Asymmetric Functional Conversion of Eubacterial Light-driven Ion Pumps.
ABSTRACT: In addition to the well-known light-driven outward proton pumps, novel ion-pumping rhodopsins functioning as outward Na(+) and inward Cl(-) pumps have been recently found in eubacteria. They convert light energy into transmembrane electrochemical potential difference, similar to the prototypical archaeal H(+) pump bacteriorhodopsin (BR) and Cl(-) pump halorhodopsin (HR). The H(+), Na(+), and Cl(-) pumps possess the conserved respective DTE, NDQ, and NTQ motifs in the helix C, which likely serve as their functional determinants. To verify this hypothesis, we attempted functional interconversion between selected pumps from each category by mutagenesis. Introduction of the proton-pumping motif resulted in successful Na(+) ? H(+) functional conversion. Introduction of the respective characteristic motifs with several additional mutations leads to successful Na(+) ? Cl(-) and Cl(-) ? H(+) functional conversions, whereas remaining conversions (H(+) ? Na(+), H(+) ? Cl(-), Cl(-) ? Na(+)) were unsuccessful when mutagenesis of 4-6 residues was used. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that a H(+) pump is the common ancestor of all of these rhodopsins, from which Cl(-) pumps emerged followed by Na(+) pumps. We propose that successful functional conversions of these ion pumps are achieved exclusively when mutagenesis reverses the evolutionary amino acid sequence changes. Dependence of the observed functional conversions on the direction of evolution strongly suggests that the essential structural mechanism of an ancestral function is retained even after the gain of a new function during natural evolution, which can be evoked by a few mutations. By contrast, the gain of a new function needs accumulation of multiple mutations, which may not be easily reproduced by limited mutagenesis in vitro.
Project description:Light-driven ion-pumping rhodopsins are widely distributed in microorganisms and are now classified into the categories of outward H(+) and Na(+) pumps and an inward Cl(-) pump. These different types share a common protein architecture and utilize the photoisomerization of the same chromophore, retinal, to evoke photoreactions. Despite these similarities, successful pump-to-pump conversion had been confined to only the H(+) pump bacteriorhodopsin, which was converted to a Cl(-) pump in 1995 by a single amino acid replacement. In this study we report the first success of the reverse conversion from a Cl(-) pump to a H(+) pump. A novel microbial rhodopsin (MrHR) from the cyanobacterium Mastigocladopsis repens functions as a Cl(-) pump and belongs to a cluster that is far distant from the known Cl(-) pumps. With a single amino acid replacement, MrHR is converted to a H(+) pump in which dissociable residues function almost completely in the H(+) relay reactions. MrHR most likely evolved from a H(+) pump, but it has not yet been highly optimized into a mature Cl(-) pump.
Project description:Light-activated, ion-pumping rhodopsins are broadly distributed among many different bacteria and archaea inhabiting the photic zone of aquatic environments. Bacterial proton- or sodium-translocating rhodopsins can convert light energy into a chemiosmotic force that can be converted into cellular biochemical energy, and thus represent a widespread alternative form of photoheterotrophy. Here we report that the genome of the marine flavobacterium Nonlabens marinus S1-08(T) encodes three different types of rhodopsins: Nonlabens marinus rhodopsin 1 (NM-R1), Nonlabens marinus rhodopsin 2 (NM-R2), and Nonlabens marinus rhodopsin 3 (NM-R3). Our functional analysis demonstrated that NM-R1 and NM-R2 are light-driven outward-translocating H(+) and Na(+) pumps, respectively. Functional analyses further revealed that the light-activated NM-R3 rhodopsin pumps Cl(-) ions into the cell, representing the first chloride-pumping rhodopsin uncovered in a marine bacterium. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that NM-R3 belongs to a distinct phylogenetic lineage quite distant from archaeal inward Cl(-)-pumping rhodopsins like halorhodopsin, suggesting that different types of chloride-pumping rhodopsins have evolved independently within marine bacterial lineages. Taken together, our data suggest that similar to haloarchaea, a considerable variety of rhodopsin types with different ion specificities have evolved in marine bacteria, with individual marine strains containing as many as three functionally different rhodopsins.
