Structural Basis of Energy Transduction in the Transport Cycle of MsbA

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Science  13 May 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5724, pp. 1023-1028
DOI: 10.1126/science.1106592

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We used site-directed spin-labeling and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy to characterize the conformational motion that couples energy expenditure to substrate translocation in the multidrug transporter MsbA. In liposomes, ligand-free MsbA samples conformations that depart from the crystal structures, including looser packing and water penetration along the periplasmic side. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) binding closes the substrate chamber to the cytoplasm while increasing hydration at the periplasmic side, consistent with an alternating access model. Accentuated by ATP hydrolysis, the changes in the chamber dielectric environment and its geometry provide the likely driving force for flipping amphipathic substrates and a potential exit pathway. These results establish the structural dynamic basis of the power stroke in multidrug-resistant ATP-binding cassette (MDR ABC) transporters.

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