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Helix dynamics in LacY: helices II and IV.


ABSTRACT: Biochemical and biophysical studies based upon crystal structures of both a mutant and wild-type lactose permease from Escherichia coli (LacY) in an inward-facing conformation have led to a model for the symport mechanism in which both sugar and H+ binding sites are alternatively accessible to both sides of the membrane. Previous findings indicate that the face of helix II with Asp68 is important for the conformational changes that occur during turnover. As shown here, replacement of Asp68 at the cytoplasmic end of helix II, particularly with Glu, abolishes active transport but the mutants retain the ability to bind galactopyranoside. In the x-ray structure, Asp68 and Lys131 (helix IV) lie within approximately 4.2 A of each other. Although a double mutant with Cys replacements at both position 68 and position 131 cross-links efficiently, single replacements for Lys131 exhibit very significant transport activity. Site-directed alkylation studies show that sugar binding by the Asp68 mutants causes closure of the cytoplasmic cavity, similar to wild-type LacY; however, strikingly, the probability of opening the periplasmic pathway upon sugar binding is markedly reduced. Taken together with results from previous mutagenesis and cross-linking studies, these findings lead to a model in which replacement of Asp68 blocks a conformational transition involving helices II and IV that is important for opening the periplasmic cavity. Evidence suggesting that movements of helices II and IV are coupled functionally with movements in the pseudo-symmetrically paired helices VIII and X is also presented.

SUBMITTER: Liu Z 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3043081 | BioStudies | 2010-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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