Seawater fish use an electrogenic boric acid transporter, Slc4a11A, for boric acid excretion by the kidneyBoric acid is a vital micronutrient in animals; however, excess amounts are toxic to them. Little is known about whole-body boric acid homeostasis in animals. Seawater (SW) contains 0.4 mM boric acid, and since marine fish drink SW, their urinary system was used here as a model of the boric acid excretion system. We determined that the bladder urine of a euryhaline pufferfish (river pufferfish, Takifugu obscurus) acclimated to fresh water and SW contained 0.020 and 19 mM of boric acid, respectively (a 950-fold difference), indicating the presence of a powerful excretory renal system for boric acid.
Role of the membrane anchor in the regulation of Lck activityTheoretical work suggests that collective spatiotemporal behavior of integral membrane proteins should be modulated by boundary lipids sheathing their membrane anchors. Here, we show evidence for this prediction while investigating the mechanism for maintaining a steady amount of the active form of integral membrane protein Lck kinase (LckA) by Lck trans-autophosphorylation regulated by the phosphatase CD45. We used super-resolution microscopy, flow cytometry, and pharmacological and genetic perturbation to gain insight into the spatiotemporal context of this process.
Residues forming the gating regions of asymmetric multidrug transporter Pdr5 also play roles in conformational switching and protein foldingATP-binding cassette (ABC) multidrug transporters are large, polytopic membrane proteins that exhibit astonishing promiscuity for their transport substrates. These transporters unidirectionally efflux thousands of structurally and functionally distinct compounds. To preclude the reentry of xenobiotic molecules via the drug-binding pocket, these proteins contain a highly conserved molecular gate, essentially allowing the transporters to function as molecular diodes. However, the structure–function relationship of these conserved gates and gating regions are not well characterized.
Computational and functional studies of the PI(4,5)P2 binding site of the TRPM3 ion channel reveal interactions with other regulatorsTransient receptor potential melastatin 3 (TRPM3) is a heat-activated ion channel expressed in peripheral sensory neurons and the central nervous system. TRPM3 activity depends on the membrane phospholipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2), but the molecular mechanism of activation by PI(4,5)P2 is not known. As no experimental structure of TRPM3 is available, we built a homology model of the channel in complex with PI(4,5)P2 via molecular modeling. We identified putative contact residues for PI(4,5)P2 in the pre-S1 segment, the S4–S5 linker, and the proximal C-terminal TRP domain.
Two types of type IV P-type ATPases independently re-establish the asymmetrical distribution of phosphatidylserine in plasma membranesPhospholipids are asymmetrically distributed between the lipid bilayer of plasma membranes in which phosphatidylserine (PtdSer) is confined to the inner leaflet. ATP11A and ATP11C, type IV P-Type ATPases in plasma membranes, flip PtdSer from the outer to the inner leaflet, but involvement of other P4-ATPases is unclear. We herein demonstrated that once PtdSer was exposed on the cell surface of ATP11A−/−ATP11C−/− mouse T cell line (W3), its internalization to the inner leaflet of plasma membranes was negligible at 15 °C.
Single-channel characterization of the chitooligosaccharide transporter chitoporin (SmChiP) from the opportunistic pathogen Serratia marcescensSerratia marcescens is an opportunistic pathogen that can utilize chitin as a carbon source, through its ability to produce chitin-degrading enzymes to digest chitin and membrane transporters to transport the degradation products (chitooligosaccharides) into the cells. Further characterization of these proteins is important to understand details of chitin metabolism. Here, we investigate the properties and function of the S. marcescens chitoporin, namely SmChiP, a chitooligosaccharide transporter.
Alkaline-sensitive two-pore domain potassium channels form functional heteromers in pancreatic β-cellsTwo-pore domain K+ channels (K2P channels), active as dimers, produce inhibitory currents regulated by a variety of stimuli. Among them, TWIK1-related alkalinization-activated K+ channel 1 (TALK1), TWIK1-related alkalinization-activated K+ channel 2 (TALK2), and TWIK1-related acid-sensitive K+ channel 2 (TASK2) form a subfamily of structurally related K2P channels stimulated by extracellular alkalosis. The human genes encoding these proteins are clustered at chromosomal region 6p21 and coexpressed in multiple tissues, including the pancreas.
Two types of peptides derived from the neurotoxin GsMTx4 inhibit a mechanosensitive potassium channel by modifying the mechanogateAtrial fibrillation is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia in humans. Current atrial fibrillation antiarrhythmic drugs have limited efficacy and carry the risk of ventricular proarrhythmia. GsMTx4, a mechanosensitive channel–selective inhibitor, has been shown to suppress arrhythmias through the inhibition of stretch-activated channels (SACs) in the heart. The cost of synthesizing this peptide is a major obstacle to clinical use. Here, we studied two types of short peptides derived from GsMTx4 for their effects on a stretch-activated big potassium channel (SAKcaC) from the heart.
