Relocation of the disulfonic stilbene sites of AE1 (band 3) on the basis of fluorescence energy transfer measurements.

PMID 15379532


Previous fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) measurements, using BIDS (4-benzamido-4'-isothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulfonate) as a label for the disulfonic stilbene site and FM (fluorescein-5-maleimide) as a label for the cytoplasmic SH groups on band 3 (AE1), combined with data showing that the cytoplasmic SH groups lie about 40 A from the cytoplasmic surface of the lipid bilayer, would place the BIDS sites very near the membrane's inner surface, a location that seems to be inconsistent with current models of AE1 structure and mechanism. We reinvestigated the BIDS-FM distance, using laser single photon counting techniques as well as steady-state fluorescence of AE1, in its native membrane environment. Both techniques agree that there is very little energy transfer from BIDS to FM. The mean energy transfer (E), based on three-exponential fits to the fluorescence decay data, is 2.5 +/- 0.7% (SEM, N = 12). Steady-state fluorescence measurements also indicate <3% energy transfer from BIDS to FM. These data indicate that the BIDS sites are probably over 63 A from the cytoplasmic SH groups, placing them near the middle or the external half of the lipid bilayer. This relocation of the BIDS sites fits with other evidence that the disulfonic stilbene sites are located farther toward the external membrane surface than Glu-681, a residue near the inner membrane surface whose modification affects the pH dependence and anion selectivity of band 3. The involvement of two relatively distant parts of the AE1 protein in transport function suggests that the transport mechanism requires coordinated large-scale conformational changes in the band 3 protein.

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N-(5-Fluoresceinyl)maleimide, ≥90% (HPLC), suitable for fluorescence, BioReagent