The sugar specificity mutants of the lactose permease containing Val177 or Val177/Asn319 were analyzed with regard to their ability to couple H+ and sugar co-transport. Both mutants were able to transport lactose downhill to a significant degree. The Val177 mutant was partially defective in the active accumulation of galactosides, whereas the Val177/Asn319 mutant was completely defective in the uphill accumulation of sugars. With regard to coupling, the Val177 mutant was shown to catalyze the uncoupled transport of H+ to a substantial degree. This led to a decrease in the H+ electrochemical gradient under aerobic conditions and also resulted in faster H+ uptake when a transient H+ electrochemical gradient was generated under anaerobic conditions. Interestingly, galactosides were shown to diminish the rate of uncoupled H+ transport in the Val177 strain. The Val177/Asn319 strain also catalyzed uncoupled H+ transport, but to a lesser degree than the single Val177 mutant. In addition, the Val177/Asn319 mutant was shown to transport galactosides with or without H+. The observed H+/lactose stoichiometry was 0.30 in the double mutant compared to 0.98 in the wild-type strain. When an H+ electrochemical gradient was generated across the membrane, the Val177/Asn319 mutant permease was shown to facilitate an extremely rapid net H+ leak if nonmetabolizable galactosides had been equilibrated across the membrane. The mechanism of this leak is consistent with a circular pathway involving H+/galactoside influx and uncoupled galactoside efflux. The magnitude of the H+ leak in the presence of nonmetabolizable galactosides was so great in the double mutant that low concentrations of certain galactosides (i.e. 0.5 mM thiodigalactoside) resulted in a complete inhibition of growth. These results are discussed with regard to the possibility that cation and sugar binding to the lactose permease may involve a direct physical coupling at a common recognition site.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|State||Published - 1991|