2006 - The inner interhelix loop 4-5 of the melibiose permease from Escherichia coli takes part in conformational changes after sugar binding

Icon N1  SURFE²R-technology (custom-built system) publication in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2006)

Meyer-Lipp K., Séry N., Ganea C., Basquin C., Fendler K., Leblanc G.

Journal of Biological Chemistry (2006) 281(36):25882-25892


Cytoplasmic loop 4-5 of the melibiose permease from Escherichia coli is essential for the process of Na+-sugar translocation (Abdel-Dayem, M., Basquin, C., Pourcher, T., Cordat, E., and Leblanc, G. (2003) J. Biol. Chem. 278, 1518-1524). In the present report, we analyze functional consequences of mutating each of the three acidic amino acids in this loop into cysteines. Among the mutants, only the E142C substitution impairs selectively Na+-sugar translocation. Because R141C has a similar defect, we investigated these two mutants in more detail. Liposomes containing purified mutated melibiose permease were adsorbed onto a solid supported lipid membrane, and transient electrical currents resulting from different substrate concentration jumps were recorded. The currents evoked by a melibiose concentration jump in the presence of Na+, previously assigned to an electrogenic conformational transition (Meyer-Lipp, K., Ganea, C., Pourcher, T., Leblanc, G., and Fendler, K. (2004) Biochemistry 43, 12606-12613), were much smaller for the two mutants than the corresponding signals in cysteineless MelB. Furthermore, in R141C the stimulating effect of melibiose on Na+ affinity was lost. Finally, whereas tryptophan fluorescence spectroscopy revealed impaired conformational changes upon melibiose binding in the mutants, fluorescence resonance energy transfer measurements indicated that the mutants still show cooperative modification of their sugar binding sites by Na+. These data suggest that: 1) loop 4-5 contributes to the coordinated interactions between the ion and sugar binding sites; 2) it participates in an electrogenic conformational transition after melibiose binding that is essential for the subsequent obligatory coupled translocation of substrates. A two-step mechanism for substrate translocation in the melibiose permease is suggested.

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