Baruch I. Kanner

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, Israel

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Publications (141)828 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Crystal structures of the archeal homologue GltPh have provided important insights into the molecular mechanism of transport of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. Whereas mammalian glutamate transporters can translocate both glutamate and aspartate, GltPh is only capable of aspartate transport. Most of the amino acid residues that surround the aspartate substrate in the binding pocket of GltPh are highly conserved. However, in the brain transporters, Thr-352 and Met-362 of the reentrant hairpin loop 2 (HP2) are replaced by the smaller Ala and Thr, respectively. Therefore we have studied the effects of T352A and M362T on binding and transport of aspartate and glutamate by GltPh. Substrate-dependent intrinsic fluorescence changes were monitored in transporter constructs containing the L130W mutation. GltPh-L130W/T352A exhibited an approximately 15-fold higher apparent affinity for L-glutamate than the wild type transporter, and the M362T mutation resulted in an increased affinity of approximately 40-fold. An even larger increase of the apparent affinity for L-glutamate, around 130-fold higher than that of wild type, was observed with the T352A/M362T double mutant. Radioactive uptake experiments show that GltPh-T352A not only transports aspartate, but also L-glutamate. Remarkably, GltPh-M362T exhibited L-aspartate but not L-glutamate transport. The double mutant retained the ability to transport L-glutamate but its kinetic parameters were very similar to those of GltPh-T352A alone. The differential impact of mutation on binding and transport of glutamate suggests that HP2 not only plays a role in the selection of the substrate but also in its translocation.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2015; DOI:10.1074/jbc.M115.682666 · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • Maram Hilwi · Oshrat Dayan · Baruch I Kanner ·
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    ABSTRACT: The sodium- and chloride-coupled GABA transporter GAT-1 is a member of the neurotransmitter:sodium:symporters, which are crucial for synaptic transmission. Structural work on the bacterial homologue LeuT suggests that extracellular loop 4 closes the extracellular solvent pathway when the transporter becomes inward-facing. To test whether this model can be extrapolated to GAT-1, cysteine residues were introduced at positions 359 and 448 of extracellular loop 4 and transmembrane helix 10, respectively. Treatment of HeLa cells, expressing the double cysteine mutant S359C/K448C with the oxidizing reagent copper(II)(1,10-phenantroline)3, resulted in a significant inhibition of [3H]GABA transport. However, transport by the single cysteine mutant S359C was also inhibited by the oxidant, whereas its activity was almost 4-fold stimulated by dithiothreitol. Both effects were attenuated when the conserved cysteine residues, Cys-164 and/or Cys-173, were replaced by serine. These cysteines are located in extracellular loop 2, the role of which in the structure and function of the eukaryotic neurotransmitter:sodium:symporters remains unknown. The inhibition of transport of S359C by the oxidant was markedly reduced under conditions expected to increase the proportion of inward-facing transporters, whereas the reactivity of the mutants to a membrane-impermeant sulfhydryl reagent was not conformationally sensitive. Our data suggest that extracellular loops 2 and 4 come into close proximity to each other in the outward-facing conformation of GAT-1.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2014; 289(49). DOI:10.1074/jbc.M114.593061 · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • Oshrat Dayan · Assaf Ben-Yona · Baruch I Kanner ·
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    ABSTRACT: GAT-1 is a sodium- and chloride-coupled GABA transporter and a member of the neurotransmitter:sodium: symporters, which are crucial for synaptic transmission. The structure of bacterial homologue LeuT shows a thin extracellular gate consisting of a charge and an aromatic pair. Here we addressed the question if mutation of the aromatic and charge pair residues of GAT-1 has similar consequences. In contrast to charge pair mutants, significant radioactive GABA transport was retained by mutants of the aromatic pair residue Phe-294. Moreover, the magnitude of maximal transport currents induced by GABA by these mutants was comparable to those by wild type GAT-1. However, the apparent affinity of the non-conserved mutants for GABA was reduced up to 20-fold relative to wild type. The voltage dependence of the sodium-dependent transient currents of the Phe-294 mutants was similar to that of the wild type. On the other hand, the conserved charge pair mutant D451E exhibited a right-shifted voltage dependence indicating an increased apparent affinity for sodium. In further contrast to D451E, where the extracellular aqueous accessibility of an endogenous cysteine residue to a membrane impermeant sulfhydryl reagent was increased relative to wild type, this was not the case for the aromatic pair mutants. Our data indicate that, in contrast to the charge pair, the aromatic pair is not essential for gating. Instead they are compatible with the idea that they serve to diminish dissociation of the substrate from the binding pocket.