Determination of the Na+/glucose cotransporter (SGLT1) turnover rate using the ion-trap technique

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The Na+/glucose cotransporter (SGLT1) is a membrane protein that couples the transport of two + ions and one glucose molecule using the so-called alternating access mechanism. According to this principle, each cotransporter molecule can adopt either of two main conformations: one with the binding sites accessible to the extracellular solution and one with the binding sites facing the intracellular solution. The turnover rate (TOR) is the number of complete cycles that each protein performs per second. Determination of the TOR has important consequences for investigation of the cotransport mechanism, as none of the rate constants involved in mediating transport in a given direction (conformational changes and binding and unbinding reactions) can be slower than the TOR measured under the same conditions. In addition, the TOR can be used to estimate the number of cotransporter molecules involved in generating a given ensemble activity. In this study, we obtain an independent estimation of the TOR for human SGLT1 expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes applying the ion-trap technique. This approach detects the quantity of ions released in or taken up from the restricted space existing between the oocyte plasma membrane and the tip of a large ion-selective electrode. Taking advantage of the fact that hSGLT1 in the absence of + can cotransport glucose with protons, we used a pH electrode to determine a TOR of 8.00 ± 1.3 s-1 in the presence of 35 mM α-methyl-glucose at -150 mV (pH 5.5). For the same group of oocytes, a TOR of 13.3 ± 2.4 s-1 was estimated under near-Vmax conditions, i.e., in the presence of 90 mM + and 5 mM α-methyl-glucose. Under these circumstances, the average cotransport current was - 1.08 ± 0.61 μA (n = 14), and this activity was generated by an average of 3.6 ± 0.7×10 11 cotransporter molecules/oocyte. © 2011 by the Biophysical Society.




Longpré, J. P., & Lapointe, J. Y. (2011). Determination of the Na+/glucose cotransporter (SGLT1) turnover rate using the ion-trap technique. Biophysical Journal, 100(1), 52–59.

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