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The transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP) delivers peptides into the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum for binding onto major histocompatibility complex class I molecules. TAP comprises two polypeptides, TAP1 and TAP2, each with an N-terminal transmembrane domain and a C-terminal cytosolic nucleotide binding domain (NBD). The two NBDs have distinct intrinsic nucleotide binding properties. In the resting state of TAP, the NBD1 has a much higher binding activity for ATP than the NBD2, while the binding of ADP to the two NBDs is equivalent. To attribute the different nucleotide binding behaviour of NBD1 and NBD2 to specific sequences, we generated chimeric TAP1 and TAP2 polypeptides in which either the nonhomologous C-terminal tails downstream of the Walker B motif, or the core NBDs which are enclosed by the conserved Walker A and B motifs, were reciprocally exchanged. Our biochemical and functional studies on the different TAP chimeras show that the distinct nucleotide binding behaviour of TAP1 and TAP2 is controlled by the nonhomologous C-terminal tails of the two TAP chains. In addition, our data suggest that the C-terminal tail of TAP2 is required for a functional transporter by regulating ATP binding. Further experiments indicate that ATP binding to NBD2 is important because it prevents simultaneous uptake of ATP by TAP1. We propose that the C-terminal tails of TAP1 and TAP2 play a crucial regulatory role in the coordination of nucleotide binding and ATP hydrolysis by TAP.


Hicham Bouabe, Michael R Knittler. The distinct nucleotide binding states of the transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP) are regulated by the nonhomologous C-terminal tails of TAP1 and TAP2. European journal of biochemistry / FEBS. 2003 Nov;270(22):4531-46

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PMID: 14622282

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