Cysteine-scanning analysis of helices TM8, TM9a, and TM9b and intervening loops in the YgfO xanthine permease: a carboxyl group is essential at ASP-276.
ABSTRACT Bacterial and fungal members of the ubiquitous nucleobase-ascorbate transporter (NAT/NCS2) family use the NAT signature motif, a conserved 11-amino acid sequence between amphipathic helices TM9a and TM9b, to define function and selectivity of the purine binding site. To examine the role of flanking helices TM9a, TM9b, and TM8, we employed Cys-scanning analysis of the xanthine-specific homolog YgfO from Escherichia coli. Using a functional mutant devoid of Cys residues (C-less), each amino acid residue in sequences (259)FLVVGTIYLLSVLEAVGDITATAMVSRRPIQGEEYQSRLKGGVLADGLVSVIASAV(314) and (342)TIAVMLVILGLFP(354) including these TMs (underlined) was replaced individually with Cys, except the irreplaceable Glu-272 and Asp-304, which had been studied previously. Of 67 single Cys mutants, 55 accumulate xanthine to 35-140% of the steady state observed with C-less, five (I265C, D276C, I277C, G299C, L350C) accumulate to low levels (10-20%) and seven (T278C, A279C, T280C, A281C, G305C, G351C, P354C) show negligible expression in the membrane. Extensive mutagenesis reveals that a carboxyl group is needed at Asp-276 for high activity and that D276E differs from wild type as it recognizes 8-methylxanthine (K(i) 79 μm) but fails to recognize 2-thioxanthine, 3-methylxanthine or 6-thioxanthine; bulky replacements of Ala-279 or Thr-280 and replacements of Gly-305, Gly-351, or Pro-354 impair activity or expression. Single Cys mutants V261C, A273C, G275C, and S284C are sensitive to inactivation by N-ethylmaleimide and sensitivity of G275C (IC(50) 15 μm) is enhanced in the presence of substrate. The data suggest that residues crucial for the transport mechanism cluster in two conserved motifs, at the cytoplasmic end of TM8 (EXXGDXXAT) and in TM9a (GXXXDG).
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ABSTRACT: The coding potential of the genome of E. coli K-12 includes YgfO and YicE, two members of the evolutionarily conserved NAT/NCS2 transporter family that are highly homologous to each other (45% residue identity) and closely related to UapA of Aspergillus nidulans, a most extensively studied microbial member of this family. YgfO and yicE were cloned from the genome, over-expressed extrachromosomally and assayed for uptake of [(3)H]xanthine and other nucleobases, in E. coli K-12, under conditions of negligible activity of the corresponding endogenous systems. Alternative, essentially equivalent functional versions of YgfO and YicE were engineered by C-terminal tagging with an epitope from the E. coli lactose permease and a biotin-acceptor domain from Klebsiella pneumoniae. Both YgfO and YicE were shown to be present in the plasma membrane of E. coli and function as specific, high-affinity transporters for xanthine (K(m) 4.2-4.6 microM for YgfO, or 2.9-3.8 microM for YicE), in a proton motive force-dependent manner; they display no detectable transport of uracil, hypoxanthine, or uric acid at external concentrations of up to 0.1 mM. Both YgfO and YicE are inefficient in recognizing uric acid or xanthine analogues modified at position 8 of the purine ring (8-methylxanthine, 8-azaxanthine, oxypurinol, allopurinol), which distinguishes them from their fungal homologues UapA and Xut1.Molecular Membrane Biology 01/2005; 22(3):251-61. · 3.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Nucleobases are important compounds that constitute nucleosides and nucleic acids. Although it has long been suggested that specific transporters are involved in their intestinal absorption and uptake in other tissues, none of their molecular entities have been identified in mammals to date. Here we describe identification of rat Slc23a4 as the first sodium-dependent nucleobase transporter (rSNBT1). The mRNA of rSNBT1 was expressed highly and only in the small intestine. When transiently expressed in HEK293 cells, rSNBT1 could transport uracil most efficiently. The transport of uracil mediated by rSNBT1 was sodium-dependent and saturable with a Michaelis constant of 21.2 microM. Thymine, guanine, hypoxanthine, and xanthine were also transported, but adenine was not. It was also suggested by studies of the inhibitory effect on rSNBT1-mediated uracil transport that several nucleobase analogs such as 5-fluorouracil are recognized by rSNBT1, but cytosine and nucleosides are not or only poorly recognized. Furthermore, rSNBT1 fused with green fluorescent protein was mainly localized at the apical membrane, when stably expressed in polarized Madin-Darby canine kidney II cells. These characteristics of rSNBT1 were almost fully in agreement with those of the carrier-mediated transport system involved in intestinal uracil uptake. Therefore, it is likely that rSNBT1 is its molecular entity or at least in part responsible for that. It was also found that the gene orthologous to the rSNBT1 gene is genetically defective in humans. This may have a biological and evolutional meaning in the transport and metabolism of nucleobases. The present study provides novel insights into the specific transport and metabolism of nucleobases and their analogs for therapeutic use.Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2010; 285(9):6522-31. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: UapA, a member of the NAT/NCS2 family, is a high affinity, high capacity, uric acid-xanthine/H+ symporter of Aspergillus nidulans. We have previously presented evidence showing that a highly conserved signature motif ([Q/E/P]408-N-X-G-X-X-X-X-T-[R/K/G])417 is involved in UapA function. Here, we present a systematic mutational analysis of conserved residues in or close to the signature motif of UapA. We show that even the most conservative substitutions of residues Q408, N409 and G411 modify the kinetics and specificity of UapA, without affecting targeting in the plasma membrane. Q408 substitutions show that this residue determines both substrate binding and transport catalysis, possibly via interactions with position N9 of the imidazole ring of purines. Residue N409 is an irreplaceable residue necessary for transport catalysis, but is not involved in substrate binding. Residue G411 determines, indirectly, both the kinetics (K(m), V) and specificity of UapA, probably due to its particular property to confer local flexibility in the binding site of UapA. In silico predictions and a search in structural databases strongly suggest that the first part of the NAT signature motif of UapA (Q(408)NNG(411)) should form a loop, the structure of which is mostly affected by mutations in G411. Finally, substitutions of residues T416 and R417, despite being much better tolerated, can also affect the kinetics or the specificity of UapA. Our results show that the NAT signature motif defines the function of the UapA purine translocation pathway and strongly suggest that this might occur by determining the interactions of UapA with the imidazole part of purines.Journal of Molecular Biology 08/2005; 350(3):499-513. · 3.91 Impact Factor