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Reference: Kakhniashvili D, et al. (1997) Identification of a novel gene encoding the yeast mitochondrial dicarboxylate transport protein via overexpression, purification, and characterization of its protein product. J Biol Chem 272(7):4516-21

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Abstract


A gene encoding the mitochondrial dicarboxylate transport protein (DTP) has been identified for the first time from any organism. Our strategy involved overexpression of putative mitochondrial transporter genes, selected based on analysis of the yeast genome, followed by purification and functional reconstitution of the resulting protein products. The DTP gene from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae encodes a 298-residue basic protein which, in common with other mitochondrial anion transporters of known sequence and function, displays the mitochondrial transporter signature motif, three homologous 100-amino acid sequence domains, and six predicted membrane-spanning regions. The product of this gene has been abundantly expressed in Escherichia coli where it accumulates in inclusion bodies. Upon solubilization of the overexpressed DTP from isolated inclusion bodies with Sarkosyl, 28 mg of DTP was obtained per liter of E. coli culture at a purity of 75%. The purified, overexpressed DTP was then reconstituted in phospholipid vesicles where both its kinetic properties (i.e. Km = 1. 55 mM and Vmax = 3.0 micro;mol/min/mg protein) and its substrate specificity were determined. The intraliposomal substrates malonate, malate, succinate, and phosphate effectively supported [14C]malonate uptake, whereas other anions tested did not. External substrate competition studies revealed a similar specificity profile. Inhibitor studies indicated that the reconstituted transporter was sensitive to inhibition by n-butylmalonate, p-chloromercuribenzoate, mersalyl, and to a lesser extent pyridoxal 5'-phosphate but was insensitive to N-ethylmaleimide and selective inhibitors of other mitochondrial anion transporters. In combination, the above findings indicate that the identified gene encodes a mitochondrial transport protein which upon overexpression and reconstitution displays functional properties that are virtually identical to those of the native mitochondrial dicarboxylate transport system. In conclusion, the present investigation has resulted in identification of a gene encoding the mitochondrial DTP and thus eliminates a major impediment to molecular studies with this metabolically important transporter. Based on both structural and functional considerations, the yeast DTP is assignable to the mitochondrial carrier family. Additionally, the development of a procedure that enables the expression and isolation of large quantities of functional DTP provides the foundation for comprehensive investigations into the structure/function relationships within this transporter via site-directed mutagenesis, as well as for the initiation of crystallization trials.

Reference Type
Journal Article
Authors
Kakhniashvili D, Mayor JA, Gremse DA, Xu Y, Kaplan RS
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