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Single amino acid substitutions in the selectivity filter render NbXIP1;1α aquaporin water permeable

Ampah-Korsah, Henry LU ; Sonntag, Yonathan LU ; Engfors, Angelica LU ; Kirscht, Andreas LU ; Kjellbom, Per LU and Johanson, Urban LU (2017) In BMC Plant Biology 17(1). p.61-61
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Aquaporins (AQPs) are integral membrane proteins that facilitate transport of water and/or other small neutral solutes across membranes in all forms of life. The X Intrinsic Proteins (XIPs) are the most recently recognized and the least characterized aquaporin subfamily in higher plants. XIP1s have been shown to be impermeable to water but permeable to boric acid, glycerol, hydrogen peroxide and urea. However, uncertainty regarding the determinants for selectivity and lack of an activity that is easy to quantify have hindered functional investigations. In an effort to resolve these issues, we set out to introduce water permeability in Nicotiana benthamiana XIP1;1α (NbXIP1;1α), by exchanging amino acid residues of predicted... (More)

BACKGROUND: Aquaporins (AQPs) are integral membrane proteins that facilitate transport of water and/or other small neutral solutes across membranes in all forms of life. The X Intrinsic Proteins (XIPs) are the most recently recognized and the least characterized aquaporin subfamily in higher plants. XIP1s have been shown to be impermeable to water but permeable to boric acid, glycerol, hydrogen peroxide and urea. However, uncertainty regarding the determinants for selectivity and lack of an activity that is easy to quantify have hindered functional investigations. In an effort to resolve these issues, we set out to introduce water permeability in Nicotiana benthamiana XIP1;1α (NbXIP1;1α), by exchanging amino acid residues of predicted alternative aromatic/arginine (ar/R) selectivity filters of NbXIP1;1α for residues constituting the water permeable ar/R selectivity filter of AtTIP2;1.

RESULTS: Here, we present functional results regarding the amino acid substitutions in the putative filters as well as deletions in loops C and D of NbXIP1;1α. In addition, homology models were created based on the high resolution X-ray structure of AtTIP2;1 to rationalize the functional properties of wild-type and mutant NbXIP1;1α. Our results favour Thr 246 rather than Val 242 as the residue at the helix 5 position in the ar/R filter of NbXIP1;1α and indicate that the pore is not occluded by the loops when heterologously expressed in Pichia pastoris. Moreover, our results show that a single amino acid substitution in helix 1 (L79G) or in helix 2 (I102H) is sufficient to render NbXIP1;1α water permeable. Most of the functional results can be rationalized from the models based on a combination of aperture and hydrophobicity of the ar/R filter.

CONCLUSION: The water permeable NbXIP1;1α mutants imply that the heterologously expressed proteins are correctly folded and offer means to explore the structural and functional properties of NbXIP1;1α. Our results support that Thr 246 is part of the ar/R filter. Furthermore, we suggest that a salt bridge to an acidic residue in helix 1, conserved among the XIPs in clade B, directs the orientation of the arginine in the ar/R selectivity filter and provides a novel approach to tune the selectivity of AQPs.

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organization
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publication status
published
subject
keywords
Journal Article
in
BMC Plant Biology
volume
17
issue
1
pages
61 - 61
publisher
BioMed Central
external identifiers
  • scopus:85014779444
  • wos:000396773400001
ISSN
1471-2229
DOI
10.1186/s12870-017-1009-3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a78e196b-4128-4d04-b7ee-4f738e8cb8a7
date added to LUP
2017-09-19 14:23:18
date last changed
2018-05-29 09:27:15
@article{a78e196b-4128-4d04-b7ee-4f738e8cb8a7,
  abstract     = {<p>BACKGROUND: Aquaporins (AQPs) are integral membrane proteins that facilitate transport of water and/or other small neutral solutes across membranes in all forms of life. The X Intrinsic Proteins (XIPs) are the most recently recognized and the least characterized aquaporin subfamily in higher plants. XIP1s have been shown to be impermeable to water but permeable to boric acid, glycerol, hydrogen peroxide and urea. However, uncertainty regarding the determinants for selectivity and lack of an activity that is easy to quantify have hindered functional investigations. In an effort to resolve these issues, we set out to introduce water permeability in Nicotiana benthamiana XIP1;1α (NbXIP1;1α), by exchanging amino acid residues of predicted alternative aromatic/arginine (ar/R) selectivity filters of NbXIP1;1α for residues constituting the water permeable ar/R selectivity filter of AtTIP2;1.</p><p>RESULTS: Here, we present functional results regarding the amino acid substitutions in the putative filters as well as deletions in loops C and D of NbXIP1;1α. In addition, homology models were created based on the high resolution X-ray structure of AtTIP2;1 to rationalize the functional properties of wild-type and mutant NbXIP1;1α. Our results favour Thr 246 rather than Val 242 as the residue at the helix 5 position in the ar/R filter of NbXIP1;1α and indicate that the pore is not occluded by the loops when heterologously expressed in Pichia pastoris. Moreover, our results show that a single amino acid substitution in helix 1 (L79G) or in helix 2 (I102H) is sufficient to render NbXIP1;1α water permeable. Most of the functional results can be rationalized from the models based on a combination of aperture and hydrophobicity of the ar/R filter.</p><p>CONCLUSION: The water permeable NbXIP1;1α mutants imply that the heterologously expressed proteins are correctly folded and offer means to explore the structural and functional properties of NbXIP1;1α. Our results support that Thr 246 is part of the ar/R filter. Furthermore, we suggest that a salt bridge to an acidic residue in helix 1, conserved among the XIPs in clade B, directs the orientation of the arginine in the ar/R selectivity filter and provides a novel approach to tune the selectivity of AQPs.</p>},
  author       = {Ampah-Korsah, Henry and Sonntag, Yonathan and Engfors, Angelica and Kirscht, Andreas and Kjellbom, Per and Johanson, Urban},
  issn         = {1471-2229},
  keyword      = {Journal Article},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {61--61},
  publisher    = {BioMed Central},
  series       = {BMC Plant Biology},
  title        = {Single amino acid substitutions in the selectivity filter render NbXIP1;1α aquaporin water permeable},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12870-017-1009-3},
  volume       = {17},
  year         = {2017},
}