Article

Cysteine-scanning Mutagenesis Reveals a Highly Amphipathic, Pore-lining Membrane-spanning Helix in the Glutamate Transporter GltT

Department of Microbiology, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, University of Groningen, 9751 NN Haren, The Netherlands.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.65). 05/2001; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M011064200
Source: OAI

ABSTRACT The carboxyl-terminal membrane-spanning segment 8 of the glutamate transporter GltT of Bacillus stearothermophilus was studied by cysteine-scanning mutagenesis. 21 single cysteine mutants were constructed in a stretch ranging from Gly-374 to Gln-404. Two mutants were not expressed, four were inactive, and two showed severely reduced glutamate transport activity. Cysteine mutations at the other positions were well tolerated. Only the two most amino- and carboxyl-terminal mutants (G374C, I375C, S399C, and Q404C) could be labeled with the large thiol reagent fluorescein maleimide, indicating unrestricted access and a location in a loop structure outside the membrane. The labeling pattern of these mutants using membrane- permeable and -impermeable thiol reagents showed that the N and C termini of the mutated stretch are located extra- and intracellularly, respectively. Thus, the location of the membrane-spanning segment was confined to a stretch of 23 residues between Gly-374 and Ser-399. Cysteine residues in three mutants in the central part of the segment (M381C, V388C, and N391C) could be labeled with the small and flexible reagent 2-aminoethyl methanethiosulfonate hydrobromide only, suggesting accessibility via a narrow aqueous pore. When the region was modeled as an α-helix, all positions at which cysteine mutations lead to inactive or severely impaired transporters cluster on one face of this helix. The inactive mutants showed neither proton motive force-driven uptake activity nor exchange activity nor glutamate binding. The results indicate that transmembrane segment 8 forms an amphipathic α-helix. The hydrophilic face of the helix lines an aqueous pore and contains many residues that are important for activity.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
31 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Archaeal glutamate transporter homologs catalyze the coupled uptake of aspartate and three sodium ions. After the delivery of the substrate and sodium ions to the cytoplasm, the empty binding site must reorient to the outward-facing conformation to reset the transporter. Here, we report a crystal structure of the substrate-free transporter GltTk from Thermococcus kodakarensis, which provides insight into the mechanism of this essential step in the translocation cycle.
    Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 09/2013; · 11.90 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs) are membrane proteins responsible for reuptake of glutamate from the synaptic cleft to terminate neurotransmission and help prevent neurotoxically high, extracellular glutamate concentrations. Important structural information about these proteins emerged from crystal structures of GltPh, a bacterial homologue of EAATs, in conformations facing outward and inward. These remarkably different conformations are considered to be end points of the substrate translocation path (STP), suggesting that the transport mechanism involves major conformational rearrangements that remain uncharted. To investigate possible steps in the structural transitions of the STP between the two end-point conformations, we applied a combination of computational modeling methods (motion planning, molecular dynamics simulations, and mixed elastic network models). We found that the conformational changes in the transition involve mainly the repositioning the "transport domain" and the "trimerization domain" identified previously in the crystal structures. The two domains move in opposite directions along the membrane normal, and the transport domain also tilts by ∼17° with respect to this axis. Moreover, the TM3-4 loop undergoes a flexible, "restraining bar"-like conformational change with respect to the transport domain. As a consequence of these conformational rearrangements along the transition path we calculated a significant decrease of nearly 20% in the area of the transport-to-trimerization domain interface (TTDI). Water penetrates parts of the TTDI in the modeled intermediates but very much less in the end-point conformations. We show that these characteristics of the modeled intermediate states agree with experimental results from residue-accessibility studies in individual monomers and identify specific residues that can be used to test the proposed STP. Moreover, MD simulations of complete GltPh trimers constructed from initially identical monomer intermediates suggest that asymmetry can appear in the trimer, consonant with available experimental data showing independent transport kinetics by individual monomers in the trimers.
    The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 04/2012; 116(18):5372-83. · 3.61 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Conformational changes induced by ATP hydrolysis on actin are involved in the regulation of complex actin networks. Previous structural and biochemical data implicate the DNase I binding loop (D-loop) of actin in such nucleotide-dependent changes. Here, we investigated the structural and conformational states of the D-loop (in solution) using cysteine scanning mutagenesis and site-directed labeling. The reactivity of D-loop cysteine mutants toward acrylodan and the mobility of spin labels on these mutants do not show patterns of an α-helical structure in monomeric and filamentous actin, irrespective of the bound nucleotide. Upon transition from monomeric to filamentous actin, acrylodan emission spectra and electron paramagnetic resonance line shapes of labeled mutants are blue-shifted and more immobilized, respectively, with the central residues (residues 43-47) showing the most drastic changes. Moreover, complex electron paramagnetic resonance line shapes of spin-labeled mutants suggest several conformational states of the D-loop. Together with a new (to our knowledge) actin crystal structure that reveals the D-loop in a unique hairpin conformation, our data suggest that the D-loop equilibrates in F-actin among different conformational states irrespective of the nucleotide state of actin.
    Biophysical Journal 09/2012; 103(5):930-9. · 3.67 Impact Factor

Full-text

View
0 Downloads
Available from