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Effect of External Electric Field on Substrate Transport of a Secondary Active Transporter


Substrate transport across a membrane accomplished by a secondary active transporter (SAT) is essential to the normal physiological function of living cells. In the present research, a series of all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations under different electric field (EF) strengths was performed to investigate the effect of an external EF on the substrate transport of an SAT. The results show that EF both affects the interaction between substrate and related protein’s residues by changing their conformations and tunes the timeline of the transport event, which collectively reduces the height of energy barrier for substrate transport and results in the appearance of two intermediate conformations under the existence of an external EF. Our work spotlights the crucial influence of external EFs on the substrate transport of SATs and could provide a more penetrating understanding of the substrate transport mechanism of SATs.