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J Biol Chem. 1996 Sep 13;271(37):22487-93.

Site-directed mutagenesis of the 100-kDa subunit (Vph1p) of the yeast vacuolar (H+)-ATPase.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.

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  • J Biol Chem 1996 Nov 8;271(45):28725.


Vacuolar (H+)-ATPases (V-ATPases) are multisubunit complexes responsible for acidification of intracellular compartments in eukaryotic cells. V-ATPases possess a subunit of approximate molecular mass 100 kDa of unknown function that is composed of an amino-terminal hydrophilic domain and a carboxyl-terminal hydrophobic domain. To test whether the 100-kDa subunit plays a role in proton transport, site-directed mutagenesis of the VPH1 gene, which is one of two genes that encodes this subunit in yeast, has been carried out in a strain lacking both endogenous genes. Ten charged and twelve polar residues located in the seven putative transmembrane helices in the COOH-terminal domain of the molecule were individually changed, and the effects on proton transport, ATPase activity, and assembly of the yeast V-ATPase were measured. Two mutations (R735L and Q634L) in transmembrane helix 6 and at the border of transmembrane helix 5, respectively, showed greatly reduced levels of the 100-kDa subunit in the vacuolar membrane, suggesting that these mutations affected stability of the 100-kDa subunit. Two mutations, D425N and K538A, in transmembrane helix 1 and at the border of transmembrane helix 3, respectively, showed reduced assembly of the V-ATPase, with the D425N mutation also reducing the activity of V-ATPase complexes that did assemble. Two mutations, H743A and K593A, in transmembrane helix 6 and at the border of transmembrane helix 4, respectively, have significantly greater effects on activity than on assembly, with proton transport and ATPase activity inhibited 40-60%. One mutation, E789Q, in transmembrane helix 7, virtually completely abolished proton transport and ATPase activity while having no effect on assembly. These results suggest that the 100-kDa subunit may be required for activity as well as assembly of the V-ATPase complex and that several charged residues in the last four putative transmembrane helices of this subunit may play a role in proton transport.

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