Author(s): Ormazabal V, Zuiga FA, Escobar E, Aylwin C, SalasBurgos A,
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Abstract Na(+)-coupled ascorbic acid transporter-2 (SVCT2) activity is impaired at acid pH, but little is known about the molecular determinants that define the transporter pH sensitivity. SVCT2 contains six histidine residues in its primary sequence, three of which are exofacial in the transporter secondary structure model. We used site-directed mutagenesis and treatment with diethylpyrocarbonate to identify histidine residues responsible for SVCT2 pH sensitivity. We conclude that five histidine residues, His(109), His(203), His(206), His(269), and His(413), are central regulators of SVCT2 function, participating to different degrees in modulating pH sensitivity, transporter kinetics, Na(+) cooperativity, conformational stability, and subcellular localization. Our results are compatible with a model in which (i) a single exofacial histidine residue, His(413), localized in the exofacial loop IV that connects transmembrane helices VII-VIII defines the pH sensitivity of SVCT2 through a mechanism involving a marked attenuation of the activation by Na(+) and loss of Na(+) cooperativity, which leads to a decreased V(max) without altering the transport K(m); (ii) exofacial histidine residues His(203), His(206), and His(413) may be involved in maintaining a functional interaction between exofacial loops II and IV and influence the general folding of the transporter; (iii) histidines 203, 206, 269, and 413 affect the transporter kinetics by modulating the apparent transport K(m); and (iv) histidine 109, localized at the center of transmembrane helix I, might be fundamental for the interaction of SVCT2 with the transported substrate ascorbic acid. Thus, histidine residues are central regulators of SVCT2 function.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy