Indexed on: 12 Apr '12Published on: 12 Apr '12Published in: Journal of Biological Chemistry
We study the amino acid transport system b(0,+) as a model for folding, assembly, and early traffic of membrane protein complexes. System b(0,+) is made of two disulfide-linked membrane subunits: the carrier, b(0,+) amino acid transporter (b(0,+)AT), a polytopic protein, and the helper, related to b(0,+) amino acid transporter (rBAT), a type II glycoprotein. rBAT ectodomain mutants display folding/trafficking defects that lead to type I cystinuria. Here we show that, in the presence of b(0,+)AT, three disulfides were formed in the rBAT ectodomain. Disulfides Cys-242-Cys-273 and Cys-571-Cys-666 were essential for biogenesis. Cys-673-Cys-685 was dispensable, but the single mutants C673S, and C685S showed compromised stability and trafficking. Cys-242-Cys-273 likely was the first disulfide to form, and unpaired Cys-242 or Cys-273 disrupted oxidative folding. Strikingly, unassembled rBAT was found as an ensemble of different redox species, mainly monomeric. The ensemble did not change upon inhibition of rBAT degradation. Overall, these results indicated a b(0,+)AT-dependent oxidative folding of the rBAT ectodomain, with the initial and probably cotranslational formation of Cys-242-Cys-273, followed by the oxidation of Cys-571-Cys-666 and Cys-673-Cys-685, that was completed posttranslationally.