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

Substrate-induced conformational changes of extracellular loop 1 in the glycine transporter GLYT2.

The neurotransmitter glycine is removed from the synaptic cleft by two Na(+)-and Cl(-)-dependent transporters, the glial (GLYT1) and neuronal (GLYT2) glycine transporters. GLYT2 lacks a conserved cysteine in the first hydrophilic loop ( EL1) that is reactive to [2-(trimethylammonium)ethyl] methanethiosulfonate (MTSET) in related transporters. A chimeric GLYT2 (GLYT2a-EL1) that contains GLYT1 sequences in this region, including the relevant cysteine, was sensitive to the reagent, and its sensitivity was decreased by co-substrates. We combined cysteine-specific biotinylation to detect transporter-reagent interactions with MTSET inactivation assays and temperature dependence analysis to study the mechanism by which Cl(-), Na(+), and glycine reduce methanethiosulfonate reagent inhibition. We demonstrate a Na(+) protective effect rather than an increased susceptibility to the reagent exerted by Li(+), as reported for the serotonin transporter. The different inhibition, protection, and reactivation properties between GLYT2a-EL1 and serotonin transporter suggest that EL1 is a source of structural heterogeneity involved in the specific effect of lithium on serotonin transport. The protection by Na(+) or Cl(-) on GLYT2a-EL1 was clearly dependent on temperature, suggesting that EL1 is not involved in ion binding but is subjected to ion-induced conformational changes. Na(+) and Cl(-) were required for glycine protection, indicating the necessity of prior ion interaction with the transporter for the binding of glycine. We conclude that EL1 acts as a fluctuating hinge undergoing sequential conformational changes during the transport cycle.[1]


  1. Substrate-induced conformational changes of extracellular loop 1 in the glycine transporter GLYT2. López-Corcuera, B., Núñez, E., Martínez-Maza, R., Geerlings, A., Aragón, C. J. Biol. Chem. (2001) [Pubmed]
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