Facilitated Drug Influx by an Energy-uncoupled Secondary Multidrug Transporter

Piotr Mazurkiewicz, Gerrit J. Poelarends, Arnold J.M. Driessen, Wil N. Konings

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Abstract

The majority of bacterial multidrug resistance transporters belong to the class of secondary transporters. LmrP is a proton/drug antiporter of Lactococcus lactis that extrudes positively charged lipophilic substrates from the inner leaflet of the membrane to the external medium. This study shows that LmrP is a true secondary transporter. In the absence of a proton motive force, LmrP facilitates downhill fluxes of ethidium in both directions. These fluxes are inhibited by other substrates of LmrP. The cysteine-reactive agent p-chloromercuri-benzene sulfonate inhibits these fluxes in wild type LmrP but not in the cysteine-less LmrP C270A mutant. Cysteine mutagenesis of LmrP resulted in three mutants, D68C/C270A, D128C/C270A, and E327C/C270A, with an energy-uncoupled phenotype. Asp68 is located in the conserved motif GXXX(D/E)(R/K)XGRK for the major facilitator superfamily of secondary transporters and was found to play an important role in energy coupling, whereas the negatively charged residues Asp128 and Glu327 have indirect effects on the transport process. L. lactis strains expressing these uncoupled mutants of LmrP show an increased rate of ethidium influx and an increased drug susceptibility compared with cells harboring an empty vector. The rate of influx in these mutants is enhanced by a transmembrane electrical potential, inside negative. These observations suggest a new strategy for eliminating drug-resistant microbial pathogens, i.e. the design and use of modulators of secondary multidrug resistance transporters that uncouple drug efflux from proton influx, thereby allowing transmembrane electrical potential-driven influx of cationic drugs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103 - 108
Number of pages6
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Volume1658
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • METAL-TETRACYCLINE/H+ ANTIPORTER
  • CONTROLLED GENE-EXPRESSION
  • TRANSMEMBRANE SEGMENT 2
  • ESCHERICHIA-COLI
  • LACTOSE PERMEASE
  • STREPTOCOCCUS-PNEUMONIAE
  • CONFORMATIONAL-CHANGES
  • SCANNING MUTAGENESIS
  • LACTOCOCCUS-LACTIS
  • CONFERS RESISTANCE

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