Research ArticleBIOPHYSICS

Substrate-modulated unwinding of transmembrane helices in the NSS transporter LeuT

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  11 May 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 5, eaar6179
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar6179

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text


LeuT, a prokaryotic member of the neurotransmitter:sodium symporter (NSS) family, is an established structural model for mammalian NSS counterparts. We investigate the substrate translocation mechanism of LeuT by measuring the solution-phase structural dynamics of the transporter in distinct functional states by hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS). Our HDX-MS data pinpoint LeuT segments involved in substrate transport and reveal for the first time a comprehensive and detailed view of the dynamics associated with transition of the transporter between outward- and inward-facing configurations in a Na+- and K+-dependent manner. The results suggest that partial unwinding of transmembrane helices 1/5/6/7 drives LeuT from a substrate-bound, outward-facing occluded conformation toward an inward-facing open state. These hitherto unknown, large-scale conformational changes in functionally important transmembrane segments, observed for LeuT in detergent-solubilized form and when embedded in a native-like phospholipid bilayer, could be of physiological relevance for the translocation process.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text