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Mechanisms of a secondary active transporter function (25) | Dr Bernadette Byrne
Transporters are designed to bind cargo on one side of the membrane, undergo a conformational change and release it on the other side of the membrane. A range of different transporter structures have revealed that there are a number of different molecular mechanisms by which transporters can move their cargo across the membrane. This dissertation will involve a detailed description of one or more of the mechanisms of transport, describing both the structural and biochemical evidence to support the particular mechanism.
Dr Bernadette Byrne
Abstract: Transporters are integral membrane proteins with central roles in the efficient movement of molecules across biological membranes. Many transporters exist as oligomers in the membrane. Depending on the individual transport protein, oligomerization can have roles in membrane trafficking, function, regulation and turnover. For example, our recent studies on UapA, a nucleobase ascorbate transporter, from Aspergillus nidulans, have revealed both that dimerization of this protein is essential for correct trafficking to the membrane and the structural basis of how one UapA protomer can affect the function of the closely associated adjacent protomer. Here, we review the roles of oligomerization in many particularly well-studied transporters and transporter families.
Pub.: 04 Dec '16, Pinned: 29 Jan '17
Abstract: 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.
Pub.: 29 Jul '16, Pinned: 25 Jan '17
Abstract: The uric acid/xanthine H+ symporter, UapA, is a high-affinity purine transporter from the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. Here we present the crystal structure of a genetically stabilized version of UapA (UapA-G411VΔ1–11) in complex with xanthine. UapA is formed from two domains, a core domain and a gate domain, similar to the previously solved uracil transporter UraA, which belongs to the same family. The structure shows UapA in an inward-facing conformation with xanthine bound to residues in the core domain. Unlike UraA, which was observed to be a monomer, UapA forms a dimer in the crystals with dimer interactions formed exclusively through the gate domain. Analysis of dominant negative mutants is consistent with dimerization playing a key role in transport. We postulate that UapA uses an elevator transport mechanism likely to be shared with other structurally homologous transporters including anion exchangers and prestin.
Pub.: 18 Apr '16, Pinned: 25 Jan '17
Abstract: Secondary transporters use alternating-access mechanisms to couple uphill substrate movement to downhill ion flux. Most known transporters use a 'rocking bundle' motion, wherein the protein moves around an immobile substrate-binding site. However, the glutamate-transporter homolog GltPh translocates its substrate-binding site vertically across the membrane, through an 'elevator' mechanism. Here, we used the 'repeat swap' approach to computationally predict the outward-facing state of the Na+/succinate transporter VcINDY, from Vibrio cholerae. Our model predicts a substantial elevator-like movement of VcINDY's substrate-binding site, with a vertical translation of ~15 Å and a rotation of ~43°. Our observation that multiple disulfide cross-links completely inhibit transport provides experimental confirmation of the model and demonstrates that such movement is essential. In contrast, cross-links across the VcINDY dimer interface preserve transport, thus revealing an absence of large-scale coupling between protomers.
Pub.: 01 Feb '16, Pinned: 25 Jan '17
Abstract: GltPh from Pyrococcus horikoshii is a homotrimeric Na(+)-coupled aspartate transporter. It belongs to the widespread family of glutamate transporters, which also includes the mammalian excitatory amino acid transporters that take up the neurotransmitter glutamate. Each protomer in GltPh consists of a trimerization domain involved in subunit interactions and a transport domain containing the substrate binding site. Here, we have studied the dynamics of Na(+) and aspartate binding to GltPh. Tryptophan fluorescence measurements on the fully active single tryptophan mutant F273W revealed that Na(+) binds with low affinity to the apoprotein (Kd 120 mm), with a particularly low kon value (5.1 m(-1)s(-1)). At least two sodium ions bind before aspartate. The binding of Na(+) requires a very high activation energy (Ea 106.8 kJ mol(-1)) and consequently has a large Q10 value of 4.5, indicative of substantial conformational changes before or after the initial binding event. The apparent affinity for aspartate binding depended on the Na(+) concentration present. Binding of aspartate was not observed in the absence of Na(+), whereas in the presence of high Na(+) concentrations (above the Kd for Na(+)) the dissociation constants for aspartate were in the nanomolar range, and the aspartate binding was fast (kon of 1.4 × 10(5) m(-1)s(-1)), with low Ea and Q10 values (42.6 kJ mol(-1) and 1.8, respectively). We conclude that Na(+) binding is most likely the rate-limiting step for substrate binding.
Pub.: 30 Apr '15, Pinned: 25 Jan '17
Abstract: Secondary active transporters exploit the electrochemical potential of solutes to shuttle specific substrate molecules across biological membranes, usually against their concentration gradient. Transporters of different functional families with little sequence similarity have repeatedly been found to exhibit similar folds, exemplified by the MFS, LeuT, and NhaA folds. Observations of multiple conformational states of the same transporter, represented by the LeuT superfamily members Mhp1, AdiC, vSGLT, and LeuT, led to proposals that structural changes are associated with substrate binding and transport. Despite recent biochemical and structural advances, our understanding of substrate recognition and energy coupling is rather preliminary. This review focuses on the common folds and shared transport mechanisms of secondary active transporters. Available structural information generally supports the alternating access model for substrate transport, with variations and extensions made by emerging structural, biochemical, and computational evidence.
Pub.: 10 May '13, Pinned: 25 Jan '17
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