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We used the method of site-directed fluorescence labeling in combination with voltage-clamp fluorometry for time-resolved recording of localized conformational transitions of the Na(+)/K(+)- and H(+)/K(+)-ATPase. Therefore, single cysteine mutations were introduced into the extracellular TM5-TM6 loop of the sheep Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase alpha(1)-subunit devoid of other extracellular cysteines. Upon expression in Xenopus oocytes and covalent attachment of tetramethylrhodamine-maleimide (TMRM) as a reporter fluorophore, Cys-mutant N790C showed large fluorescence changes of up to 5% in response to extracellular K(+) that were completely abolished by ouabain. When voltage jumps were applied under Na(+)/Na(+)-exchange conditions, we observed fluorescence changes that paralleled the transient currents originating from the E(1)P<-->E(2)P transition. These fluorescence changes were also completely inhibited by ouabain, as were the voltage jump-induced transient currents. Transient fluorescence changes could also be measured as a function of increasing K(+) concentrations, that is, under turnover conditions. As a result, the distribution between E(1) and E(2) states can be determined at any time and membrane potential. Very similar fluorescence signals were obtained for rat gastric H(+)/K(+)-ATPase upon expression in oocytes, when a single cysteine was introduced at a position homologous to N790 in Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase for attachment of the fluorophore. As to the high sequence similarity among P-type ATPases within the TM5 helix and the TM5-TM6 loop region, our results enable new means of kinetic investigation for these pumps under physiological conditions in living cells.


Journal article


Ann N Y Acad Sci

Publication Date





31 - 38


Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Biological Transport, Active, Conserved Sequence, Cysteine, Female, H(+)-K(+)-Exchanging ATPase, Kinetics, Oocytes, Patch-Clamp Techniques, Protein Conformation, Recombinant Proteins, Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase, Spectrometry, Fluorescence, Xenopus