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The osmoreactive betaine carrier BetP from Corynebacterium glutamicum is a sensor for cytoplasmic K(+)

By René Rübenhagen, Susanne Morbach and Reinhard Krämer


The isolated glycine betaine uptake carrier BetP from Corynebacterium glutamicum was reconstituted in Escherichia coli phospholipid liposomes and its response to osmotic stress studied. The transport activity of BetP, which was previously shown to comprise both osmosensory and osmoregulatory functions, was used to identify the nature of the physicochemical stimulus related to hyperosmotic stress. Putative factors modulating transport activity in response to osmotic stress were dissected. These include type, osmolality and concentration of solutes in the internal and/or external compartment (cationic, anionic, zwitterionic, neutral), as well as membrane strain as a response to increased osmolality. Osmoresponsive activation of BetP was independent of any external factor and of physical alterations of the membrane, but was triggered by a change in the internal K(+) concentration. Activation did not depend on the type of anion present and was K(+) (or Cs(+) and Rb(+)) specific, as choline and NH(4)(+) did not trigger BetP activity. The half-maximal activation of BetP in E.coli phospholipid liposomes was correlated to an internal concentration of 221 ± 23 mM K(+)

Topics: Article
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2001
DOI identifier: 10.1093/emboj/20.19.5412
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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