Patching, Simon G., Psakis, Georgios, Baldwin, Stephen A., Baldwin, Jocelyn, Henderson, Peter J.F. and Middleton, David A. (2008) Relative substrate affinities of wild-type and mutant forms of the Escherichia coli sugar transporter GalP determined by solid-state NMR. Molecular Membrane Biology, 25 (6-7). pp. 474-484. ISSN 0968-7688 (print), 1464-5203 (electronic)

Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (SSNMR) spectroscopy is used for the first time to examine the relative substrate-binding affinities of mutant forms of the Escherichia coli sugar transporter GalP in membrane preparations. The SSNMR method of (13)C cross-polarization magic-angle spinning (CP-MAS) is applied to five site-specific mutants (W56F, W239F, R316W, T336Y and W434F), which have a range of different sugar-transport activities compared to the wild-type protein. It is shown that binding of the substrate D-glucose can be detected independently of sugar transport activity using SSNMR, and that the NMR peak intensities for uniformly (13)C-labelled glucose are consistent with wild-type GalP and the mutants having different affinities for the substrate. The W239F and W434F mutants showed binding affinities similar to that of the wild-type protein, whereas the affinity of glucose-binding to the W56F mutant was reduced. The R316W mutant showed no detectable binding; this position corresponds to the second basic residue in the highly conserved (R/K)XGR(R/K) motif in the major facilitator superfamily of transport proteins and to a mutation in human GLUT1 found in individuals with GLUT1-deficiency syndrome. The T336Y mutant also showed no detectable binding; this mutation is likely to have perturbed helix structure or packing to an extent that conformational changes in the protein are hindered. The effects of the mutations on substrate-binding are discussed with reference to the putative positions of the residues in a 3D homology model of GalP based on the X-ray crystal structure of the E. coli glycerol-3-phosphate transporter GlpT.

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