Coupling substrate and ion binding to extracellular gate of a sodium-dependent aspartate transporter

Olga Boudker, Renae M. Ryan, Dinesh Yernool, Keiko Shimamoto, Eric Gouaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

404 Scopus citations


Secondary transporters are integral membrane proteins that catalyse the movement of substrate molecules across the lipid bilayer by coupling substrate transport to one or more ion gradients, thereby providing a mechanism for the concentrative uptake of substrates. Here we describe crystallographic and thermodynamic studies of GltPh, a sodium (Na+)-coupled aspartate transporter, defining sites for aspartate, two sodium ions and d,l-threo-β-benzyloxyaspartate, an inhibitor. We further show that helical hairpin 2 is the extracellular gate that controls access of substrate and ions to the internal binding sites. At least two sodium ions bind in close proximity to the substrate and these sodium-binding sites, together with the sodium-binding sites in another sodium-coupled transporter, LeuT, define an unwound α-helix as the central element of the ion-binding motif, a motif well suited to the binding of sodium and to participation in conformational changes that accompany ion binding and unbinding during the transport cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-393
Number of pages7
Issue number7126
StatePublished - Jan 25 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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