing to a much higher affinity for Mg(2+), ATP is mostly complexed by Mg(2+) in both compartments. Mg(2+) starvation used to alter cytosolic and mitochondrial [Mg(2+)] reversibly increases free nucleotide concentration in the cytosol and matrix, enhances ADP at the expense of ATP, decreases coupled respiration, and stops cell growth. We conclude that the cytosolic ADP concentration, and not ATP, ATP/ADP ratio, or energy charge, controls the respiration of plant cells. The Mg(2+) concentration, remarkably constant and low in the cytosol and tenfold higher in the matrix, mediates ADP/ATP exchange between the cytosol and matrix, [MgADP]-dependent mitochondrial ATP synthase activity, and cytosolic free ADP homeostasis.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2014; 111(43). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1406251111 · 9.81 Impact Factor