A substrate access tunnel in the cytosolic domain is not an essential feature of the solute carrier 4 (SLC4) family of bicarbonate transporters.
ABSTRACT: Anion exchanger 1 (AE1; Band 3; SLC4A1) is the founding member of the solute carrier 4 (SLC4) family of bicarbonate transporters that includes chloride/bicarbonate AEs and Na(+)-bicarbonate co-transporters (NBCs). These membrane proteins consist of an amino-terminal cytosolic domain involved in protein interactions and a carboxyl-terminal membrane domain that carries out the transport function. Mutation of a conserved arginine residue (R298S) in the cytosolic domain of NBCe1 (SLC4A4) is linked to proximal renal tubular acidosis and results in impaired transport function, suggesting that the cytosolic domain plays a role in substrate permeation. Introduction of single and double mutations at the equivalent arginine (Arg(283)) and at an interacting glutamate (Glu(85)) in the cytosolic domain of human AE1 (cdAE1) had no effect on the cell surface expression or the transport activity of AE1 expressed in HEK-293 cells. In addition, the membrane domain of AE1 (mdAE1) efficiently mediated anion transport. A 2.1-? resolution crystal structure of cd?54AE1 (residues 55-356 of cdAE1) lacking the amino-terminal and carboxyl-terminal disordered regions, produced at physiological pH, revealed an extensive hydrogen-bonded network involving Arg(283) and Glu(85). Mutations at these residues affected the pH-dependent conformational changes and stability of cd?54AE1. As these structural alterations did not impair functional expression of AE1, the cytosolic and membrane domains operate independently. A substrate access tunnel within the cytosolic domain is not present in AE1 and therefore is not an essential feature of the SLC4 family of bicarbonate transporters.
Project description:Bor1p is a secondary transporter in yeast that is responsible for boron transport. Bor1p belongs to the SLC4 family which controls bicarbonate exchange and pH regulation in animals as well as borate uptake in plants. The SLC4 family is more distantly related to members of the Amino acid-Polyamine-organoCation (APC) superfamily, which includes well studied transporters such as LeuT, Mhp1, AdiC, vSGLT, UraA, SLC26Dg. Their mechanism generally involves relative movements of two domains: a core domain that binds substrate and a gate domain that in many cases mediates dimerization. To shed light on conformational changes governing transport by the SLC4 family, we grew helical membrane crystals of Bor1p from Saccharomyces mikatae and determined a structure at ∼6 Å resolution using cryo-electron microscopy. To evaluate the conformation of Bor1p in these crystals, a homology model was built based on the related anion exchanger from red blood cells (AE1). This homology model was fitted to the cryo-EM density map using the Molecular Dynamics (MD) Flexible Fitting method and then relaxed by all-atom MD simulation in explicit solvent and membrane. Mapping of water accessibility indicates that the resulting structure represents an inward-facing conformation. Comparisons of the resulting Bor1p model with the X-ray structure of AE1 in an outward-facing conformation, together with MD simulations of inward-facing and outward-facing Bor1p models, suggest rigid body movements of the core domain relative to the gate domain. These movements are consistent with the rocking-bundle transport mechanism described for other members of the APC superfamily.
Project description:The anion exchanger 1 (AE1), a member of bicarbonate transporter family SLC4, mediates an electroneutral chloride/bicarbonate exchange in physiological conditions. However, some point mutations in AE1 membrane-spanning domain convert the electroneutral anion exchanger into a Na(+) and K(+) conductance or induce a cation leak in a still functional anion exchanger. The molecular determinants that govern ion movement through this transporter are still unknown. The present study was intended to identify the ion translocation pathway within AE1. In the absence of a resolutive three-dimensional structure of AE1 membrane-spanning domain, in silico modeling combined with site-directed mutagenesis experiments was done. A structural model of AE1 membrane-spanning domain is proposed, and this model is based on the structure of a uracil-proton symporter. This model was used to design cysteine-scanning mutagenesis on transmembrane (TM) segments 3 and 5. By measuring AE1 anion exchange activity or cation leak, it is proposed that there is a unique transport site comprising TM3-5 and TM8 that should function as an anion exchanger and a cation leak.
