The glucose permeation pathway within the GLUT1 facilitative glucose transporter is hypothesized to be formed by the juxtaposition of the hydrophilic faces of several transmembrane α-helices. The role of transmembrane segment 11 in forming a portion of this central aqueous channel was investigated using cysteine-scanning mutagenesis in conjunction with sulfhydryl-directed chemical modification. Each of the amino acid residues within transmembrane segment 11 were individually mutated to cysteine in an engineered GLUT1 molecule devoid of all native cysteines (C-less). Measurement of 2-deoxyglucose uptake in a Xenopus oocyte expression system revealed that all of these mutants retain measurable transport activity. Four of the cysteine mutants (N411, W412, N415, and F422) had significantly reduced specific activity relative to the C-less protein. Specific activity was increased in five of the mutants (A402, A405, V406, F416, and M420). The solvent accessibility and relative orientation of the residues to the glucose permeation pathway were investigated by determining the sensitivity of the mutant transporters to inhibition by the sulfhydryl-directed reagent p-chloromercuribenzenesulfonate (pCMBS). Cysteine replacement at five positions (I404, G408, F416, G419, and M420) produced transporters that were inhibited by incubation with extracellular pCMBS. All of these residues cluster along a single face of the α-helix within the regions showing altered specific activities. These data demonstrate that the exofacial portion of transmembrane segment 11 is accessible to the external solvent and provide evidence for the positioning of this α-helix within or near the glucose permeation pathway.
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Aug 8 2000|