Membrane orientation of carboxyl-terminal half P-glycoprotein: Topogenesis of transmembrane segments

Ernest S. Han, Jian Ting Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Multiple topological orientations of the carboxyl-terminal half of P-glycoprotein have been observed. One orientation is consistent with the hydropathy-predicted model and contains six transmembrane (TM)-spanning regions. In another orientation, the cytoplasmic-predicted loop between TM8 and TM9 is extracellular and glycosylated. In support of this 'alternative' topology, TM8 was previously established to function as a signal-anchor sequence to insert with its amino-terminal end in the cytoplasm and the carboxyl-terminal end in the extracytoplasmic space. However, it is unclear how downstream TM segments fold in the membrane when TM8 functions as a signal-anchor sequence. Here, we created several chimeric Pgp molecules to examine the membrane insertion of TM segments 9 and 10 using a cell-free system. We found that TM9 functions as a stop-transfer sequence when following the signal-anchor sequence, TM8. However, the stop-transfer activity of TM9 depends on the presence of TM10. In the absence of TM10, TM9 partially translocated across the membrane into the endoplasmic reticulum lumen. In contrast, TM9 efficiently stopped the translocation event of the nascent chain in the presence of TM10. Our results suggest that the membrane insertion of TM8 and TM9 establishes the extracellular loop between TM8 and TM9. Formation of this loop apparently involves the interactions between Pgp TM segments, which facilitate proper folding of the Pgp carboxyl-terminal half.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-631
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cell Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1999


  • In vitro expression
  • MDR
  • P-glycoprotein
  • Topogenesis
  • Topology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology

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