Project description:Rhodopsins are light-sensing proteins used in optogenetics. The word "rhodopsin" originates from the Greek words "rhodo" and "opsis," indicating rose and sight, respectively. Although the classical meaning of rhodopsin is the red-colored pigment in our eyes, the modern meaning of rhodopsin encompasses photoactive proteins containing a retinal chromophore in animals and microbes. Animal and microbial rhodopsins possess 11-cis and all-trans retinal, respectively, to capture light in seven transmembrane α-helices, and photoisomerizations into all-trans and 13-cis forms, respectively, initiate each function. Ion-transporting proteins can be found in microbial rhodopsins, such as light-gated channels and light-driven pumps, which are the main tools in optogenetics. Light-driven pumps, such as archaeal H(+) pump bacteriorhodopsin (BR) and Cl(-) pump halorhodopsin (HR), were discovered in the 1970s, and their mechanism has been extensively studied. On the other hand, different kinds of H(+) and Cl(-) pumps have been found in marine bacteria, such as proteorhodopsin (PR) and Fulvimarina pelagi rhodopsin (FR), respectively. In addition, a light-driven Na(+) pump was found, Krokinobacter eikastus rhodopsin 2 (KR2). These light-driven ion-pumping microbial rhodopsins are classified as DTD, TSA, DTE, NTQ, and NDQ rhodopsins for BR, HR, PR, FR, and KR2, respectively. Recent understanding of ion-pumping microbial rhodopsins is reviewed in this paper.
Project description:Sodium-pumping rhodopsins (NaRs) are light-driven outward Na(+) pumps. NaRs have a conserved Asn, Asp, and Gln motif (NDQ) in the third transmembrane helix (helix C). The NDQ motif is thus expected to play a crucial role in the operation of the Na(+) pump. Herein, we studied the photocycles of the NDQ-motif mutants of Krokinobacter rhodopsin 2 (KR2), the first discovered NaR, by flash photolysis, to obtain insight into the mechanism of Na(+) transport. For example, the KR2 N112A mutant did not accumulate the transient red-shifted Na(+)-bound state, suggesting that Asn112 is vital for the binding of Na(+) ions. Additionally, Q123A and Q123V mutants showed significantly slower Na(+) uptake and recovery of the initial state. Overall, the Gln123 residue was found to contribute to the optimization of the kinetics of sodium-ion uptake and release. These results demonstrate that the cooperative operation of the three residues of the NDQ motif are important in the operation of the Na(+) pump.
Project description:Rhodopsins are the most universal biological light-energy transducers and abundant phototrophic mechanisms that evolved on Earth and have a remarkable diversity and potential for biotechnological applications. Recently, the first sodium-pumping rhodopsin KR2 from Krokinobacter eikastus was discovered and characterized. However, the existing structures of KR2 are contradictory, and the mechanism of Na+ pumping is not yet understood. Here, we present a structure of the cationic (non H+) light-driven pump at physiological pH in its pentameric form. We also present 13 atomic structures and functional data on the KR2 and its mutants, including potassium pumps, which show that oligomerization of the microbial rhodopsin is obligatory for its biological function. The studies reveal the structure of KR2 at nonphysiological low pH where it acts as a proton pump. The structure provides new insights into the mechanisms of microbial rhodopsins and opens the way to a rational design of novel cation pumps for optogenetics.
Project description:The light-driven inward chloride ion-pumping rhodopsin Nonlabens marinus rhodopsin-3 (NM-R3), from a marine flavobacterium, belongs to a phylogenetic lineage distinct from the halorhodopsins known as archaeal inward chloride ion-pumping rhodopsins. NM-R3 and halorhodopsin have distinct motif sequences that are important for chloride ion binding and transport. In this study, we present the crystal structure of a new type of light-driven chloride ion pump, NM-R3, at 1.58 Å resolution. The structure revealed the chloride ion translocation pathway and showed that a single chloride ion resides near the Schiff base. The overall structure, chloride ion-binding site, and translocation pathway of NM-R3 are different from those of halorhodopsin. Unexpectedly, this NM-R3 structure is similar to the crystal structure of the light-driven outward sodium ion pump, Krokinobacter eikastus rhodopsin 2. Structural and mutational analyses of NM-R3 revealed that most of the important amino acid residues for chloride ion pumping exist in the ion influx region, located on the extracellular side of NM-R3. In contrast, on the opposite side, the cytoplasmic regions of K. eikastus rhodopsin 2 were reportedly important for sodium ion pumping. These results provide new insight into ion selection mechanisms in ion pumping rhodopsins, in which the ion influx regions of both the inward and outward pumps are important for their ion selectivities.
