Physicochemical Factors Controlling the Activity and Energy Coupling of an Ionic Strength-gated ATP-binding Cassette (ABC) Transporter

A. Karasawa, L.J.Y.M. Swier, M.C.A. Stuart, J.F.H.M. Brouwers, J.B. Helms, B. Poolman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Cells control their volume through the accumulation of compatible solutes. The bacterial ATP-binding cassette transporter OpuA couples compatible solute uptake to ATP hydrolysis. Here, we study the gating mechanism and energy coupling of OpuA reconstituted in lipid nanodiscs. We show that anionic lipids are essential both for the gating and the energy coupling. The tight coupling between substrate binding on extracellular domains and ATP hydrolysis by cytoplasmic nucleotide-binding domains allows the study of transmembrane signaling in nanodiscs. From the tight coupling between processes at opposite sides of the membrane, we infer that the ATPase activity of OpuA in nanodiscs reflects solute translocation. Intriguingly, the substrate-dependent, ionic strength-gated ATPase activity of OpuA in nanodiscs is at least an order of magnitude higher than in lipid vesicles (i.e. with identical membrane lipid composition, ionic strength, and nucleotide and substrate concentrations). Even with the chemical components the same, the lateral pressure (profile) of the nanodiscs will differ from that of the vesicles. We thus propose that membrane tension limits translocation in vesicular systems. Increased macromolecular crowding does not activate OpuA but acts synergistically with ionic strength, presumably by favoring gating interactions of likecharged surfaces via excluded volume effects.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29862-29871
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
    VolumeOct 11
    Issue number288 (41)
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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