Structural basis for lipid and copper regulation of the ABC transporter MsbA.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Nat Commun, Volume 13, Issue 1, p.7291 (2022)


Adenosine Diphosphate, ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters, Bacterial Proteins, Copper, Escherichia coli, Lipopolysaccharides


<p>A critical step in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biogenesis involves flipping lipooligosaccharide, an LPS precursor, from the cytoplasmic to the periplasmic leaflet of the inner membrane, an operation carried out by the ATP-binding cassette transporter MsbA. Although LPS binding to the inner cavity of MsbA is well established, the selectivity of MsbA-lipid interactions at other site(s) remains poorly understood. Here we use native mass spectrometry (MS) to characterize MsbA-lipid interactions and guide structural studies. We show the transporter co-purifies with copper(II) and metal binding modulates protein-lipid interactions. A 2.15&thinsp;Å resolution structure of an N-terminal region of MsbA in complex with copper(II) is presented, revealing a structure reminiscent of the GHK peptide, a high-affinity copper(II) chelator. Our results demonstrate conformation-dependent lipid binding affinities, particularly for the LPS-precursor, 3-deoxy-D-manno-oct-2-ulosonic acid (Kdo)-lipid A (KDL). We report a 3.6&thinsp;Å-resolution structure of MsbA trapped in an open, outward-facing conformation with adenosine 5&#39;-diphosphate and vanadate, revealing a distinct KDL binding site, wherein the lipid forms extensive interactions with the transporter. Additional studies provide evidence that the exterior KDL binding site is conserved and a positive allosteric modulator of ATPase activity, serving as a feedforward activation mechanism to couple transporter activity with LPS biosynthesis.</p>