Evidence for the transport of maltose by the sucrose permease, CscB, of Escherichia coli

The Journal of Membrane Biology
Yang PengManuel F Varela


The purpose of this study was to examine the sugar recognition and transport properties of the sucrose permease (CscB), a secondary active transporter from Escherichia coli. We tested the hypothesis that maltose transport is conferred by the wild-type CscB transporter. Cells of E. coli HS4006 harboring pSP72/cscB were red on maltose MacConkey agar indicator plates. We were able to measure "downhill" maltose transport and establish definitive kinetic behavior for maltose entry in such cells. Maltose was an effective competitor of sucrose transport in cells with CscB, suggesting that the respective maltose and sucrose binding sites and translocation pathways through the CscB channel overlap. Accumulation ("uphill" transport) of maltose by cells with CscB was profound, demonstrating active transport of maltose by CscB. Sequencing of cscB encoded on plasmid pSP72/cscB used in cells for transport studies indicate an unaltered primary CscB structure, ruling out the possibility that mutation conferred maltose transport by CscB. We conclude that maltose is a bona fide substrate for the sucrose permease of E. coli. Thus, future studies of sugar binding, transport, and permease structure should consider maltose, as well as sucrose.


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Related Concepts

Sucrose permease
Homologous Sequences, Amino Acid
Escherichia coli Proteins
Escherichia coli

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