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Biochemistry. 2013 Jul 30;52(30):5117-24. doi: 10.1021/bi400028q. Epub 2013 Jul 16.

Transmembrane domain V plays a stabilizing role in the function of human bile acid transporter SLC10A2.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, United States.


The human apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (hASBT, SLC10A2), primarily expressed in the ileum, is involved in both the recycling of bile acids and cholesterol homeostasis. In this study, the structure-function relationship of transmembrane domain 5 (TM5) residues involved in transport is elucidated. Cysteine scanning mutagenesis of each consecutive residue on TM5 resulted in 96% of mutants having a significantly decreased transport activity, although each was expressed at the cell surface. Specifically, G197 and I208 were no longer functional, and G201 and G212 functioned at a level of <10% upon cysteine mutation. Interestingly, each of these exists along one face of the helix. Studies suggest that neither G201 nor G212 is on the substrate pathway. Conservative alanine mutations of the four residues displayed a higher activity in all but G197A, indicating its functional importance. G197 and G201 form a GxxxG motif, which has been found to be important in helix-helix interactions. According to our model, G197 and G201 face transmembrane domain 4 (TM4) residues G179 and P175, respectively. Similarly, G212 faces G237, which forms part of a GxxxG domain in transmembrane domain 6 (TM6). It is possible that these GxxxG domains and their interacting partners are responsible for maintaining the structure of the helices and their interactions with one another. I205 and I208 are both in positions to anchor the GxxxG domains and direct the change in interaction of TM5 from TM4 to TM6. Combined, the results suggest that residues along TM5 are critical for ASBT function but are not directly involved in substrate translocation.

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