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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Helix packing in the lactose permease of Escherichia coli determined by site-directed thiol cross-linking: helix I is close to helices V and XI.

Coexpression of lacY gene fragments encoding the first two transmembrane domains and the remaining 10 transmembrane domains complement in the membrane and catalyze active lactose transport [Wrubel, W., Stochaj, U., et al. (1990) J. Bacteriol. 172, 5374-5381]. Accordingly, a plasmid encoding contiguous, nonoverlapping permease fragments with a discontinuity in the cytoplasmic loop between helices II and III (loop II/III) was constructed (N2C10 permease). When Phe27 (helix I) is replaced with Cys, cross-linking is observed with two native Cys residues, Cys148 (helix V) and Cys355 (helix XI). Cross-linking of a Cys residue at position 27 to Cys148 occurs with N,N'-o-phenylenedimaleimide (o-PDM; rigid 6 A), with N,N'-p-phenylenedimaleimide (p-PDM; rigid 10 A), or with 1,6-bis(maleimido)hexane (BMH; flexible 16 A). On the other hand, with the Phe27-->Cys/Cys355 pair, cross-linking is observed with p-PDM or BMH but not o-PDM. In neither case is cross-linking observed with iodine. It is suggested that a Cys residue at position 27 is within 6-10 A from Cys148 and about 10 A from Cys355. The results provide evidence for proximity between helix I and helices V or XI in the tertiary structure of the permease. In addition, the findings are consistent with other results [Venkatesan, P., Kaback, H. R. (1998) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 95, 9802-9807] indicating that Glu126 (helix IV) and Arg144 (helix V) are within the membrane, rather than at the membrane-water interface on the cytoplasmic face.[1]


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