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Biochemistry

Helix packing in the lactose permease of Escherichia coli determined by site-directed thiol cross-linking: helix I is close to helices V and XI.


PMID 10074366

Abstract

Coexpression of lacY gene fragments encoding the first two transmembrane domains and the remaining 10 transmembrane domains complement in the membrane and catalyze active lactose transport [Wrubel, W., Stochaj, U., et al. (1990) J. Bacteriol. 172, 5374-5381]. Accordingly, a plasmid encoding contiguous, nonoverlapping permease fragments with a discontinuity in the cytoplasmic loop between helices II and III (loop II/III) was constructed (N2C10 permease). When Phe27 (helix I) is replaced with Cys, cross-linking is observed with two native Cys residues, Cys148 (helix V) and Cys355 (helix XI). Cross-linking of a Cys residue at position 27 to Cys148 occurs with N,N'-o-phenylenedimaleimide (o-PDM; rigid 6 A), with N,N'-p-phenylenedimaleimide (p-PDM; rigid 10 A), or with 1,6-bis(maleimido)hexane (BMH; flexible 16 A). On the other hand, with the Phe27-->Cys/Cys355 pair, cross-linking is observed with p-PDM or BMH but not o-PDM. In neither case is cross-linking observed with iodine. It is suggested that a Cys residue at position 27 is within 6-10 A from Cys148 and about 10 A from Cys355. The results provide evidence for proximity between helix I and helices V or XI in the tertiary structure of the permease. In addition, the findings are consistent with other results [Venkatesan, P., Kaback, H. R. (1998) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 95, 9802-9807] indicating that Glu126 (helix IV) and Arg144 (helix V) are within the membrane, rather than at the membrane-water interface on the cytoplasmic face.

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