1 Section of Cellular and Metabolic Research, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Section of Cellular and Metabolic Research, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Heavy metals in cells are typically regulated by PIB-type ATPases. The first structure of the class, a Cu(+)-ATPase from Legionella pneumophila (LpCopA), outlined a copper transport pathway across the membrane, which was inferred to be occluded. Here we show by molecular dynamics simulations that extracellular water solvated the transmembrane (TM) domain, results indicative of a Cu(+)-release pathway. Furthermore, a new LpCopA crystal structure determined at 2.8-Å resolution, trapped in the preceding E2P state, delineated the same passage, and site-directed-mutagenesis activity assays support a functional role for the conduit. The structural similarities between the TM domains of the two conformations suggest that Cu(+)-ATPases couple dephosphorylation and ion extrusion differently than do the well-characterized PII-type ATPases. The ion pathway explains why certain Menkes' and Wilson's disease mutations impair protein function and points to a site for inhibitors targeting pathogens.
Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, 2014, Vol 21, Issue 1, p. 43-48