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Transfus Clin Biol. 2006 Mar-Apr;13(1-2):128-31. Epub 2006 Apr 3.

Ammonium transport properties of HEK293 cells expressing RhCG mutants: preliminary analysis of structure/function by site-directed mutagenesis.

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  • 1Inserm U665, Paris, France.


We have recently shown by monitoring intracellular pHi with a stopped-flow fluorimeter, that when expressed in HEK293 kidney cells, two Rh glycoproteins, RhBG and RhCG, facilitated NH3 movement across the plasma membrane. Based on the results of 3D structure determination of AmtB, a bacterial member of the Amt/Mep/Rh superfamily, and of homology modeling of the human Rh proteins, we have attempted to determine if some selected residues predicted to be located in the pore or in the vestibule of the channel are essential for NH3 transport. Accordingly, wild type and mutant forms of RhCG were expressed in HEK293 cells and their ammonium function was analyzed with the stopped-flow fluorimeter. Some mutants that were not expressed at a significant level in HEK293 could not be tested for function, but mutations at positions F74, V137 and F235 (equivalent positions in AmtB: I28, L114, F215, respectively) resulted in a severe reduction of NH3 transport.

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