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2014; 289(41). DOI:10.1074/jbc.M114.589721 · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Mustafa Shabaneh · Noa Rosental · Baruch I. Kanner ·
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    ABSTRACT: Excitatory amino acid transporters remove synaptically released glutamate and maintain its concentrations below neurotoxic levels. EAATs also mediate a thermodynamically uncoupled substrate-gated anion conductance that may modulate cell excitability. A structure of an archeal homologue, which reflects an early intermediate on the proposed substrate translocation path, has been suggested to be similar to an anion conducting conformation. To probe this idea by functional studies, we have introduced two cysteine residues in the neuronal glutamate transporter EAAC1 at positions predicted to be close enough to form a disulfide bond only in outward-facing and early intermediate conformations of the homologue. Upon treatment of Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing the W441C/K269C double mutant with dithiothreitol, radioactive transport was stimulated more than two-fold but potently inhibited by low micromolar concentrations of the oxidizing reagent Copper(II)(1,10-Phenanthroline)3. The substrate-induced currents by the untreated double mutant, reversed at around -20mV, close to the reversal potential of chloride, but treatment with dithiothreitol resulted in transport currents with the same voltage dependence as the wild type. It appears therefore that in the oocyte expression system the introduced cysteine residues in many of the mutant transporters are already crosslinked and are only capable to mediate the substrate-gated anion conductance. Reduction of the disulfide bond now allows these transporters to execute the full transport cycle. Our functional data support the idea that the anion conducting conformation of the neuronal glutamate transporter is associated with an early step of the transport cycle.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2014; 289(16). DOI:10.1074/jbc.M114.550277 · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • Baruch I Kanner ·
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    ABSTRACT: Sodium-coupled glutamate transporters regulate excitatory signaling in the brain. A new crystal structure shows how the substrate induces changes in the binding pocket of an archaeal transporter homolog, providing new insights into the mechanism of transport.
    Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 10/2013; 20(10):1142-1144. DOI:10.1038/nsmb.2685 · 13.31 Impact Factor
  • Assaf Ben-Yona · Baruch I Kanner ·
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    ABSTRACT: The GABA transporter GAT-1 belongs to the neurotransmitter:sodium:symporters which are crucial for synaptic transmission. GAT-1 mediates electrogenic transport of GABA together with sodium and chloride. Structure-function studies indicate that the bacterial homologue LeuT, which possess extra- and intra-cellular thin gates, is an excellent model for this class of neurotransmitter transporters. We recently showed that a conserved aspartate residue of GAT-1, Asp-451, whose LeuT equivalent participates in its thin extracellular gate, is functionally irreplaceable in GAT-1. Only the D451E mutant exhibited residual transport activity but with an elevated apparent sodium affinity as a consequence of an increased proportion of outward-facing transporters. Because during transport the opening and closing of external and internal gates should be tightly coupled, we have addressed the question if mutations of the intracellular thin gate residues Arg-44 and Asp-410 can compensate for the effects of their extracellular counterparts. Mutation of Asp-410 to glutamate resulted in impaired transport activity and a reduced apparent affinity for sodium. However, the transport activity of the double mutant D410E/D451E was increased by around ten-fold of that of each of the single mutants. Similar compensatory effects were also seen when other combinations of intra- and extra-cellular thin gate mutants were analyzed. Moreover the introduction of D410E into the D451E background resulted in lower apparent sodium affinity than that of D451E alone. Our results indicate that a functional interaction of the external and internal gates of GAT-1 is essential for transport.