Enlightening Energy Parasitism by Analysis of an ATP/ADP Transporter from Chlamydiae

Oliver Trentmann, Matthias Horn, Anke C. Terwisscha van Scheltinga, H. Ekkehard Neuhaus, Ilka Haferkamp


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Energy parasitism by ATP/ADP transport proteins is an essential, common feature of intracellular bacteria such as chlamydiae and rickettsiae, which are major pathogens of humans. Although several ATP/ADP transport proteins have so far been characterized, some fundamental questions regarding their function remained unaddressed. In this study, we focused on the detailed biochemical analysis of a representative ATP/ADP transporter (PamNTT1), from the amoeba symbiont Protochlamydia amoebophila (UWE25) to further clarify the principle of energy exploitation. We succeeded in the purification of the first bacterial nucleotide transporter (NTT) and its functional reconstitution into artificial lipid vesicles. Reconstituted PamNTT1 revealed high import velocities for ATP and an unexpected and previously unobserved stimulating effect of the luminal ADP on nucleotide import affinities. Latter preference of the nucleotide hetero-exchange is independent of the membrane potential, and therefore, PamNTT1 not only structurally but also functionally differs from the well-characterized mitochondrial ADP/ATP carriers. Reconstituted PamNTT1 exhibits a bidirectional orientation in lipid vesicles, but interestingly, only carriers inserted with the N-terminus directed to the proteoliposomal interior are functional. The data presented here comprehensively explain the functional basis of how the intracellular P. amoebophila manages to exploit the energy pool of its host cell effectively by using the nucleotide transporter PamNTT1. This membrane protein mediates a preferred import of ATP, which is additionally stimulated by a high internal (bacterial) ADP/ATP ratio, and the orientation-dependent functionality of the transporter ensures that it is not working in a mode that is detrimental to P. amoebophila. Heterologous expression and purification of high amounts of PamNTT1 provides the basis for its crystallization and detailed structure/function analyses. Furthermore, functional reconstitution of this essential chlamydial protein paves the way for high-throughput uptake studies in order to screen for specific inhibitors potentially suitable as anti-chlamydial drugs.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's14
Nummer van het tijdschrift9
StatusPublished - 2007

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