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

The conserved histidine 295 does not contribute to proton cotransport by the glutamate transporter EAAC1.

Transmembrane glutamate transport by the excitatory amino acid carrier (EAAC1) is coupled to the cotransport of three Na(+) ions and one proton. Previously, we suggested that the mechanism of H(+) cotransport involves protonation of the conserved glutamate residue E373. However, it was also speculated that the cotransported proton is shared in a H(+)-binding network, possibly involving the conserved histidine 295 in the sixth transmembrane domain of EAAC1. Here, we used site-directed mutagenesis together with pre-steady-state electrophysiological analysis of the mutant transporters to test the protonation state of H295 and to determine its involvement in proton transport by EAAC1. Our results show that replacement of H295 with glutamine, an amino acid residue that cannot be protonated, generates a fully functional transporter with transport kinetics that are close to those of the wild-type EAAC1. In contrast, replacement with lysine results in a transporter in which substrate binding and translocation are dramatically inhibited. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the effect of the histidine 295 to lysine mutation on the glutamate affinity is caused by its positive charge, since wild-type-like affinity can be restored by changing the extracellular pH to 10.0, thus partially deprotonating H295K. Together, these results suggest that histidine 295 is not protonated in EAAC1 at physiological pH and, thus, does not contribute to H(+) cotransport. This conclusion is supported by data from H295C-E373C double mutant transporters which demonstrate that these residues cannot be linked by oxidation, indicating that H295 and E373 are not close in space and do not form a proton binding network. A kinetic scheme is used to quantify the results, which includes binding of the cotransported proton to E373 and binding of a modulatory, nontransported proton to the amino acid side chain in position 295.[1]


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