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2013; 288(7). DOI:10.1074/jbc.M112.430215 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glutamate transporters in the brain remove the neurotransmitter from the synapse by co-transport with three sodium ions into the surrounding cells. Recent structural work on an archeal homologue suggests that during substrate translocation, the transport domain, including the peripheral transmembrane helix (TM) 3, moves relative to the trimerization domain in an elevator-like process. Moreover, two TM3 residues have been proposed to form part of a transient Na3-prime site and another, Tyr-124, appears close to both Na3-prime and Na1. To obtain independent evidence for the role of TM3 in glutamate transport, each of its thirty one amino acid residues from the glial GLT-1 transporter was individually mutated to cysteine. Except for six mutants, substantial transport activity was detected. Aqueous accessibility of the introduced cysteines was probed with membrane permeant and impermeant sulfhydryl reagents under a variety of conditions. Transport of six single cysteine mutants, all located on the intracellular side of TM3, was affected by membrane permeant sulfhydryl reagents. However, only at two positions could ligands modulate the reactivity. A120C reactivity was diminished under conditions expected to favor the outward-facing conformation of the transporter. Sulfhydryl modification of Y124C by 2-aminoethyl methanethiosulfonate, but not by N-ethylmaleimide, was fully protected in the presence of sodium. Our data are consistent with the idea that TM3 moves during transport. Moreover, computational modeling indicates that electrostatic repulsion between the positive charge introduced at position 124 and the sodium ions bound at Na3-prime and Na1 underlies the protection by sodium.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2012; 288(2). DOI:10.1074/jbc.M112.403576 · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Shlomit Teichman · Shaogang Qu · Baruch I Kanner ·
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    ABSTRACT: Transporters of the major excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate play a crucial role in glutamatergic neurotransmission by removing their substrate from the synaptic cleft. The transport mechanism involves co-transport of glutamic acid with three Na(+) ions followed by countertransport of one K(+) ion. Structural work on the archeal homologue Glt(Ph) indicates a role of a conserved asparagine in substrate binding. According to a recent proposal, this residue may also participate in a novel Na(+) binding site. In this study, we characterize mutants of this residue from the neuronal transporter EAAC1, Asn-451. None of the mutants, except for N451S, were able to exhibit transport. However, the K(m) of this mutant for l-aspartate was increased ∼30-fold. Remarkably, the increase for d-aspartate and l-glutamate was 250- and 400-fold, respectively. Moreover, the cation specificity of N451S was altered because sodium but not lithium could support transport. A similar change in cation specificity was observed with a mutant of a conserved threonine residue, T370S, also implicated to participate in the novel Na(+) site together with the bound substrate. In further contrast to the wild type transporter, only l-aspartate was able to activate the uncoupled anion conductance by N451S, but with an almost 1000-fold reduction in apparent affinity. Our results not only provide experimental support for the Na(+) site but also suggest a distinct orientation of the substrate in the binding pocket during the activation of the anion conductance.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2012; 287(21):17198-205. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M112.355040 · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • Assaf Ben-Yona · Baruch I Kanner ·
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    ABSTRACT: GAT-1 mediates transport of GABA together with sodium and chloride in an electrogenic process enabling efficient GABAergic transmission. Biochemical and modeling studies based on the structure of the bacterial homologue LeuT are consistent with a mechanism whereby the binding pocket is alternately accessible to either side of the membrane and which predicts that the extracellular part of transmembrane domain 10 (TM10) exhibits aqueous accessibility in the outward-facing conformation only. In this study we have engineered cysteine residues in the extracellular half of TM10 of GAT-1 and probed their state-dependent accessibility to sulfhydryl reagents. In three out of four of the accessible cysteine mutants, the inhibition of transport by a membrane impermeant sulfhydryl reagent was diminished under conditions expected to increase the proportion of inward-facing transporters, such as the presence of GABA together with the cotransported ions. A conserved TM10 aspartate residue, whose LeuT counterpart participates in a "thin" extracellular gate, was found to be essential for transport and only the D451E mutant exhibited residual transport activity. D451E exhibited robust sodium-dependent transient currents with a voltage-dependence indicative of an increased apparent affinity for sodium. Moreover the accessibility of an endogenous cysteine to a membrane impermeant sulfhydryl reagent was enhanced by the D451E mutation, suggesting that sodium binding promotes an outward-facing conformation of the transporter. Our results support the idea that TM10 of GAT-1 lines an accessibility pathway from the extracellular space into the binding pocket and plays a role in the opening and closing of the extracellular transporter gate.