2021 - Structure and lipid-mediated remodelling mechanism of the Na+/H+ exchanger NHA2

Icon N1 SURFE2R N1 Publication in BioRxiv (2021)

Matsuoka R., Fudim R., Jung S., Zhang C., Bazzone A., Chatzikyriakidou Y., Nomura N., Iwata S., Orellana L., Beckstein O., Drew D.

BioRxiv (2021) doi: 10.1101/2021.07.22.453398


Na+/H+ exchangers catalyse an ion-exchange activity that is carried out in most, if not all cells. SLC9B2, also known as NHA2, correlates with the long-sought after sodium/lithium (Na+/Li+) exchanger linked to the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus and essential hypertension in humans. Despite its functional importance, structural information and the molecular basis of its ion-exchange mechanism have been lacking. Here, we report the cryo EM structures of bison NHA2 in detergent and in nanodiscs at 3.0 and 3.5 Å resolution, respectively. NHA2 shares closest structural similarity to the bacterial electrogenic Na+/H+ antiporter NapA, rather than other mammalian SLC9A members. Nevertheless, SSM-based electrophysiology results with NHA2 show the catalysis of electroneutral rather than electrogenic ion exchange, and the ion-binding site is quite distinctive, with a tryptophan-arginine- glutamate triad separated from the well-established ion-binding aspartates. These triad residues fine-tune ion binding specificity, as demonstrated by a salt-bridge swap mutant that converts NHA2 into a Li+-specific transporter. Strikingly, an additional N-terminal helix in NHA2 establishes a unique homodimer with a large ∼ 25 Å intracellular gap between protomers. In the presence of phosphatidylinositol lipids, the N-terminal helix rearranges and closes this gap. We confirm that dimerization of NHA2 is required for activity in vivo, and propose that the N- terminal helix has evolved as a lipid-mediated remodelling switch for regulation of transport activity.

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