Topological analysis of a plant vacuolar Na+/H+ antiporter reveals a luminal C terminus that regulates antiporter cation selectivity

Toshio Yamaguchi, Maris P. Apse, Huazhong Shi, Eduardo Blumwald

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We conducted an analysis of the topology of AtNHX1, an Arabidopsis thaliana vacuolar Na+/H+ antiporter. Several hydrophilic regions of the antiporter were tagged with a hemagglutinin epitope, and protease protection assays were conducted to determine the membrane topology of the antiporter by using yeast as a heterologous expression system. The overall structure of AtNHX1 is distinct from the human Na+/H+ antiporter NHE1 or any known Na+/H+ antiporter. It is comprised of nine transmembrane domains and a hydrophilic C-terminal domain. Three hydrophobic regions do not appear to span the tonoplast membrane, yet appear to be membrane associated. Our results also indicate that, whereas the N terminus of AtNHX1 is facing the cytosol, almost the entire C-terminal hydrophilic region resides in the vacuolar lumen. Deletion of the hydrophilic C terminus resulted in a dramatic increase in the relative rate of Na +/H+ transport. The ratio of Na+/K+ transport was twice that of the unmodified AtNHX1. This altered ratio resulted from a relatively small decrease in K+/H+ transport with a large increase in Na+/H+ transport. The vacuolar localization of the C terminus of the AtNHX1, taken together with the regulation of the antiporter selectivity by its C terminus, demonstrates the existence of luminal vacuolar regulatory mechanisms of the antiporter activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12510-12515
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
StatePublished - Oct 14 2003


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