Project description:Glaucoma, cataracts, and proximal renal tubular acidosis are diseases caused by point mutations in the human electrogenic Na(+) bicarbonate cotransporter (NBCe1/SLC4A4) (1, 2). One such mutation, R298S, is located in the cytoplasmic N-terminal domain of NBCe1 and has only moderate (75%) function. As SLC transporters have high similarity in their membrane and N-terminal primary sequences, we homology-modeled NBCe1 onto the crystal structure coordinates of Band 3(AE1) (3). Arg-298 is predicted to be located in a solvent-inaccessible subsurface pocket and to associate with Glu-91 or Glu-295 via H-bonding and charge-charge interactions. We perturbed these putative interactions between Glu-91 and Arg-298 by site-directed mutagenesis and used expression in Xenopus oocyte to test our structural model. Mutagenesis of either residue resulted in reduced transport function. Function was "repaired" by charge reversal (E91R/R298E), implying that these two residues are interchangeable and interdependent. These results contrast the current understanding of the AE1 N terminus as protein-binding sites and propose that hkNBCe1 (and other SLC4) cytoplasmic N termini play roles in controlling HCO(3)(-) permeation.
Project description:The sodium dependent bicarbonate transporter NCBE/NBCn2 is predominantly expressed in the central nervous system (CNS). The highest protein concentrations are found in the choroid plexus. The primary function of this integral plasma membrane transport protein is to regulate intracellular neuronal pH and also probably to maintain the pH homeostasis across the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier. NCBE is predicted to contain at least 10 transmembrane helices. The N- and C- termini are both cytoplasmic, with a large N-terminal domain (Nt-NCBE) and a relatively small C-terminal domain (Ct-NCBE). The Nt-NCBE is likely to be involved in bicarbonate recognition and transport and contains key areas of regulation involving pH sensing and protein-protein interactions. Intrinsic disordered protein regions (IDPRs) are defined as protein regions having no rigid three-dimensional structure under physiological conditions. They are believed to be involved in signaling networks in which specific, low affinity, protein-protein interactions play an important role. We predict that NCBE and other SoLute Carrier 4 (SLC4) family members have a high level of intrinsic disorder in their cytoplasmic regions. To provide biophysical evidence for the IDPRs predicted in Nt-NCBE, we produced pure (>99%), recombinant Nt-NCBE using E. coli as the expression host. The protein was used to perform differential scanning fluorescence spectroscopy (DSF), in order to search for small molecules that would induce secondary or tertiary structure in the IDPRs. We expect this to assist the development of selective pharmaceutical compounds against individual SLC4 family members. We have also determined a low resolution (4 Å) X-ray crystal structure of the N-terminal core domain. The N-terminal cytoplasmic domain (cdb3) of anion exchanger 1 (AE1) shares a similar fold with the N-terminal core domain of NCBE. Crystallization conditions for the full-length N-terminal domain have been sought, but only the core domain yields diffracting crystals.
Project description:The SLC4 family consists of 10 genes (SLC4A1-5; SLC4A7-11). All encode integral membrane proteins with very similar hydropathy plots-consistent with 10-14 transmembrane segments. Nine SLC4 members encode proteins that transport HCO3(-) (or a related species, such as CO3(2-)) across the plasma membrane. Functionally, eight of these proteins fall into two major groups: three Cl-HCO3 exchangers (AE1-3) and five Na(+)-coupled HCO3(-) transporters (NBCe1, NBCe2, NBCn1, NBCn2, NDCBE). Two of the Na(+)-coupled transporters (NBCe1, NBCe2) are electrogenic; the other three Na(+)-coupled HCO3(-) transporters and all three AEs are electroneutral. In addition, two other SLC4 members (AE4, SLC4A9 and BTR1, SLC4A11) do not yet have a firmly established function. Most, though not all, SLC4 members are functionally inhibited by 4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonate (DIDS). SLC4 proteins play important roles many modes of acid-base homeostasis: the carriage of CO2 by erythrocytes, the transport of H(+) or HCO3(-) by several epithelia, as well as the regulation of cell volume and intracellular pH.
