Engineering a metal binding site within a polytopic membrane protein, the lactose permease of Escherichia coli

Kirsten Jung, John Voss, Molly He, Wayne L. Hubbell, H. Ronald Kaback

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76 Scopus citations


Site-directed excimer fluorescence indicates that Glu269 (helix VIII) and His322 (helix X) in the lactose permease of Escherichia coll lie in close proximity [Jung, K., Jung, H., Wu, J., Privé, G. G., & Kaback, H. R. (1993) Biochemistry 32, 12273]. In this study, Glu269 was replaced with His in wild-type permease, leading to the presence of bis-His residues between helices VIII and X. Wild-type and Glu269→His permease containing a biotin acceptor domain were purified by monomeric avidin affinity chromatography, and binding of Mn2+ was studied by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The amplitude of the Mn2+ EPR spectrum is reduced by the Glu269→His mutant, while no change is observed in the presence of wild-type permease. The Glu269→His mutant contains a single binding site for Mn2+ with a KD of about 43 μM, and Mn2+ binding is pH dependent with no binding at pH 5.0, stoichiometric binding at pH 7.5, and a midpoint at about pH 6.3. The results confirm the conclusion that helices VIII and X are closely opposed in the tertiary structure of lac permease and provide a novel approach for studying helix proximity, as well as solvent accessibility, in polytopic membrane proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6272-6277
Number of pages6
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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