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Biochemistry. 2011 Apr 19;50(15):3137-48. doi: 10.1021/bi1020327. Epub 2011 Mar 25.

Determinants of ligand binding affinity and cooperativity at the GLUT1 endofacial site.

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Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 364 Plantation Street Worcester, Massachusetts 01605, United States.


Cytochalasin B (CB) and forskolin (FSK) inhibit GLUT1-mediated sugar transport in red cells by binding at or close to the GLUT1 endofacial sugar binding site. Paradoxically, very low concentrations of each of these inhibitors produce a modest stimulation of sugar transport [ Cloherty, E. K., Levine, K. B., and Carruthers, A. ((2001)) The red blood cell glucose transporter presents multiple, nucleotide-sensitive sugar exit sites. Biochemistry 40 ((51)) 15549-15561]. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that the glucose transporter contains multiple, interacting, endofacial binding sites for CB and FSK. The present study tests this hypothesis directly and, by screening a library of cytochalasin and forskolin analogues, asks what structural features of endofacial site ligands determine binding site affinity and cooperativity. Like CB, FSK competitively inhibits exchange 3-O-methylglucose transport (sugar uptake in cells containing intracellular sugar) but noncompetitively inhibits sugar uptake into cells lacking sugar at 4 °C. This refutes the hypothesis that FSK binds at GLUT1 endofacial and exofacial sugar binding sites. Some forskolin derivatives and cytochalasins inhibit equilibrium [(3)H]-CB binding to red cell membranes depleted of peripheral proteins at 4 °C. Others produce a moderate stimulation of [(3)H]-CB binding when introduced at low concentrations but inhibit binding as their concentration is increased. Yet other analogues modestly stimulate [(3)H]-CB binding at all inhibitor concentrations applied. These findings are explained by a carrier that presents at least two interacting endofacial binding sites for CB or FSK. We discuss this result within the context of models for GLUT1-mediated sugar transport and GLUT1 quaternary structure, and we evaluate the major determinants of ligand binding affinity and cooperativity.

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