Magnesium (Mg2+) is a key divalent cation in biology. It regulates and maintains numerous, physiological functions such as nucleic acid stability, muscle contraction, heart rate and vascular tone, neurotransmitter release, and serves as cofactor in a myriad of enzymatic reactions. Most importantly, it coordinates with ATP, and is thus crucial for energy production in mitochondria.*
In order to store Mg2+ in the mitochondrial lumen it is imported via Mrs2 and Alr2 ion channels that are closely related to CorA, the main Mg2+-importer in bacteria. Although these Mg2+-transport proteins do not show much sequence conservation, they all share two trans-membrane domains (TMDs) with the signature motif Glycine-Methionine-Asparagine (GMN) at the extracellular loop.*
CorA, a divalent-selective channel in the metal ion transport superfamily, is the major Mg2+-influx pathway in prokaryotes. CorA structures in closed (Mg2+-bound), and open (Mg2+-free) states, together with functional data showed that Mg2+-influx inhibits further Mg2+-uptake completing a regulatory feedback loop. While the closed state structure is a symmetric pentamer, the open state displayed unexpected asymmetric architectures.*
In the article “Real time dynamics of Gating-Related conformational changes in CorA” Martina Rangl, Nicolaus Schmandt, Eduardo Perozo and Simon Scheuring used high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM), to explore the Mg2+-dependent gating transition of single CorA channels: HS-AFM movies during Mg2+-depletion experiments revealed the channel’s transition from a stable Mg2+-bound state over a highly mobile and dynamic state with fluctuating subunits to asymmetric structures with varying degree of protrusion heights from the membrane.*
Their data shows that at Mg2+-concentration below Kd, CorA adopts a dynamic (putatively open) state of multiple conformations that imply structural rearrangements through hinge-bending in TM1. They also discuss how these structural dynamics define the functional behavior of this ligand-dependent channel.*
All Atomic Force Microscopy experiments described in the article were performed using NanoWorld Ultra-Short Cantilevers USC-F1.2-k0.15 for high-speed Atomic Force Microscopy ( HS-AFM ). Videos of CorA membranes were recorded with imaging rates of ~1–2 frames s−1 and at a resolution of 0.5 nm pixel−1.
*Martina Rangl, Nicolaus Schmandt, Eduardo Perozo, and Simon Scheuring
Real time dynamics of Gating-Related conformational changes in CorA
eLife. 2019; 8: e47322
Please follow this external link to read the full article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6927688/
Open Access: The article “Real time dynamics of Gating-Related conformational changes in CorA” by Martina Rangl, Nicolaus Schmandt, Eduardo Perozo and Simon Scheuring is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.