Eukaryotic porins are a group of membrane proteins whose best known role is to form an aqueous pore channel in the mitochondrial outer membrane. As opposed to the bacterial porins (a large family of protein whose 3D structure has been determined by X-ray diffraction), the structure of eukaryotic porins (also termed VDACs, voltage-dependent anion-selective channels) is still a matter of debate. We analysed the secondary structure of VDAC from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the fungus Neurospora crassa and the mouse with different types of neural network-based predictors. The predictors were able to discriminate membrane β-strands, globular α-helices and membrane α-helices and localised, in all three VDAC sequences, 16 β-strands along the chain. For all three sequences the N-terminal region showed a high propensity to form a globular α-helix. The 16 β-strand VDAC motif was thus aligned to a bacterial porin-derived template containing a similar 16 β-strand motif. The alignment of the VDAC sequence with the bacterial porin sequence was used to compute a set of 3D coordinates, which constitutes the first 3D prediction of a eukaryotic porin. All the predicted structures assume a β-barrel structure composed of 16 β-strands with the N-terminus outside the membrane. Loops are shorter in this side of the membrane than in the other, where two long loops are protruding. The shape of the pore varies between almost circular for Neurospora and mouse and slightly oval for yeast. Average values between 3 and 2.5 nm at the C-carbon backbone are found for the diameter of the channels. In this model VDAC shows large portions of the structure exposed on both sides of the membrane. The architecture we determine allows speculation about the mechanism of possible interactions between VDAC and other proteins on both sides of the mitochondrial outer membrane. The computed 3D model is consistent with most of the experimental results so far reported.
|Titolo:||A 3D model of the voltage-dependent anion channel.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2002|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|