Research Article

Structure and Mechanism of the Glycerol-3-Phosphate Transporter from Escherichia coli

Science  01 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5633, pp. 616-620
DOI: 10.1126/science.1087619

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Abstract

The major facilitator superfamily represents the largest group of secondary membrane transporters in the cell. Here we report the 3.3 angstrom resolution structure of a member of this superfamily, GlpT, which transports glycerol-3-phosphate into the cytoplasm and inorganic phosphate into the periplasm. The amino- and carboxyl-terminal halves of the protein exhibit a pseudo two-fold symmetry. Closed off to the periplasm, a centrally located substrate-translocation pore contains two arginines at its closed end, which comprise the substrate-binding site. Upon substrate binding, the protein adopts a more compact conformation. We propose that GlpT operates by a single–binding site, alternating-access mechanism through a rocker-switch type of movement.

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