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2012; 287(10):7159-68. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M111.323634 · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • Noa Rosental · Armanda Gameiro · Christof Grewer · Baruch I Kanner ·
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    ABSTRACT: In the brain, transporters of the major excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate remove their substrate from the synaptic cleft to allow optimal glutamatergic neurotransmission. Their transport cycle consists of two sequential translocation steps, namely cotransport of glutamic acid with three Na(+) ions, followed by countertransport of K(+). Recent studies, based on several crystal structures of the archeal homologue Glt(Ph), indicate that glutamate translocation occurs by an elevator-like mechanism. The resolution of these structures was not sufficiently high to unambiguously identify the sites of Na(+) binding, but functional and computational studies suggest some candidate sites. In the Glt(Ph) structure, a conserved aspartate residue (Asp-390) is located adjacent to a conserved tyrosine residue, previously shown to be a molecular determinant of ion selectivity in the brain glutamate transporter GLT-1. In this study, we characterize mutants of Asp-440 of the neuronal transporter EAAC1, which is the counterpart of Asp-390 of Glt(Ph). Except for substitution by glutamate, this residue is functionally irreplaceable. Using biochemical and electrophysiological approaches, we conclude that although D440E is intrinsically capable of net flux, this mutant behaves as an exchanger under physiological conditions, due to increased and decreased apparent affinities for Na(+) and K(+), respectively. Our present and previous data are compatible with the idea that the conserved tyrosine and aspartate residues, located at the external end of the binding pocket, may serve as a transient or stable cation binding site in the glutamate transporters.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2011; 286(48):41381-90. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M111.291021 · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • Assaf Ben-Yona · Annie Bendahan · Baruch I Kanner ·
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    ABSTRACT: Neurotransmitter:sodium symporters are crucial for efficient synaptic transmission. The transporter GAT-1 mediates electrogenic cotransport of GABA, sodium, and chloride. The presence of chloride enables the transporter to couple the transport of the neurotransmitter to multiple sodium ions, thereby enabling its accumulation against steep concentration gradients. Here we study the functional impact of mutations of the putative chloride-binding residues on transport by GAT-1, with the emphasis on a conserved glutamine residue. In contrast to another putative chloride coordinating residue, Ser-331, where mutation to glutamate led to chloride-independent GABA transport, the Q291E mutant was devoid of any transport activity, despite substantial expression at the plasma membrane. Low but significant transport activity was observed with substitution mutants with small side chains such as Q291S/A/G. Remarkably, when these mutations were combined with the S331E mutation, transport was increased significantly, even though the activity of the S331E single mutant was only ∼25% of that of wild type GAT-1. Transport by these double mutants was largely chloride-independent. Like mutants of other putative chloride coordinating residues, the apparent affinity of the active Gln-291 single mutants for chloride was markedly reduced along with a change their anion selectivity. In addition to the interaction of the transporter with chloride, Gln-291 is also required at an additional step during transport. Electrophysiological analysis of the Q291N and Q291S mutants, expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, is consistent with the idea that this additional step is associated with the gating of the transporter.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2011; 286(4):2826-33. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M110.149732 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    Yael Elbaz · Tsafi Danieli · Baruch I Kanner · Shimon Schuldiner ·
