The gab permease (GabP) catalyses transport of GABA (4-aminobutyrate) into Escherichia coli. Although GabP can recognize and transport many GABA analogues that exhibit activity at GABAergic synapses in the nervous system, the protein domains responsible for these transport and ligand recognition properties have not been studied. Here we report that an amphipathic domain extending through putative transmembrane helix 8 and into the adjoining cytoplasmic region (loop 8-9) contains a critical 20 residue zone within which mutagenesis of polar amino acids has a deleterious effect on [3H]GABA transport activity. This functionally important amphipathic domain is found to be highly conserved in the many APC family transporters that are homologous to GabP. And even though members of the GAT family of GABA transporters from the animal nervous system are not homologous to GabP, an analogous amphipathic structure is found in their loop 8-9 region. These results and observations suggest: (1) that the consensus amphipathic region (CAR) in the putative helix 8 and loop 8-9 region of GabP has functional significance, and (2) that nature has repeatedly used this CAR in transporters from bacteria to mammals.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Mar 1 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology