Role of the amino acid 45 residue in reduced folate carrier function and ion-dependent transport as characterized by site-directed mutagenesis

Rongbao Zhao, Feng Gao, Pi Jun Wang, I. David Goldman

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In previous reports, an E45K mutation in reduced folate carrier (RFC1) resulted in marked substrate-specific changes in folate binding and the induction of an obligatory inorganic anion requirement for carrier function. In this study, site-directed mutagenesis was employed to further characterize the role of glutamate-45 in carrier function by replacement with glutamine, arginine, aspartate, leucine, or tryptophan followed by tranfection of the mutated cDNAs into the MTX(r)A line, which lacks a functional endogenous carrier. Alterations in transport function with amino acid substitutions at this residue were not charge related. Hence, E45Q, E45R, and E45K all 1) increased carrier affinity for 5-formyltetrahydrofolate ~4-fold, 2) increased affinity for folic acid ~6- to 10-fold, 3) did not change affinity for 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, and 4) except for E45R decreased affinity for methotrexate (2- to 3-fold). In contrast, mutations E45D, E45L, and E45W generally reduced affinity for all these folates except for folic acid. Finally, chloride-dependent influx was only noted in the E45R mutant. These data further substantiate the important role that glutamate-45 plays in the selectivity of binding of folates to RFC1 and establish that it is the addition of a positive charge at this site and not the loss of a negative charge that results in the induced anion dependence. These and other studies indicate that mutations in the first transmembrane domain can have a markedly selective impact on the affinity of RFC1 for folate compounds and in particularly a highly salutary effect on binding of the oxidized folate, folic acid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-323
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 17 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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