Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2013 Oct 18;8(10):e78301. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078301. eCollection 2013.

Delineating the extracellular water-accessible surface of the proton-coupled folate transporter.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, United States of America ; Center for Membrane Protein Research, School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, United States of America.


The proton-coupled folate transporter (PCFT) was recently identified as the major uptake route for dietary folates in humans. The three-dimensional structure of PCFT and its detailed interplay with function remain to be determined. We screened the water-accessible extracellular surface of HsPCFT using the substituted-cysteine accessibility method, to investigate the boundaries between the water-accessible surface and inaccessible buried protein segments. Single-cysteines, engineered individually at 40 positions in a functional cysteine-less HsPCFT background construct, were probed for plasma-membrane expression in Xenopus oocytes with a bilayer-impermeant primary-amine-reactive biotinylating agent (sulfosuccinimidyl 6-(biotinamido) hexanoate), and additionally for water-accessibility of the respective engineered cysteine with the sulfhydryl-selective biotinylating agent 2-((biotinoyl)amino)ethyl methanethiosulfonate. The ratio between Cys-selective over amine-selective labeling was further used to evaluate three-dimensional models of HsPCFT generated by homology / threading modeling. The closest homologues of HsPCFT with a known experimentally-determined three-dimensional structure are all members of one of the largest membrane protein super-families, the major facilitator superfamily (MFS). The low sequence identity--14% or less--between HsPCFT and these templates necessitates experiment-based evaluation and model refinement of homology/threading models. With the present set of single-cysteine accessibilities, the models based on GlpT and PepTSt are most promising for further refinement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center