The Na+,K+-ATPase in complex with beryllium fluoride mimics an ATPase phosphorylated stateThe Na+,K+-ATPase generates electrochemical gradients of Na+ and K+ across the plasma membrane via a functional cycle that includes various phosphoenzyme intermediates. However, the structure and function of these intermediates and how metal fluorides mimick them require further investigation. Here, we describe a 4.0 Å resolution crystal structure and functional properties of the pig kidney Na+,K+-ATPase stabilized by the inhibitor beryllium fluoride (denoted E2–BeFx). E2–BeFx is expected to mimic properties of the E2P phosphoenzyme, yet with unknown characteristics of ion and ligand binding.
The N-linker region of hERG1a upregulates hERG1b potassium channelsA major physiological role of hERG1 (human Ether-á-go-go-Related Gene 1) potassium channels is to repolarize cardiac action potentials. Two isoforms, hERG1a and hERG1b, associate to form the potassium current IKr in cardiomyocytes. Inherited mutations in hERG1a or hERG1b cause prolonged cardiac repolarization, long QT syndrome, and sudden death arrhythmia. hERG1a subunits assemble with and enhance the number of hERG1b subunits at the plasma membrane, but the mechanism for the increase in hERG1b by hERG1a is not well understood.
Characterizing unexpected interactions of a glutamine transporter inhibitor with members of the SLC1A transporter familyThe solute carrier 1A family comprises a group of membrane proteins that act as dual-function amino acid transporters and chloride (Cl−) channels and includes the alanine serine cysteine transporters (ASCTs) as well as the excitatory amino acid transporters. ASCT2 is regarded as a promising target for cancer therapy, as it can transport glutamine and other neutral amino acids into cells and is upregulated in a range of solid tumors. The compound L-γ-glutamyl-p-nitroanilide (GPNA) is widely used in studies probing the role of ASCT2 in cancer biology; however, the mechanism by which GPNA inhibits ASCT2 is not entirely clear.
Identification of the amino acid residues involved in the species-dependent differences in the pyridoxine transport function of SLC19A3Recent studies have shown that human solute carrier SLC19A3 (hSLC19A3) can transport pyridoxine (vitamin B6) in addition to thiamine (vitamin B1), its originally identified substrate, whereas rat and mouse orthologs of hSLC19A3 can transport thiamine but not pyridoxine. This finding implies that some amino acid residues required for pyridoxine transport, but not for thiamine transport, are specific to hSLC19A3. Here, we sought to identify these residues to help clarify the unique operational mechanism of SLC19A3 through analyses comparing hSLC19A3 and mouse Slc19a3 (mSlc19a3).
Tumor protein D54 binds intracellular nanovesicles via an extended amphipathic regionTumor protein D54 (TPD54) is an abundant cytosolic protein that belongs to the TPD52 family, a family of four proteins (TPD52, 53, 54, and 55) that are overexpressed in several cancer cells. Even though the functions of these proteins remain elusive, recent investigations indicate that TPD54 binds to very small cytosolic vesicles with a diameter of ca. 30 nm, half the size of classical (e.g., COPI and COPII) transport vesicles. Here, we investigated the mechanism of intracellular nanovesicle capture by TPD54.
The PLEKHA7–PDZD11 complex regulates the localization of the calcium pump PMCA and calcium handling in cultured cellsThe plasma membrane calcium ATPase (PMCA) extrudes calcium from the cytosol to the extracellular space to terminate calcium-dependent signaling. Although the distribution of PMCA is crucial for its function, the molecular mechanisms that regulate the localization of PMCA isoforms are not well understood. PLEKHA7 is implicated by genetic studies in hypertension and the regulation of calcium handling. PLEKHA7 recruits the small adapter protein PDZD11 to adherens junctions, and together they control the trafficking and localization of plasma membrane associated proteins, including the Menkes copper ATPase.
Phosphatidylinositol phosphates modulate interactions between the StarD4 sterol trafficking protein and lipid membranesThere is substantial evidence for extensive nonvesicular sterol transport in cells. For example, lipid transfer by the steroidogenic acute regulator-related proteins (StarD) containing a StarT domain has been shown to involve several pathways of nonvesicular trafficking. Among the soluble StarT domain–containing proteins, StarD4 is expressed in most tissues and has been shown to be an effective sterol transfer protein. However, it was unclear whether the lipid composition of donor or acceptor membranes played a role in modulating StarD4-mediated transport.
Zinc transport via ZNT5-6 and ZNT7 is critical for cell surface glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein expressionGlycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins play crucial roles in various enzyme activities, cell signaling and adhesion, and immune responses. While the molecular mechanism underlying GPI-anchored protein biosynthesis has been well studied, the role of zinc transport in this process has not yet been elucidated. Zn transporter (ZNT) proteins mobilize cytosolic zinc to the extracellular space and to intracellular compartments. Here, we report that the early secretory pathway ZNTs (ZNT5–ZNT6 heterodimers [ZNT5-6] and ZNT7–ZNT7 homodimers [ZNT7]), which supply zinc to the lumen of the early secretory pathway compartments are essential for GPI-anchored protein expression on the cell surface.
