Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2007 Sep 14;282(37):26810-21. Epub 2007 Jul 17.

Monomers of the NhaA Na+/H+ antiporter of Escherichia coli are fully functional yet dimers are beneficial under extreme stress conditions at alkaline pH in the presence of Na+ or Li+.

Author information

Department of Biological Chemistry, Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 91904 Jerusalem, Israel.


NhaA, the Na(+)/H(+) antiporter of Escherichia coli, exists in the native membrane as a homodimer of which two monomers have been suggested to be attached by a beta-hairpin at the periplasmic side of the membrane. Constructing a mutant deleted of the beta-hairpin, NhaA/Delta(Pro(45)-Asn(58)), revealed that in contrast to the dimeric mobility of native NhaA, the mutant has the mobility of a monomer in a blue native gel. Intermolecular cross-linking that monitors dimers showed that the mutant exists only as monomers in the native membrane, proteoliposomes, and when purified in beta-dodecyl maltoside micelles. Furthermore, pull-down experiments revealed that, whereas as expected for a dimer, hemagglutinin-tagged wild-type NhaA co-purified with His-tagged NhaA on a Ni(2+)-NTA affinity column, a similar version of the mutant did not. Remarkably, under routine stress conditions (0.1 m LiCl, pH 7 or 0.6 m NaCl, pH 8.3), the monomeric form of NhaA is fully functional. It conferred salt resistance to NhaA- and NhaB-deleted cells, and whether in isolated membrane vesicles or reconstituted into proteoliposomes exhibited Na(+)/H(+) antiporter activity and pH regulation very similar to wild-type dimers. Remarkably, under extreme stress conditions (0.1 m LiCl or 0.7 m NaCl at pH 8.5), the dimeric native NhaA was much more efficient than the monomeric mutant in conferring extreme stress resistance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center