Send to

Choose Destination
Protein Sci. 1993 Jun;2(6):1024-33.

Cysteine scanning mutagenesis of putative transmembrane helices IX and X in the lactose permease of Escherichia coli.

Author information

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Physiology, University of California, Los Angeles 90024-1574.


Using a functional lactose permease mutant devoid of Cys residues (C-less permease), each amino-acid residue in putative transmembrane helices IX and X and the short intervening loop was systematically replaced with Cys (from Asn-290 to Lys-335). Thirty-four of 46 mutants accumulate lactose to high levels (70-100% or more of C-less), and an additional 7 mutants exhibit lower but highly significant lactose accumulation. As expected (see Kaback, H.R., 1992, Int. Rev. Cytol. 137A, 97-125), Cys substitution for Arg-302, His-322, or Glu-325 results in inactive permease molecules. Although Cys replacement for Lys-319 or Phe-334 also inactivates lactose accumulation, Lys-319 is not essential for active lactose transport (Sahin-Tóth, M., Dunten, R.L., Gonzalez, A., & Kaback, H.R., 1992, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 89, 10547-10551), and replacement of Phe-334 with leucine yields permease with considerable activity. All single-Cys mutants except Gly-296 --> Cys are present in the membrane in amounts comparable to C-less permease, as judged by immunological techniques. In contrast, mutant Gly-296 --> Cys is hardly detectable when expressed at a relatively low rate from the lac promoter/operator but present in the membrane in stable form when expressed at a high rate from T7 promoter. Finally, studies with N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) show that only a few mutants are inactivated significantly. Remarkably, the rate of inactivation of Val-315 --> Cys permease is enhanced at least 10-fold in the presence of beta-galactopyranosyl 1-thio-beta-D-galactopyranoside (TDG) or an H+ electrochemical gradient (delta mu-H+). The results demonstrate that only three residues in this region of the permease -Arg-302, His-322, and Glu-325-are essential for active lactose transport. Furthermore, the enhanced reactivity of the Val-315 --> Cys mutant toward NEM in the presence of TDG or delta mu-H+ probably reflects a conformational alteration induced by either substrate binding or delta mu-H+.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center