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Membrane topology of system xc- light subunit reveals a re-entrant loop with substrate-restricted accessibility.

Gasol E., Jimenez-Vidal M., Chillaron J., Zorzano A., Palacin M.

Heteromeric amino acid transporters are composed of a heavy and a light subunit linked by a disulfide bridge. 4F2hc/xCT elicits sodium-independent exchange of anionic L-cysteine and L-glutamate (system x(c)(-)). Based on the accessibility of single cysteines to 3-(N-maleimidylpropionyl)biocytin, we propose a topological model for xCT of 12 transmembrane domains with the N and C termini located inside the cell. This location of N and C termini was confirmed by immunofluorescence. Studies of biotinylation and accessibility to sulfhydryl reagents revealed a re-entrant loop within intracellular loops 2 and 3. Residues His(110) and Thr(112), facing outside, are located at the apex of the re-entrant loop. Biotinylation of H110C was blocked by xCT substrates, by the nontransportable inhibitor (S)-4-carboxyphenylglycine, and by the impermeable reagent (2-sulfonatoethyl) methanethiosulfonate, which produced an inactivation of H110C that was protected by L-glutamate and L-cysteine with an IC(50) similar to the K(m). Protection was temperatureindependent. The data indicate that His(110) may lie close to the substrate binding/permeation pathway of xCT. The membrane topology of xCT could serve as a model for other light subunits of heteromeric amino acid transporters.

J. Biol. Chem. 279:31228-31236(2004) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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