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Detergent-Induced Stabilization and Improved 3D Map of the Human Heteromeric Amino Acid Transporter 4F2hc-LAT2

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Meury Marcel, Costa Meritxell, Harder Daniel, Stauffer Mirko, Jeckelmann Jean-Marc, Bruehlmann Bela, Rosell Albert, Ilgue Hueseyin, Kovar Karin, Palacin Manuel, Fotiadis Dimitrios,
Project Structure and supramolecular organization of membrane transport proteins
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal PLOS ONE
Volume (Issue) 9(10)
Page(s) e109882
Title of proceedings PLOS ONE
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0109882

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Human heteromeric amino acid transporters (HATs) are membrane protein complexes that facilitate the transport of specific amino acids across cell membranes. Loss of function or overexpression of these transporters is implicated in several human diseases such as renal aminoacidurias and cancer. HATs are composed of two subunits, a heavy and a light subunit, that are covalently connected by a disulphide bridge. Light subunits catalyse amino acid transport and consist of twelve transmembrane α-helix domains. Heavy subunits are type II membrane N-glycoproteins with a large extracellular domain and are involved in the trafficking of the complex to the plasma membrane. Structural information on HATs is scarce because of the difficulty in heterologous overexpression. Recently, we had a major breakthrough with the overexpression of a recombinant HAT, 4F2hc-LAT2, in the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. Microgram amounts of purified protein made possible the reconstruction of the first 3D map of a human HAT by negative-stain transmission electron microscopy. Here we report the important stabilization of purified human 4F2hc-LAT2 using a combination of two detergents, i.e., n-dodecyl-β-D-maltopyranoside and lauryl maltose neopentyl glycol, and cholesteryl hemisuccinate. The superior quality and stability of purified 4F2hc-LAT2 allowed the measurement of substrate binding by scintillation proximity assay. In addition, an improved 3D map of this HAT could be obtained. The detergent-induced stabilization of the purified human 4F2hc-LAT2 complex presented here paves the way towards its crystallization and structure determination at high-resolution, and thus the elucidation of the working mechanism of this important protein complex at the molecular level.