ACS Sensors 07 June 2022 | https://doi.org/10.1021/acssensors.2c00943
Devika Vikraman, Remya Satheesan, Mangaiyarkarasi Rajendran, Nisha Asok Kumar, John Bernet Johnson, Smrithi Krishnan R, and Kozhinjampara R. Mahendran
The selective translocation of molecules through membrane pores is an integral process in cells. We present a bacterial sugar transporter, CymA of unusual structural conformation due to a dynamic N terminus segment in the pore, reducing its diameter. We quantified the translocation kinetics of various cyclic sugars of different charge, size, and symmetry across native and truncated CymA devoid of the N terminus using single-channel recordings. The chemically divergent cyclic hexasaccharides bind to the native and truncated pore with high affinity and translocate effectively. Specifically, these sugars bind and translocate rapidly through truncated CymA compared to native CymA. In contrast, larger cyclic heptasaccharides and octasaccharides do not translocate but bind to native and truncated CymA with distinct binding kinetics highlighting the importance of molecular charge, size and symmetry in translocation consistent with liposome assays. Based on the sugar-binding kinetics, we suggest that the N terminus most likely resides inside the native CymA barrel, regulating the transport rate of cyclic sugars. Finally, we present native CymA as a large nanopore sensor for the simultaneous single-molecule detection of various sugars at high resolution, establishing its functional versatility. This natural pore is expected to have several applications in nanobiotechnology and will help further our understanding of the fundamental mechanism of molecular transport.