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

Restoration of transport activity by co-expression of human reduced folate carrier half-molecules in transport-impaired K562 cells: localization of a substrate binding domain to transmembrane domains 7-12.

Reduced folates such as 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate and classical antifolates such as methotrexate are actively transported into mammalian cells by the reduced folate carrier (RFC). RFC is characterized by 12 stretches of mostly hydrophobic, alpha-helix-promoting amino acids, internally oriented N and C termini, and a large central linker connecting transmembrane domains (TMDs) 1-6 and 7-12. Previous studies showed that deletion of the majority of the central loop domain between TMDs 6 and 7 abolished transport, but this segment could be replaced with mostly non-homologous sequence from the SLC19A2 thiamine transporter to restore transport function. In this report, we expressed RFC from separate TMD1-6 and TMD7-12 RFC half-molecule constructs, each with a unique epitope tag, in RFC-null K562 cells to restore transport activity. Restored transport exhibited characteristic transport kinetics for methotrexate, a capacity for trans-stimulation by pretreatment with leucovorin, and inhibition by N-hydroxysuccinimide methotrexate, a documented affinity inhibitor of RFC. The TMD1-6 half-molecule migrated on SDS gels as a 38-58 kDa glycosylated species and was converted to 27 kDa by N-glycosidase F or tunicamycin treatments. The 40 kDa TMD7-12 half-molecule was unaffected by these treatments. Using transfected cells expressing both TMDs 1-6 and TMDs 7-12 as separate polypeptides, the TMD7-12 half-molecule was covalently radiolabeled with N-hydroxysuccinimide [(3)H]methotrexate. No radioactivity was incorporated into the TMD1-6 half-molecule. Digestion with endoproteinase GluC decreased the size of the radiolabeled 40 kDa TMD7-12 polypeptide to approximately 20 kDa. Our results demonstrate that a functional RFC can be reconstituted with RFC half-molecules and localize a critical substrate binding domain to within TMDs 7-12.[1]


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