Functional identification and characterization of sodium binding sites in Na symporters

Donald D.F. Loo, Xuan Jiang, Edurne Gorraitz, Bruce A. Hirayama, Ernest M. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Sodium cotransporters from several different gene families belong to the leucine transporter (LeuT) structural family. Although the identification of Na+ in binding sites is beyond the resolution of the structures, two Na+ binding sites (Na1 and Na2) have been proposed in LeuT. Na2 is conserved in the LeuT family but Na1 is not. A biophysical method has been used to measure sodium dissociation constants (Kd) of wild-type and mutant human sodium glucose cotransport (hSGLT1) proteins to identify the Na+ binding sites in hSGLT1. The Na1 site is formed by residues in the sugar binding pocket, and their mutation influences sodium binding to Na1 but not to Na2. For the canonical Na2 site formed by two -OH side chains, S392 and S393, and three backbone carbonyls, mutation of S392 to cysteine increased the sodium Kd by sixfold. This was accompanied by a dramatic reduction in the apparent sugar and phlorizin affinities. We suggest that mutation of S392 in the Na2 site produces a structural rearrangement of the sugar binding pocket to disrupt both the binding of the second Na+ and the binding of sugar. In contrast, the S393 mutations produce no significant changes in sodium, sugar, and phlorizin affinities. We conclude that the Na2 site is conserved in hSGLT1, the side chain of S392 and the backbone carbonyl of S393 are important in the first Na+ binding, and that Na+ binding to Na2 promotes binding to Na1 and also sugar binding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E4557-E4566
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 19 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Functional identification and characterization of sodium binding sites in Na symporters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this