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J Biol Chem. 2009 Mar 27;284(13):8918-29. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M806674200. Epub 2009 Jan 21.

NBCe1-A Transmembrane Segment 1 Lines the Ion Translocation Pathway.

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Division of Nephrology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California 90095-1689, USA.


The electrogenic Na(+)/HCO(3)(-) cotransporter (NBCe1-A) transports sodium and bicarbonate across the basolateral membrane of the renal proximal tubule. In this study the structural requirement of transmembrane segment 1 (TM1) residues in mediating NBCe1-A transport was investigated. Twenty-five introduced cysteine mutants at positions Gln-424 to Gly-448 were tested for their sensitivity to the methanethiosulfonate reagents (2-sulfonatoethyl) methanethiosulfonate (MTSES), [2-(trimethylammonium)ethyl]methanethiosulfonate (MTSET), and (2-aminoethyl) methanethiosulfonate (MTSEA). Two mutants, T442C and A435C, showed 100 and 70% sensitivity, respectively, to inhibition by all the three methanethiosulfonate (MTS) reagents, I441C had >50% sensitivity to MTSET and MTSEA, and A428C had 50% sensitivity to MTSEA inhibition. A helical wheel plot showed that mutants T442C, A435C, and A428C are clustered on one face of TM1 within a 100 degrees arc. Topology analysis of TM1 with biotin maleimide and 2-((5(6)-tetramethylrhodamine)carboxylamino) ethyl methanethiosulfonate (MTS-TAMRA) revealed Thr-442 marks the C-terminal end of TM1 and that extracellular FGGLLG stretch is in a small aqueous-accessible cavity. Functional studies indicated that Thr-442 resides in a narrow region of the ion translocation pore with strong delta(-) helical dipole influence. Analysis of the corresponding residue of NBCe1-A-Thr-442 in AE1 (Thr-422) shows it is functionally insensitive to MTSES and unlabeled with MTS-TAMRA, indicating that AE1-TM1 is oriented differently from NBCe1-A. In summary, we have identified residues Thr-442, Ala-435, and Ala-428 in TM1 lining the ion translocation pore of NBCe1-A. Our findings are suggestive of a delta(-) helical dipole at the C-terminal end of TM1 involving Thr-442 that plays a critical role in the function of the cotransporter.

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