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    ABSTRACT: Neurotransmitter transporters play essential roles in the process of neurotransmission. Vesicular neurotransmitter transporters mediate storage inside secretory vesicles in a process that involves the exchange of lumenal H(+) for cytoplasmic transmitter. Retrieval of the neurotransmitter from the synaptic cleft catalyzed by sodium-coupled transporters is critical for the termination of the synaptic actions of the released neurotransmitter. Our current understanding of the mechanism of these transporters is based on functional and biochemical characterization but is lacking high-resolution structural information. Very few structures of membrane transport systems from mammalian origin have been solved to atomic resolution, mainly because of the difficulty in obtaining large amounts of purified protein. Development of high yield heterologous expression systems suitable for mammalian neurotransmitter transporters is essential to enable the production of purified protein for structural studies. Such a system makes possible also the production of mutants that can be used in biochemical and biophysical studies. We describe here a screen for the expression of the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) in cell-free and baculovirus expression systems and discuss the expression of VMAT2 in other systems as well (bacterial, yeast and mammalian cell lines). After screening and optimization, we achieved high yield (2-2.5 mg/l) expression of functional VMAT2 in insect cells. The system was also used for the expression of three additional plasma membrane neurotransmitter transporters. All were functional and expressed to high levels. Our results demonstrate the advantages of the baculovirus expression system for the expression of mammalian neurotransmitter transporters in a functional state.
    Protein Expression and Purification 10/2010; 73(2):152-60. DOI:10.1016/j.pep.2010.06.001 · 1.70 Impact Factor
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    Noa Rosental · Baruch I Kanner ·
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    ABSTRACT: Glutamate transporters located in the brain maintain low synaptic concentrations of the neurotransmitter by coupling its flux to that of sodium and other cations. In the binding pocket of the archeal homologue GltPh, a conserved methionine residue has been implicated in the binding of the benzyl moiety of the nontransportable substrate analogue threo-β-benzyloxyaspartate. To determine whether the corresponding methionine residue of the neuronal glutamate transporter EAAC1, Met-367, fulfills a similar role, M367L, M367C, and M367S mutants were expressed in HeLa cells and Xenopus laevis oocytes to monitor radioactive transport and transport currents, respectively. The apparent affinity of the Met-367 mutants for d-aspartate and l-glutamate, but not for l-aspartate, was 10–20-fold reduced as compared with wild type. Unlike wild type, the magnitude of Imax was different for each of the three substrates. d-Glutamate, which is also a transportable substrate of EAAC1, did not elicit any detectable response with M367C and M367S but acted as a nontransportable substrate analogue in M367L. In the mutants, substrates inhibited the anion conductance as opposed to the stimulation observed with wild type. Remarkably, the apparent affinity of the blocker d,l-threo-β-benzyloxyaspartate in the mutants was similar to that of wild type EAAC1. Our results are consistent with the idea that the side chain of Met-367 fulfills a steric role in the positioning of the substrate in the binding pocket in a step subsequent to its initial binding.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2010; 285(28):21241-8. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M109.087163 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The glutamate transporter excitatory amino acid carrier 1 (EAAC1) catalyzes the co-transport of three Na(+) ions, one H(+) ion, and one glutamate molecule into the cell, in exchange for one K(+) ion. Na(+) binding to the glutamate-free form of the transporter generates a high affinity binding site for glutamate and is thus required for transport. Moreover, sodium binding to the transporters induces a basal anion conductance, which is further activated by glutamate. Here, we used the [Na(+)] dependence of this conductance as a read-out of Na(+) binding to the substrate-free transporter to study the impact of a highly conserved amino acid residue, Thr(101), in transmembrane domain 3. The apparent affinity of substrate-free EAAC1 for Na(+) was dramatically decreased by the T101A but not by the T101S mutation. Interestingly, in further contrast to EAAC1(WT), in the T101A mutant this [Na(+)] dependence was biphasic. This behavior can be explained by assuming that the binding of two Na(+) ions prior to glutamate binding is required to generate a high affinity substrate binding site. In contrast to the dramatic effect of the T101A mutation on Na(+) binding, other properties of the transporter, such as its ability to transport glutamate, were impaired but not eliminated. Our results are consistent with the existence of a cation binding site deeply buried in the membrane and involving interactions with the side chain oxygens of Thr(101) and Asp(367). A theoretical valence screening approach confirms that the predicted site of cation interaction has the potential to be a novel, so far undetected sodium binding site.