PubMed 20483324

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: ClvC4

Title: Secondary water pore formation for proton transport in a ClC exchanger revealed by an atomistic molecular-dynamics simulation.

Authors: Youn Jo Ko, Won Ho Jo

Journal, date & volume: Biophys. J., 2010 May 19 , 98, 2163-9

PubMed link:

Several prokaryotic ClC proteins have been demonstrated to function as exchangers that transport both chloride ions and protons simultaneously in opposite directions. However, the path of the proton through the ClC exchanger, and how the protein brings about the coupled movement of both ions are still unknown. In this work, we use an atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to demonstrate that a previously unknown secondary water pore is formed inside an Escherichia coli ClC exchanger. The secondary water pore is bifurcated from the chloride ion pathway at E148. From the systematic simulations, we determined that the glutamate residue exposed to the intracellular solution, E203, plays an important role as a trigger for the formation of the secondary water pore, and that the highly conserved tyrosine residue Y445 functions as a barrier that separates the proton from the chloride ion pathways. Based on our simulation results, we conclude that protons in the ClC exchanger are conducted via a water network through the secondary water pore, and we propose a new mechanism for the coupled transport of chloride ions and protons. It has been reported that several members of ClC proteins are not just channels that simply transport chloride ions across lipid bilayers; rather, they are exchangers that transport both the chloride ion and proton in opposite directions. However, the ion transit pathways and the mechanism of the coupled movement of these two ions have not yet been unveiled. In this article, we report a new finding (to our knowledge) of a water pore inside a prokaryotic ClC protein as revealed by computer simulation. This water pore is bifurcated from the putative chloride ion, and water molecules inside the new pore connect two glutamate residues that are known to be key residues for proton transport. On the basis of our simulation results, we conclude that the water wire that is formed inside the newly found pore acts as a proton pathway, which enables us to resolve many problems that could not be addressed by previous experimental studies.