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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19042

Title: Structure and Dynamics of AcrA, a Periplasmic Component of a Multidrug Efflux Pump
Authors: Ip, Hermia
Advisor: Liu, Jun
Department: Molecular and Medical Genetics
Keywords: Site-directed spin labeling
Electron paramagnetic resonance
Membrane fusion protein
Conformational change
Proton-motive force
Issue Date: 18-Feb-2010
Abstract: AcrA is the periplasmic component of an efflux system AcrA-AcrB-TolC, which can expel different classes of antibiotics. AcrB is the inner membrane (IM) pump that utilizes proton-motive force for the active transport, TolC is the outer membrane (OM) channel, and AcrA coordinates the actions of AcrB and TolC, so that substrates are expelled across the two membranes, bypassing the periplasm. It has been proposed that AcrA either provides a static seamless link between AcrB and TolC, or acts like its analogous viral membrane fusion protein (MFP) and actively brings the IM and OM closer for substrate transfer. To better understand the role of AcrA in the efflux mechanism, site-directed spin labeling (SDSL)/EPR (electron paramagnetic resonance) spectroscopy is used to investigate the structure and dynamics of AcrA in solution. My results demonstrated that AcrA is a dynamic protein that undergoes pH-dependent and reversible conformational changes. AcrA contains an interrupted alpha-helical, coiled-coil domain flanked by a pair of beta-stranded lipoyl motifs, and my SDSL/EPR analysis revealed that the pH-induced conformation change mainly involves the coiled-coil and the lipoyl domains. In addition, I found that each AcrA monomer folds into an intra-molecular hairpin and AcrA monomers oligomerize with their coiled-coil hairpins aligned in parallel. Unlike the pH-induced conformational rearrangement of a viral MFP, change in pH alters both intra- and inter-molecular interaction along the coiled-coil of AcrA without rearranging the hairpin fold. The organization of AcrA protomers and its pH-induced conformational switching are, however, congruent with the TolC coiled-coil hairpins in the iris-like opening of the TolC channel. Together, my studies suggest that rather than being a passive structural linkage between AcrB and TolC, AcrA plays an active role mediating the drug efflux. The reported AcrA dynamics provides new insights into the AcrA-TolC interactions for the channel opening during the efflux process.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19042
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Molecular Genetics - Doctoral theses

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