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2010; 285(23):17725-33. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M110.121798 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    Thomas J. Crisman · Shaogang Qu · Baruch Kanner · Lucy Forrest ·

    Biophysical Journal 01/2010; 98(3):628-. DOI:10.1016/j.bpj.2009.12.3440 · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    Thomas J Crisman · Shaogang Qu · Baruch I Kanner · Lucy R Forrest ·
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    ABSTRACT: Glutamate transporters regulate synaptic concentrations of this neurotransmitter by coupling its flux to that of sodium and other cations. Available crystal structures of an archeal homologue of these transporters, GltPh, resemble an extracellular-facing state, in which the bound substrate is occluded only by a small helical hairpin segment called HP2. However, a pathway to the cytoplasmic side of the membrane is not clearly apparent. We previously modeled an alternate state of a transporter from the neurotransmitter:sodium symporter family, which has an entirely different fold, solely on the presence of inverted-topology structural repeats. In GltPh, we identified two distinct sets of inverted-topology repeats and used these repeats to model an inward-facing conformation of the protein. To test this model, we introduced pairs of cysteines into the neuronal glutamate transporter EAAC1, at positions that are >27 A apart in the crystal structures of GltPh, but approximately = 10 A apart in the inward-facing model. Transport by these mutants was activated by pretreatment with the reducing agent dithithreitol. Subsequent treatment with the oxidizing agent copper(II)(1,10-phenantroline)(3) abolished this activation. The inhibition of transport was potentiated under conditions thought to promote the inward-facing conformation of the transporter. By contrast, the inhibition was reduced in the presence of the nontransportable substrate analogue D,L-threo-beta-benzyloxyaspartate, which favors the outward-facing conformation. Other conformation-sensitive accessibility measurements are also accommodated by our inward-facing model. These results suggest that the inclusion of inverted-topology repeats in transporters may provide a general solution to the requirement for two symmetry-related states in a single protein.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2009; 106(49):20752-7. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0908570106 · 9.67 Impact Factor
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    Shlomit Teichman · Shaogang Qu · Baruch I Kanner ·
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    ABSTRACT: Glutamate transporters maintain low synaptic concentrations of neurotransmitter by coupling uptake to flux of other ions. Their transport cycle consists of two separate translocation steps, namely cotransport of glutamic acid with three Na(+) followed by countertransport of K(+). Two Tl(+) binding sites, presumed to serve as sodium sites, were observed in the crystal structure of a related archeal homolog and the side chain of a conserved aspartate residue contributed to one of these sites. We have mutated the corresponding residue of the eukaryotic glutamate transporters GLT-1 and EAAC1 to asparagine, serine, and cysteine. Remarkably, these mutants exhibited significant sodium-dependent radioactive acidic amino acid uptake when expressed in HeLa cells. Reconstitution experiments revealed that net uptake by the mutants in K(+)-loaded liposomes was impaired. However, with Na(+) and unlabeled L-aspartate inside the liposomes, exchange levels were around 50-90% of those by wild-type. In further contrast to wild-type, where either substrate or K(+) stimulated the anion conductance by the transporter, substrate but not K(+) modulated the anion conductance of the mutants expressed in oocytes. Both with wild-type EAAC1 and EAAC1-D455N, not only sodium but also lithium could support radioactive acidic amino acid uptake. In contrast, with D455S and D455C, radioactive uptake was only observed in the presence of sodium. Thus the conserved aspartate is required for transporter-cation interactions in each of the two separate translocation steps and likely participates in an overlapping sodium and potassium binding site.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2009; 106(34):14297-302. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0904625106 · 9.67 Impact Factor
