Crystal structures of a double-barrelled fluoride ion channel
By Randy B. Stockbridge, Ludmila Kolmakova-Partensky, Tania Shane, Akiko Koide, Shohei Koide, Christopher Miller, and Simon Newstead.
Published in Nature. 2015 Sep 24;525(7570):548-51.
PMID: 26344196. PMCID: 4876929. Link to Pubmed page.
To contend with hazards posed by environmental fluoride, microorganisms export this anion through F(-)-specific ion channels of the Fluc family. Since the recent discovery of Fluc channels, numerous idiosyncratic features of these proteins have been unearthed, including strong selectivity for F(-) over Cl(-) and dual-topology dimeric assembly. To understand the chemical basis for F(-) permeation and how the antiparallel subunits convene to form a F(-)-selective pore, here we solve the crystal structures of two bacterial Fluc homologues in complex with three different monobody inhibitors, with and without F(-) present, to a maximum resolution of 2.1 Å. The structures reveal a surprising ‘double-barrelled’ channel architecture in which two F(-) ion pathways span the membrane, and the dual-topology arrangement includes a centrally coordinated cation, most likely Na(+). F(-) selectivity is proposed to arise from the very narrow pores and an unusual anion coordination that exploits the quadrupolar edges of conserved phenylalanine rings.