The functional roles of the His247 and His281 residues in folate and proton translocation mediated by the human proton-coupled folate transporter SLC46A1

Ersin Selcuk Unal, Rongbao Zhao, Min Hwang Chang, Andras Fiser, Michael F. Romero, I. David Goldman

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51 Scopus citations


This report addresses the functional role of His residues in the proton-coupled folate transporter (PCFT; SLC46A1), which mediates intestinal folate absorption. Of ten His residues, only H247A and H281A mutations altered function. The folic acid influxKt at pH5.5 for H247A was ↓ 8.4-fold. Although wild type (WT)-PCFT Ki values varied among the folates, Ki values were much lower and comparable for H247-A, -R, -Q, or -E mutants. Homology modeling localized His247 to the large loop separating transmembrane domains 6 and 7 at the cytoplasmic entrance of the translocation pathway in hydrogen-bond distance to Ser172. The folic acid influx Kt for S172A-PCFT was decreased similar to H247A. His281 faces the extracellular region in the seventh transmembrane domain. H281A-PCFT results in loss-of-function due to ∼12-fold ↑ in the folic acid influx Kt. When the pH was decreased from 5.5 to 4.5, the WT-PCFT folic acid influx Kt was unchanged, but the Kt decreased 4-fold for H281A. In electrophysiological studies in Xenopus oocytes, both WT-PCFT- and H281A-PCFT-mediated folic acid uptake produced current and acidification, and both exhibited a low level of folate-independent proton transport (slippage). Slippage was markedly increased for the H247A-PCFT mutant. The data suggest that disruption of the His247 to Ser172 interaction results in a PCFT conformational alteration causing a loss of selectivity, increased substrate access to a high affinity binding pocket, and proton transport in the absence of a folate gradient. The His281 residue is not essential for proton coupling but plays an important role in PCFT protonation, which, in turn, augments folate binding to the carrier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17846-17857
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jun 26 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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