Project description:The solute carrier SLC4 family consists of 10 members, nine of which are [Formula: see text] transporters, including three Na(+)-independent Cl(-)/[Formula: see text] exchangers AE1, AE2, and AE3, five Na(+)-coupled [Formula: see text] transporters NBCe1, NBCe2, NBCn1, NBCn2, and NDCBE, as well as "AE4" whose Na(+)-dependence remains controversial. The SLC4 [Formula: see text] transporters play critical roles in pH regulation and transepithelial movement of electrolytes with a broad range of demonstrated physiological relevances. Dysfunctions of these transporters are associated with a series of human diseases. During the past decades, tremendous amount of effort has been undertaken to investigate the topological organization of the SLC4 transporters in the plasma membrane. Based upon the proposed topology models, mutational and functional studies have identified important structural elements likely involved in the ion translocation by the SLC4 transporters. In the present article, we review the advances during the past decades in understanding the structure and function of the SLC4 transporters.
Project description:The sodium-driven chloride/bicarbonate exchanger (NDCBE) is essential for maintaining homeostatic pH in neurons. The crystal structure at 2.8?Å resolution of the regulatory N-terminal domain of human NDCBE represents the first crystal structure of an electroneutral sodium-bicarbonate cotransporter. The crystal structure forms an equivalent dimeric interface as observed for the cytoplasmic domain of Band 3, and thus establishes that the consensus motif VTVLP is the key minimal dimerization motif. The VTVLP motif is highly conserved and likely to be the physiologically relevant interface for all other members of the SLC4 family. A novel conserved Zn2+-binding motif present in the N-terminal domain of NDCBE is identified and characterized in vitro. Cellular studies confirm the Zn2+ dependent transport of two electroneutral bicarbonate transporters, NCBE and NBCn1. The Zn2+ site is mapped to a cluster of histidines close to the conserved ETARWLKFEE motif and likely plays a role in the regulation of this important motif. The combined structural and bioinformatics analysis provides a model that predicts with additional confidence the physiologically relevant interface between the cytoplasmic domain and the transmembrane domain.
Project description:Previous results suggested that specific point mutations in human anion exchanger 1 (AE1) convert the electroneutral anion exchanger into a monovalent cation conductance. In the present study, the transport site for anion exchange and for the cation leak has been studied by cysteine scanning mutagenesis and sulfhydryl reagent chemistry. Moreover, the role of some highly conserved amino acids within members of the SLC4 family to which AE1 belongs has been assessed in AE1 transport properties. The results suggest that the same transport site within the AE1 spanning domain is involved in anion exchange or in cation transport. A functioning mechanism for this transport site is proposed according to transport properties of the different studied point mutations of AE1.
Project description:Anion exchanger 1 (AE1) is responsible for the exchange of bicarbonate and chloride across the erythrocyte plasma membrane. Human AE1 consists of a cytoplasmic and a membrane domain joined by a 33-residue flexible linker. Crystal structures of the individual domains have been determined, but the intact AE1 structure remains elusive. In this study, we use molecular dynamics simulations and modeling to build intact AE1 structures in a complex lipid bilayer that resembles the native erythrocyte plasma membrane. AE1 models were evaluated using available experimental data to provide an atomistic view of the interaction and dynamics of the cytoplasmic domain, the membrane domain, and the connecting linker in a complete model of AE1 in a lipid bilayer. Anionic lipids were found to interact strongly with AE1 at specific amino acid residues that are linked to diseases and blood group antigens. Cholesterol was found in the dimeric interface of AE1, suggesting that it may regulate subunit interactions and anion transport.
Project description:The bicarbonate ion (HCO3(-)) is involved in two major physiological processes in corals, biomineralization and photosynthesis, yet no molecular data on bicarbonate transporters are available. Here, we characterized plasma membrane-type HCO3(-) transporters in the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata. Eight solute carrier (SLC) genes were found in the genome: five homologs of mammalian-type SLC4 family members, and three of mammalian-type SLC26 family members. Using relative expression analysis and immunostaining, we analyzed the cellular distribution of these transporters and conducted phylogenetic analyses to determine the extent of conservation among cnidarian model organisms. Our data suggest that the SLC4? isoform is specific to scleractinian corals and responsible for supplying HCO3(-) to the site of calcification. Taken together, SLC4? appears to be one of the key genes for skeleton building in corals, which bears profound implications for our understanding of coral biomineralization and the evolution of scleractinian corals within cnidarians.