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Structural fold and binding sites of the human Na⁺-phosphate cotransporter NaPi-II


Fenollar-Ferrer, Cristina; Patti, Monica; Knöpfel, Thomas; Werner, Andreas; Forster, Ian C; Forrest, Lucy R (2014). Structural fold and binding sites of the human Na⁺-phosphate cotransporter NaPi-II. Biophysical Journal, 106(6):1268-1279.

Abstract

Phosphate plays essential biological roles and its plasma level in humans requires tight control to avoid bone loss (insufficiency) or vascular calcification (excess). Intestinal absorption and renal reabsorption of phosphate are mediated by members of the SLC34 family of sodium-coupled transporters (NaPi-IIa,b,c) whose membrane expression is regulated by various hormones, circulating proteins, and phosphate itself. Consequently, NaPi-II proteins are also potentially important pharmaceutical targets for controlling phosphate levels. Their crucial role in Pi homeostasis is underscored by pathologies resulting from naturally occurring SLC34 mutations and SLC34 knockout animals. SLC34 isoforms have been extensively studied with respect to transport mechanism and structure-function relationships; however, the three-dimensional structure is unknown. All SLC34 transporters share a duplicated motif comprising a glutamine followed by a stretch of threonine or serine residues, suggesting the presence of structural repeats as found in other transporter families. Nevertheless, standard bioinformatic approaches fail to clearly identify a suitable template for molecular modeling. Here, we used hydrophobicity profiles and hidden Markov models to define a structural repeat common to all SLC34 isoforms. Similar approaches identify a relationship with the core regions in a crystal structure of Vibrio cholerae Na(+)-dicarboxylate transporter VcINDY, from which we generated a homology model of human NaPi-IIa. The aforementioned SLC34 motifs in each repeat localize to the center of the model, and were predicted to form Na(+) and Pi coordination sites. Functional relevance of key amino acids was confirmed by biochemical and electrophysiological analysis of expressed, mutated transporters. Moreover, the validity of the predicted architecture is corroborated by extensive published structure-function studies. The model provides key information for elucidating the transport mechanism and predicts candidate substrate binding sites.

Abstract

Phosphate plays essential biological roles and its plasma level in humans requires tight control to avoid bone loss (insufficiency) or vascular calcification (excess). Intestinal absorption and renal reabsorption of phosphate are mediated by members of the SLC34 family of sodium-coupled transporters (NaPi-IIa,b,c) whose membrane expression is regulated by various hormones, circulating proteins, and phosphate itself. Consequently, NaPi-II proteins are also potentially important pharmaceutical targets for controlling phosphate levels. Their crucial role in Pi homeostasis is underscored by pathologies resulting from naturally occurring SLC34 mutations and SLC34 knockout animals. SLC34 isoforms have been extensively studied with respect to transport mechanism and structure-function relationships; however, the three-dimensional structure is unknown. All SLC34 transporters share a duplicated motif comprising a glutamine followed by a stretch of threonine or serine residues, suggesting the presence of structural repeats as found in other transporter families. Nevertheless, standard bioinformatic approaches fail to clearly identify a suitable template for molecular modeling. Here, we used hydrophobicity profiles and hidden Markov models to define a structural repeat common to all SLC34 isoforms. Similar approaches identify a relationship with the core regions in a crystal structure of Vibrio cholerae Na(+)-dicarboxylate transporter VcINDY, from which we generated a homology model of human NaPi-IIa. The aforementioned SLC34 motifs in each repeat localize to the center of the model, and were predicted to form Na(+) and Pi coordination sites. Functional relevance of key amino acids was confirmed by biochemical and electrophysiological analysis of expressed, mutated transporters. Moreover, the validity of the predicted architecture is corroborated by extensive published structure-function studies. The model provides key information for elucidating the transport mechanism and predicts candidate substrate binding sites.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Physiology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Physiology

04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:18 March 2014
Deposited On:18 Feb 2015 15:09
Last Modified:10 Aug 2017 09:03
Publisher:Biophysical Society
ISSN:0006-3495
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2014.01.043
Official URL:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006349514001751
PubMed ID:24655502

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