Hydrophobic mismatch is a key factor in protein transport across lipid bilayer membranes via the Tat pathwayThe twin-arginine translocation (Tat) pathway transports folded proteins across membranes in bacteria, thylakoids, plant mitochondria, and archaea. In most species, the active Tat machinery consists of three independent subunits: TatA, TatB, and TatC. TatA and TatB possess short transmembrane alpha helices (TMHs), both of which are only 15 residues long in Escherichia coli. Such short TMHs cause a hydrophobic mismatch between Tat subunits and the membrane bilayer, although the functional significance of this mismatch is unclear.
Amino acids in transmembrane helix 1 confer major functional differences between human and mouse orthologs of the polyspecific membrane transporter OCT1Organic cation transporter 1 (OCT1) is a membrane transporter that affects hepatic uptake of cationic and weakly basic drugs. OCT1 transports structurally highly diverse substrates. The mechanisms conferring this polyspecificity are unknown. Here, we analyzed differences in transport kinetics between human and mouse OCT1 orthologs to identify amino acids that contribute to the polyspecificity of OCT1. Following stable transfection of HEK293 cells, we observed more than twofold differences in the transport kinetics of 22 out of 28 tested substrates.
The transmembrane domain of the amyloid precursor protein is required for antiamyloidogenic processing by α-secretase ADAM10Neurotoxic amyloid β-peptides are thought to be a causative agent of Alzheimer’s disease in humans. The production of amyloid β-peptides from amyloid precursor protein (APP) could be diminished by enhancing α-processing; however, the physical interactions between APP and α-secretases are not well understood. In this study, we employed super-resolution light microscopy to examine in cell-free plasma membranes the abundance and association of APP and α-secretases ADAM10 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase) and ADAM17.
Accessibility of ENaC extracellular domain central core residuesThe epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC)/degenerin family has a similar extracellular architecture, where specific regulatory factors interact and alter channel gating behavior. The extracellular palm domain serves as a key link to the channel pore. In this study, we used cysteine-scanning mutagenesis to assess the functional effects of Cys-modifying reagents on palm domain β10 strand residues in mouse ENaC. Of the 13 ENaC α subunit mutants with Cys substitutions examined, only mutants at sites in the proximal region of β10 exhibited changes in channel activity in response to methanethiosulfonate reagents.
Capsaicin inhibits intestinal Cl- secretion and promotes Na+ absorption by blocking TRPV4 channels in healthy and colitic miceAlthough capsaicin has been studied extensively as an activator of the transient receptor potential vanilloid cation channel subtype 1 (TRPV1) channels in sensory neurons, little is known about its TRPV1-independent actions in gastrointestinal health and disease. Here, we aimed to investigate the pharmacological actions of capsaicin as a food additive and medication on intestinal ion transporters in mouse models of ulcerative colitis (UC). The short-circuit current (Isc) of the intestine from WT, TRPV1-, and TRPV4-KO mice were measured in Ussing chambers, and Ca2+ imaging was performed on small intestinal epithelial cells.
Mammalian monocarboxylate transporter 7 (MCT7/Slc16a6) is a novel facilitative taurine transporterMonocarboxylate transporter 7 (MCT7) is an orphan transporter expressed in the liver, brain, and in several types of cancer cells. It has also been reported to be a survival factor in melanoma and breast cancers. However, this survival mechanism is not yet fully understood due to MCT7’s unidentified substrate(s). Therefore, here we sought to identify MCT7 substrate(s) and characterize the transport mechanisms by analyzing amino acid transport in HEK293T cells and polarized Caco-2 cells. Analysis of amino acids revealed significant rapid reduction in taurine from cells transfected with enhanced green fluorescent protein-tagged MCT7.
The Escherichia coli outer membrane protein OmpA acquires secondary structure prior to its integration into the membraneAlmost all proteins that reside in the outer membrane (OM) of Gram-negative bacteria contain a membrane-spanning segment that folds into a unique β barrel structure and inserts into the membrane by an unknown mechanism. To obtain further insight into outer membrane protein (OMP) biogenesis, we revisited the surprising observation reported over 20 years ago that the Escherichia coli OmpA β barrel can be assembled into a native structure in vivo when it is expressed as two noncovalently linked fragments.
Mechanistic origin of partial agonism of tetrahydrocannabinol for cannabinoid receptorsCannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) is a therapeutically relevant drug target for controlling pain, obesity, and other central nervous system disorders. However, full agonists and antagonists of CB1 have been reported to cause serious side effects in patients. Therefore, partial agonists have emerged as a viable alternative as they can mitigate overstimulation and side effects. One of the key bottlenecks in the design of partial agonists, however, is the lack of understanding of the molecular mechanism of partial agonism itself.
Structural and functional analysis of the roles of influenza C virus membrane proteins in assembly and buddingAssembly and budding of the influenza C virus is mediated by three membrane proteins: the hemagglutinin-esterase-fusion glycoprotein (HEF), the matrix protein (CM1), and the ion channel (CM2). Here we investigated whether the formation of the hexagonal HEF arrangement, a distinctive feature of influenza C virions is important for virus budding. We used super resolution microscopy and found 250-nm sized HEF clusters at the plasma membrane of transfected cells, which were insensitive to cholesterol extraction and cytochalasin treatment.