Project description:Microbial rhodopsins are versatile and ubiquitous retinal-binding proteins that function as light-driven ion pumps, light-gated ion channels, and photosensors, with potential utility as optogenetic tools for altering membrane potential in target cells. Insights from crystal structures have been central for understanding proton, sodium, and chloride transport mechanisms of microbial rhodopsins. Two of three known groups of anion pumps, the archaeal halorhodopsins (HRs) and bacterial chloride-pumping rhodopsins, have been structurally characterized. Here we report the structure of a representative of a recently discovered third group consisting of cyanobacterial chloride and sulfate ion-pumping rhodopsins, the Mastigocladopsis repens rhodopsin (MastR). Chloride-pumping MastR contains in its ion transport pathway a unique Thr-Ser-Asp (TSD) motif, which is involved in the binding of a chloride ion. The structure reveals that the chloride-binding mode is more similar to HRs than chloride-pumping rhodopsins, but the overall structure most closely resembles bacteriorhodopsin (BR), an archaeal proton pump. The MastR structure shows a trimer arrangement reminiscent of BR-like proton pumps and shows features at the extracellular side more similar to BR than the other chloride pumps. We further solved the structure of the MastR-T74D mutant, which contains a single amino acid replacement in the TSD motif. We provide insights into why this point mutation can convert the MastR chloride pump into a proton pump but cannot in HRs. Our study points at the importance of precise coordination and exact location of the water molecule in the active center of proton pumps, which serves as a bridge for the key proton transfer.
Project description:Generation of an electrochemical proton gradient is the first step of cell bioenergetics. In prokaryotes, the gradient is created by outward membrane protein proton pumps. Inward plasma membrane native proton pumps are yet unknown. We describe comprehensive functional studies of the representatives of the yet noncharacterized xenorhodopsins from Nanohaloarchaea family of microbial rhodopsins. They are inward proton pumps as we demonstrate in model membrane systems, Escherichia coli cells, human embryonic kidney cells, neuroblastoma cells, and rat hippocampal neuronal cells. We also solved the structure of a xenorhodopsin from the nanohalosarchaeon Nanosalina (NsXeR) and suggest a mechanism of inward proton pumping. We demonstrate that the NsXeR is a powerful pump, which is able to elicit action potentials in rat hippocampal neuronal cells up to their maximal intrinsic firing frequency. Hence, inwardly directed proton pumps are suitable for light-induced remote control of neurons, and they are an alternative to the well-known cation-selective channelrhodopsins.
Project description:Light-driven sodium pumps (NaRs) are microbial rhodopsins that utilize light energy to actively transport sodium ions out of the cell. Here, we used targeted mutagenesis and electrophysiological methods in living cells to demonstrate that NaRs can be converted into light-activated cation channels by molecular engineering. Specifically, introduction of the R109Q mutation into the sodium ion pump of Dokdonia eikasta (KR2) results in passive ion conductance, with a high preference for potassium over sodium ions. However, in this mutant, residual active outward pumping of sodium ions competes with passive inward transport of potassium. Channel-like behavior could also be achieved by introduction of other mutations into the KR2 counterion complex, and further, these modifications were transferrable to other NaRs. Combining the R109Q replacement with modifications at position S70 removed the residual sodium pumping and greatly enhanced the channel-like activity. However, passive photocurrents were only observed in leak mutants if the KR2 counterions, D116 and D251, were deprotonated, which was only observed under alkaline conditions. Overall, our results reveal that interactions between R109 and the nearby residues, L75, S70, D116, and D251, prevent passive backflow during ion transport in NaRs.
Project description:Light-driven outward H+ pumps are widely distributed in nature, converting sunlight energy into proton motive force. Here we report the characterization of an oppositely directed H+ pump with a similar architecture to outward pumps. A deep-ocean marine bacterium, Parvularcula oceani, contains three rhodopsins, one of which functions as a light-driven inward H+ pump when expressed in Escherichia coli and mouse neural cells. Detailed mechanistic analyses of the purified proteins reveal that small differences in the interactions established at the active centre determine the direction of primary H+ transfer. Outward H+ pumps establish strong electrostatic interactions between the primary H+ donor and the extracellular acceptor. In the inward H+ pump these electrostatic interactions are weaker, inducing a more relaxed chromophore structure that leads to the long-distance transfer of H+ to the cytoplasmic side. These results demonstrate an elaborate molecular design to control the direction of H+ transfers in proteins.