IBMC research on Nature : The structure of the KtrAB potassium transporter

Bacterial potassium transporters characterized K+ is essential for many physiological processes and must be concentrated in all living cells for their survival. In bacteria, K+ uptake is mediated and regulated by SKT (superfamily of K+ transporter) proteins.

Two papers in this issue of Nature examine the structure and function of SKT proteins from different sub-families. Ming Zhou and colleagues present the electrophysiological and structural characterization of the complex formed by TrkH and its associated RCK protein, TrkA. Their study suggests a mechanism by which ATP-induced conformational changes in TrkA augment TrkH's activity.



Ricardo S. Vieira-Pires, Andras Szollosi and João H. Morais-Cabral determined the X-ray crystal structure of a Ktr K+ transporter; the structure of this KtrAB complex reveals how the dimeric membrane protein KtrB interacts with the cytosolic octameric KtrA regulatory protein. 





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