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NATURE |VOL 407 |5 OCTOBER 2000 |www.nature.com 599 Structural determinants of water
 

Summary: NATURE |VOL 407 |5 OCTOBER 2000 |www.nature.com 599
articles
Structural determinants of water
permeation through aquaporin-1
Kazuyoshi Murata*², Kaoru Mitsuoka²³, Teruhisa Hirai²³, Thomas Walz§, Peter Agrek, J. Bernard Heymann¶, Andreas Engel¶
& Yoshinori Fujiyoshi³
* National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan
³ Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Science, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8502, Japan
§ Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, 240 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115-5730, USA
k Departments of Biological Chemistry and Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205-2185, USA
¶ M. E. MuÈller-Institute for Microscopy at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, Basel CH-4056, Switzerland
² These authors contributed equally to this work.
............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Human red cell AQP1 is the ®rst functionally de®ned member of the aquaporin family of membrane water channels. Here we
describe an atomic model of AQP1 at 3.8 AÊ resolution from electron crystallographic data. Multiple highly conserved amino-acid
residues stabilize the novel fold of AQP1. The aqueous pathway is lined with conserved hydrophobic residues that permit rapid
water transport, whereas the water selectivity is due to a constriction of the pore diameter to about 3 AÊ over a span of one residue.
The atomic model provides a possible molecular explanation to a longstanding puzzle in physiologyÐhow membranes can be
freely permeable to water but impermeable to protons.
The cells of all life forms are surrounded by a membrane and ®lled

  

Source: Akabas, Myles - Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University
Walz, Thomas - Department of Cell Biology, Harvard University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine