Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2012

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0036647

Abstract

As an important structure in membrane proteins, transmembrane domains have been found to be crucial for properly targeting the protein to cell membrane as well as carrying out transport functions in transporters. Computer analysis of OATP sequences revealed transmembrane domain 2 (TM2) is among those transmembrane domains that have high amino acid identities within different family members. In the present study, we identify four amino acids (Asp70, Phe73, Glu74, and Gly76) that are essential for the transport function of OATP1B1, an OATP member that is specifically expressed in the human liver. A substitution of these four amino acids with alanine resulted in significantly reduced transport activity. Further mutagenesis showed the charged property of Asp70 and Glu74 is critical for proper function of the transporter protein. Comparison of the kinetic parameters indicated that Asp70 is likely to interact with the substrate while Glu74 may be involved in stabilizing the binding site through formation of a salt-bridge. The aromatic ring structure of Phe73 seems to play an important role because substitution of Phe73 with tyrosine, another amino acid with a similar structure, led to partially restored transport function. On the other hand, replacement of Gly76 with either alanine or valine could not recover the function of the transporter. Considering the nature of a transmembrane helix, we proposed that Gly76 may be important for maintaining the proper structure of the protein. Interestingly, when subjected to transport function analysis of higher concentration of esteone-3-sulfate (50 µM) that corresponds to the low affinity binding site of OATP1B1, mutants of Phe73, Glu74, and Gly76 all showed a transport function that is comparable to that of the wild-type, suggesting these amino acids may have less impact on the low affinity component of esteone-3-sulfate within OATP1B1, while Asp 70 seems to be involved in the interaction of both sites.

Comments

A correction to this article was published here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/annotation/35943d4c-3455-4818-976a-be73a2e07fff.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Plos One, v. 7, no, 5, p. 1-9.

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