Transporters from bacteria to humans contain inverted repeat domains thought to arise evolutionarily from the fusion of smaller membrane protein genes. Association between these domains forms the functional unit that enables transporters to adopt distinct conformations necessary for function. The small multidrug resistance (SMR) family provides an ideal system to explore the role of mutations in altering conformational preference since transporters from this family consist of antiparallel dimers that resemble the inverted repeats present in larger transporters. Here, we show using NMR spectroscopy how a single conservative mutation introduced into an SMR dimer is sufficient to change the resting conformation and function in bacteria. These results underscore the dynamic energy landscape for transporters and demonstrate how conservative mutations can influence structure and function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)