  • Assaf Ben-Yona · Baruch I Kanner ·
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    ABSTRACT: GAT-1 is a sodium- and chloride-coupled gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporter, which fulfills an essential role in the synaptic transmission by this neurotransmitter. Cysteine-399 is the major site of inhibition of GAT-1 by membrane-permeant sulfhydryl reagents. This cysteine residue was previously thought to reside on a cytoplasmic loop connecting transmembrane domains (TMs) 8 and 9. However, the crystal structure of LeuT, a bacterial homologue of the mammalian neurotransmitter:sodium symporters, revealed that the residue corresponding to Cys-399 is in fact located in the middle of TM 8. This residue is located to the cytoplasmic side of Asp-395 and Ser-396, whose side chains are thought to ligand one of the two cotransported sodium ions. To determine how the sulfhydryl reagents approach cysteine-399, a cysteine scan of all 35 residues of TM 8 was performed. Sulfhydryl reagents inhibited transport when a cysteine residue was present at either of the positions 399, 402, 406, and 410. SKF-89976A and other non-transportable analogues, which are expected to lock the transporter in a conformation facing the extracellular medium, protected against the sulfhydryl modification at positions 399, 402, and 406. Such a protection was not seen by GABA itself, which actually modestly potentiated the modification at positions 399 and 402. Our results point to an alpha-helical stripe on TM8 lining an aqueous access pathway from the cytoplasm into the binding pocket, which gets occluded in the conformation of the transporter where the binding pocket is exposed to the extracellular medium.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2009; 284(15):9727-32. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M809423200 · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • Shaogang Qu · Baruch I Kanner ·
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    ABSTRACT: To explore rearrangements of the reentrant loop HP2 relative to transmembrane domains (TMs) 7 and 8 during transport by the glial glutamate transporter GLT-1/EAAT2, cysteine pairs were introduced at the extracellular ends of these structural elements. The pairs were introduced around 10-15 A "above" the residues, which make contact with substrate in the related archaeal homologue Glt(Ph). Transport by the double mutants M449C/L466C (HP2/TM 8), L453C/I463C (HP2/TM 8), and I411C/I463C (TM 7/TM 8) was inhibited by copper(II)(1,10-phenanthroline)(3) (CuPh) and by Cd(2+). Inhibition was only observed when the two cysteines were present in the same construct, but not with the respective single cysteine mutants or when only one cysteine was paired with a mutation to another residue. Glutamate and potassium, both expected to increase the proportion of inward-facing transporters, significantly protected against the inhibition of transport activity of M449C/L466C by CuPh. The non-transportable analogues kainate and d, l-threo-beta-benzyloxyaspartate are expected to stabilize an outward-facing conformation, but only the latter potentiated the effect of CuPh on M449C/L466C. However, both analogues increased the aqueous accessibility of the cysteines introduced at positions 449 and 466 to a membrane-impermeant sulfhydryl reagent. Inhibition of L453C/I463C by CuPh was protected not only by glutamate but also by the two analogues. In contrast, these ligands had very little effect on the inhibition of I411C/I463C by CuPh. Our results are consistent with the proposal that HP2 serves as the extracellular gate of the transporter and indicate that glutamate and the two analogues induce distinct conformations of HP2.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2008; 283(39):26391-400. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M802401200 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    Baruch I. Kanner · Shimon Schuldiner ·

    Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 09/2008; 22(1):1-38. DOI:10.3109/10409238709082546 · 7.71 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

8k Citations
828.00 Total Impact Points


  • 1978-2014
    • Hebrew University of Jerusalem
      • • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      • • Faculty of Medicine
      • • Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition
      • • Hadassah Medical School
      Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 1992
    • University of Oslo
      • Department of Anatomy
      Kristiania (historical), Oslo, Norway
  • 1984
    • National Institutes of Health
      Maryland, United States
  • 1975-1977
    • Cornell University
      Ithaca, New York, United States
  • 1972-1975
    • Tel Aviv University
      Tell Afif, Tel Aviv, Israel