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

N-retinylidene-phosphatidylethanolamine is the preferred retinoid substrate for the photoreceptor-specific ABC transporter ABCA4 (ABCR).

ABCA4, a member of the family of ATP binding cassette (ABC) proteins found in rod and cone photoreceptors, has been implicated in the transport of retinoid compounds across the outer segment disk membrane following the photoactivation of rhodopsin. Mutations in the ABCA4 gene are responsible for Stargardt macular dystrophy and related retinal degenerative diseases that cause a loss in vision. To identify the retinoid substrate that interacts with ABCA4, we have isolated ABCA4 from rod outer segment disk membranes on an immunoaffinity matrix and analyzed retinoid compounds that bind to ABCA4 using high performance liquid chromatography and radiolabeling methods. When all-trans-retinal was added to ABCA4 in the presence of phosphatidylethanolamine, approximately 0.9 mol of N-retinylidene-phosphatidylethanolamine and 0.3 mol of all-trans-retinal were bound per mol of ABCA4 with an apparent K(d) of 2-5 microm. ATP and GTP released these retinoids from ABCA4, whereas ADP, GDP, and nonhydrolyzable derivatives, adenosine 5'-(beta,gamma-imido)triphosphate and guanosine 5'-(beta,gamma-imido)triphosphate, were ineffective. One mole of N-retinyl-phosphatidylethanolamine, the reduced form of N-retinylidene-phosphatidylethanolamine, bound per mol of ABCA4, whereas 0.3 mol of all-trans-retinal were bound in the absence of phosphatidylethanolamine. No binding of all-trans-retinol to ABCA4 was observed. Our results indicate that ABCA4 preferentially binds N-retinylidene-phosphatidylethanolamine with high affinity in the absence of ATP. Our studies further suggest that ATP binding and hydrolysis induces a protein conformational change that causes N-retinylidene-phosphatidylethanolamine to dissociate from ABCA4.[1]


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