Elucidating a role for the cytoplasmic domain in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis mechanosensitive channel of large conductance

Nadia Herrera, Grigory Maksaev, Elizabeth S. Haswell, Douglas C. Rees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Microbial survival in dynamic environments requires the ability to successfully respond to abrupt changes in osmolarity. The mechanosensitive channel of large conductance (MscL) is a ubiquitous channel that facilitates the survival of bacteria and archaea under severe osmotic downshock conditions by relieving excess turgor pressure in response to increased membrane tension. A prominent structural feature of MscL, the cytoplasmic C-terminal domain, has been suggested to influence channel assembly and function. In this report, we describe the X-ray crystal structure and electrophysiological properties of a C-terminal domain truncation of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis MscL (MtMscLΔC). A crystal structure of MtMscLΔC solubilized in the detergent n-dodecyl-β-D-maltopyranoside reveals the pentameric, closed state-like architecture for the membrane spanning region observed in the previously solved full-length MtMscL. Electrophysiological characterization demonstrates that MtMscLΔC retains mechanosensitivity, but with conductance and tension sensitivity more closely resembling full length EcMscL than MtMscL. This study establishes that the C-terminal domain of MtMscL is not required for oligomerization of the full-length channel, but rather influences the tension sensitivity and conductance properties of the channel. The collective picture that emerges from these data is that each MscL channel structure has characteristic features, highlighting the importance of studying multiple homologs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14566
JournalScientific reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

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