Plasma membrane glutamate transporters move glutamate across the cell membrane in a process that is thought to involve elevator-like movement of the transport domain relative to the static trimerization domain. Conformational changes associated with this elevator-like movement have been blocked by covalent crosslinking of cysteine pairs inserted strategically in several positions in the transporter structure, resulting in inhibition of steady-state transport activity. However, it is not known how these crosslinking restraints affect other partial reactions of the transporter that were identified based on pre-steady-state kinetic analysis. Here, we re-examine two different introduced cysteine pairs in the rat glutamate transporter EAAC1 recombinantely expressed in HEK293 cells, W440C/K268C and K64C/V419C, with respect to the molecular mechanism of their impairment of transporter function. Pre-steady-state kinetic studies of glutamate-induced partial reactions were performed using laser photolysis of caged glutamate to achieve sub-millisecond time resolution. Crosslinking of both cysteine pairs abolished steady-state transport current, as well as the majority of pre-steady-state glutamate-induced charge movements, in both forward and reverse transport mode, suggesting that it is not only the elevator-like movement associated with translocation, but also other transporter partial reactions that are inhibited. In contrast, sodium binding to the empty transporter, and glutamate-induced anion conductance were still intact after the W440C/K268C crosslink. Our results add to the previous mechanistic view of how covalent restraints of the transporter affect function and structural changes linked to individual steps in the transport cycle.
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This work was supported by a National Institutes of Health (NIH), Grant 1 R15 GM135843-01 awarded to CG.
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Wang, J., Zielewicz, L., Dong, Y. et al. Pre-Steady-State Kinetics and Reverse Transport in Rat Glutamate Transporter EAAC1 with an Immobilized Transport Domain. Neurochem Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11064-021-03247-8
- Glutamate transporter