Electrostatic properties of two porin channels from Escherichia coli

Karshikoff, A. and Spassov, V. and Cowan, S. W. and Ladenstein, R. and Schirmer, T.. (1994) Electrostatic properties of two porin channels from Escherichia coli. Journal of molecular biology, Vol. 240, H. 4. pp. 372-384.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5258288

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The electrostatic interactions in the channels of OmpF and PhoE porins from Escherichia coli were analysed on the basis of a macroscopic multi-dielectric model of the protein-membrane complex derived from the respective porin X-ray structures. The membrane was represented as layers of distinct dielectric constants corresponding to the aliphatic core and the polar head groups of the lipids. The pKa values of the titratable groups and the electrostatic field in the region of the channel were calculated by the finite difference technique. In spite of the differences in sequences and charge constellations, the calculated electrostatic properties of the two porins are similar in several aspects: (1) unusual titration behaviour (pKa below 7) was found for some groups of the cluster of basic residues at the constriction of the pore; (2) a number of acidic groups buried between the internal loop and the barrel wall are stabilized in their protonated forms at neutral pH; (3) there is a strong transverse electrostatic field in the channel characterized by a screw-like form. The strength of the field is greatest at the region of the constriction zone. This would facilitate the diffusion of solutes with a large dipole moment such as free amino acids. Differences between the electrostatic fields of OmpF and PhoE are mainly confined to that end of the pore that faces the cell exterior in vivo. In OmpF the electrostatic potential is close to zero in this region of the channel, whereas a positive potential was found in PhoE. It was shown that the experimentally observed difference in ion selectivity of the two porins can largely be attributed to this distinct electrostatic property.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Structural Biology & Biophysics > Structural Biology (Schirmer)
UniBasel Contributors:Schirmer, Tilman
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:20
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:20

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