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Identification of a hydrophobic residue as a key determinant of fructose transport by the facilitative hexose transporter SLC2A7 (GLUT7).

Manolescu A., Salas-Burgos A.M., Fischbarg J., Cheeseman C.I.

Until recently, the only facilitated hexose transporter GLUT proteins (SLC2A) known to transport fructose were GLUTs 2 and 5. However, the recently cloned GLUT7 can also transport fructose as well as glucose. Comparison of sequence alignments indicated that GLUTs 2, 5, and 7 all had an isoleucine residue at position "314" (GLUT7), whereas the non-fructose-transporting isoforms, GLUTs 1, 3, and 4, had a valine at this position. Mutation of Ile-314 to a valine in GLUT7 resulted in a loss of fructose transport, whereas glucose transport remained completely unaffected. Similar results were obtained with GLUTs 2 and 5. Energy minimization modeling of GLUT7 indicated that Ile-314 projects from transmembrane domain 7 (TM7) into the lumen of the aqueous pore, where it could form a hydrophobic interaction with tryptophan 89 from TM2. A valine residue at 314 appeared to produce a narrowing of the vestibule when compared with the isoleucine. It is proposed that this hydrophobic interaction across the pore forms a selectivity filter restricting the access of some hexoses to the substrate binding site(s) within the aqueous channel. The presence of a selectivity filter in the extracellular vestibule of GLUT proteins would allow for subtle changes in substrate specificity without changing the kinetic parameters of the protein.

J. Biol. Chem. 280:42978-42983(2005) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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