Editors' ChoiceStructural Biology

VDAC-1 Structure in Solution

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Science Signaling  02 Sep 2008:
Vol. 1, Issue 35, pp. ec313
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.135ec313

In eukaryotes, a voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) facilitates diffusion of metabolites across the mitochondrial outer membrane. Closure of the human isoform, VDAC-1, leads to mitochondrial apoptosis. Hiller et al. have determined the nuclear magnetic resonance solution structure of VDAC-1 in detergent micelles. Whereas known beta barrel structures have an even number of strands, VDAC-1 has a 19-stranded barrel with parallel pairing of the first and last strands. Chemical shift data were used to map interaction sites for the substrates NADH and cholesterol and for the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-xL that opens the channel and thus inhibits apoptosis. The structure provides a framework for reanalysis of existing biochemical and biophysical data.

S. Hiller, R. G. Garces, T. J. Malia, V. Y. Orekhov, M. Colombini, G. Wagner, Solution structure of the integral human membrane protein VDAC-1 in detergent micelles. Science 321, 1206-1210 (2008). [Abstract] [Full Text]

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