PubMed 22235131

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv10.1

Title: An acidic amino acid transmembrane helix 10 residue conserved in the neurotransmitter:sodium:symporters is essential for the formation of the extracellular gate of the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporter GAT-1.

Authors: Assaf Ben-Yona, Baruch I Kanner

Journal, date & volume: J. Biol. Chem., 2012 Mar 2 , 287, 7159-68

PubMed link:

GAT-1 mediates transport of GABA together with sodium and chloride in an electrogenic process enabling efficient GABAergic transmission. Biochemical and modeling studies based on the structure of the bacterial homologue LeuT are consistent with a mechanism whereby the binding pocket is alternately accessible to either side of the membrane and which predicts that the extracellular part of transmembrane domain 10 (TM10) exhibits aqueous accessibility in the outward-facing conformation only. In this study we have engineered cysteine residues in the extracellular half of TM10 of GAT-1 and probed their state-dependent accessibility to sulfhydryl reagents. In three out of four of the accessible cysteine mutants, the inhibition of transport by a membrane impermeant sulfhydryl reagent was diminished under conditions expected to increase the proportion of inward-facing transporters, such as the presence of GABA together with the cotransported ions. A conserved TM10 aspartate residue, whose LeuT counterpart participates in a "thin" extracellular gate, was found to be essential for transport and only the D451E mutant exhibited residual transport activity. D451E exhibited robust sodium-dependent transient currents with a voltage-dependence indicative of an increased apparent affinity for sodium. Moreover the accessibility of an endogenous cysteine to a membrane impermeant sulfhydryl reagent was enhanced by the D451E mutation, suggesting that sodium binding promotes an outward-facing conformation of the transporter. Our results support the idea that TM10 of GAT-1 lines an accessibility pathway from the extracellular space into the binding pocket and plays a role in the opening and closing of the extracellular transporter gate.