Twelve transmembrane helices form the functional core of mammalian MATE1 (multidrug and toxin extruder 1) protein

Xiaohong Zhang, Xiao He, Joseph Baker, Florence Tama, Geoffrey Chang, Stephen H. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The x-ray structure of the prototypic MATE family member, NorM from Vibrio cholerae, reveals a protein fold composed of 12 transmembrane helices (TMHs), confirming hydropathy analyses of the majority of (prokaryotic and plant) MATE transporters. However, the mammalian MATEs are generally predicted to have a 13th TMH and an extracellular C terminus. Here we affirm this prediction, showing that the C termini of epitope-tagged, full-length human, rabbit, and mouse MATE1 were accessible to antibodies from the extracellular face of the membrane. Truncation of these proteins at or near the predicted junction between the 13th TMH and the long cytoplasmic loop that precedes it resulted in proteins that (i) trafficked to the membrane and (ii) interacted with antibodies only after permeabilization of the plasma membrane. CHO cells expressing rbMate1 truncated at residue Gly-545 supported levels of pH-sensitive transport similar to that of cells expressing the full-length protein. Although the high transport rate of the Gly-545 truncation mutant was associated with higher levels of membrane expression (than full-length MATE1), suggesting the 13th TMH may influence substrate translocation, the selectivity profile of the mutant indicated that TMH13 has little impact on ligand binding. We conclude that the functional core of MATE1 consists of 12 (not 13) TMHs. Therefore, we used the x-ray structure of NorM to develop a homology model of the first 12 TMHs of MATE1. The model proved to be stable in molecular dynamic simulations and agreed with topology evident from preliminary cysteine scanning of intracellular versus extracellular loops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27971-27982
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 10 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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