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J Biol Chem. 2004 Apr 16;279(16):16417-24. Epub 2004 Feb 3.

A conformation-specific interhelical salt bridge in the K+ binding site of gastric H,K-ATPase.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Nijmegen Center for Molecular Life Sciences, University of Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Homology modeling of gastric H,K-ATPase based on the E2 model of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (Toyoshima, C., and Nomura, H. (2002) Nature 392, 835-839) revealed the presence of a single high-affinity binding site for K+ and an E2 form-specific salt bridge between Glu820 (M6) and Lys791 (M5). In the E820Q mutant this salt bridge is no longer possible, and the head group of Lys791, together with a water molecule, fills the position of the K+ ion and apparently mimics the K+-filled cation binding pocket. This gives an explanation for the K+-independent ATPase activity and dephosphorylation step of the E820Q mutant (Swarts, H. G. P., Hermsen, H. P. H., Koenderink, J. B., Schuurmans Stekhoven, F. M. A. H., and De Pont, J. J. H. H. M. (1998) EMBO J. 17, 3029-3035) and, indirectly, for its E1 preference. The model is strongly supported by a series of reported mutagenesis studies on charged and polar amino acid residues in the membrane domain. To further test this model, Lys791 was mutated alone and in combination with other crucial residues. In the K791A mutant, the K+ affinity was markedly reduced without altering the E2 preference of the enzyme. The K791A mutation prevented, in contrast to the K791R mutation, the spontaneous dephosphorylation of the E820Q mutant as well as its conformational equilibrium change toward E1. This indicates that the salt bridge is essential for high-affinity K+ binding and the E2 preference of H,K-ATPase. Moreover, its breakage (E820Q) can generate a K+-insensitive activity and an E1 preference. In addition, the study gives a molecular explanation for the electroneutrality of H,K-ATPases.

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