- pH- and sodium-induced changes in a sodium/proton antiporter (2014)
- We examined substrate-induced conformational changes in MjNhaP1, an archaeal electroneutral Na+/H+-antiporter resembling the human antiporter NHE1, by electron crystallography of 2D crystals in a range of physiological pH and Na+ conditions. In the absence of sodium, changes in pH had no major effect. By contrast, changes in Na+ concentration caused a marked conformational change that was largely pH-independent. Crystallographically determined, apparent dissociation constants indicated ∼10-fold stronger Na+ binding at pH 8 than at pH 4, consistent with substrate competition for a common ion-binding site. Projection difference maps indicated helix movements by about 2 Å in the 6-helix bundle region of MjNhaP1 that is thought to contain the ion translocation site. We propose that these movements convert the antiporter from the proton-bound, outward-open state to the Na+-bound, inward-open state. Oscillation between the two states would result in rapid Na+/H+ antiport.
- Light-induced helix movements in channelrhodopsin-2 (2014)
- Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) is a cation-selective light-gated channel from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (Nagel G, Szellas T, Huhn W, Kateriya S, Adeishvili N, Berthold P, et al. Channelrhodopsin-2, a directly light-gated cation-selective membrane channel. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2003;100:13940-5), which has become a powerful tool in optogenetics. Two-dimensional crystals of the slow photocycling C128T ChR2 mutant were exposed to 473 nm light and rapidly frozen to trap the open state. Projection difference maps at 6Å resolution show the location, extent and direction of light-induced conformational changes in ChR2 during the transition from the closed state to the ion-conducting open state. Difference peaks indicate that transmembrane helices (TMHs) TMH2, TMH6 and TMH7 reorient or rearrange during the photocycle. No major differences were found near TMH3 and TMH4 at the dimer interface. While conformational changes in TMH6 and TMH7 are known from other microbial-type rhodopsins, our results indicate that TMH2 has a key role in light-induced channel opening and closing in ChR2.
- Arrangement of electron transport chain components in bovine mitochondrial supercomplex I1III2IV1 (2011)
- The respiratory chain in the inner mitochondrial membrane contains three large multi-enzyme complexes that together establish the proton gradient for ATP synthesis, and assemble into a supercomplex. A 19-Å 3D map of the 1.7-MDa amphipol-solubilized supercomplex I1III2IV1 from bovine heart obtained by single-particle electron cryo-microscopy reveals an amphipol belt replacing the membrane lipid bilayer. A precise fit of the X-ray structures of complex I, the complex III dimer, and monomeric complex IV indicates distances of 13 nm between the ubiquinol-binding sites of complexes I and III, and of 10–11 nm between the cytochrome c binding sites of complexes III and IV. The arrangement of respiratory chain complexes suggests two possible pathways for efficient electron transfer through the supercomplex, of which the shorter branch through the complex III monomer proximal to complex I may be preferred.