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J Biol Chem. 1992 Jun 5;267(16):11064-8.

Cloning, sequencing, and expression of the nhaB gene, encoding a Na+/H+ antiporter in Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Microbiol Ecology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.


In Escherichia coli, expulsion of sodium ions is driven by proton flux via at least two distinct Na+/H+ antiporters, NhaA and NhaB. When the nhaA gene is deleted from the chromosome, the cell becomes sensitive to high salinity and alkaline pH (Padan, E., Maisler, N., Taglicht, D., Karpel, R., and Schuldiner, S. (1989) J. Biol. Chem. 264, 20297-20302). In the current work we cloned the nhaB gene by complementation of the delta nhaA strain. The gene codes for a membrane protein 504 amino acids long. Hydropathic analysis of the sequence indicates the presence of 12 putative transmembrane helices. NhaB has been specifically labeled with [35S]methionine; it is a membrane protein and displays an apparent M(r) of 47,000, slightly lower than that predicted from its amino acid sequence. Membranes from cells containing multiple dose of nhaB display enhanced Na+/H+ antiporter activity, as measured by the ability of Na+ to collapse a preformed pH gradient or by direct measurement of 22Na+ fluxes. In contrast to NhaA, whose activity increases with pH, NhaB is practically insensitive to pH. Limited homologies with Na+ transporters have been identified.

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