Replacement of an amino acid residue at position 130 -Gly by Cys- in the primary structure of Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin decreases the single-channel conductance induced by the toxin in planar lipid bilayers. Concomitantly, the pH value at which the channel becomes unable to discriminate between Cl− and K+ ions is also decreased. By contrast, the pH dependence of the efficiency of the mutant toxin to form ion channels in lipid bilayers was unchanged (maximum efficiency at pH 5.5–6.0). The asymmetry and nonlinearity of the current-voltage characteristics of the channel were increased by the point mutation but the diameter of the water pore induced by the mutant toxin, evaluated in lipid bilayers and in erythrocyte membranes, was found to be indistinguishable from that formed by wild-type toxin and equal to 2.4–2.6 nm.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 15, 1997
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