The vinblastine binding site adopts high- and low-affinity conformations during a transport cycle of P-glycoprotein

Biochemistry. 2001 Dec 25;40(51):15733-42. doi: 10.1021/bi011211z.


Conceptually one may envisage that substrate binding sites on the ABC transporter P-gp cycle between high- and low-affinity conformations in response to signals arising from nucleotide hydrolysis to effect active transport. A radioligand binding assay was used to characterize the interaction of [3H]vinblastine with P-gp and determine how drug binding site parameters are altered during a catalytic cycle of P-gp. In the absence of nucleotide, we show that [3H]vinblastine interacts with a single class of binding site with high affinity (K(d) = 80 +/- 18 nM). In the presence of the nonhydrolyzable ATP analogue AMP-PNP, the drug binding site was in a low-affinity conformation, manifest by a 9-fold increase in K(d) (K(d) = 731 +/- 20 nM). There was no alteration in the binding capacity, reflecting a complete shift in the high-affinity site to a low-affinity form. The posthydrolytic (Mg-ADP-V(i) bound) form of P-gp also exhibited low-affinity substrate binding (K(d) = 446 +/- 57 nM). Restoration of the high-affinity drug binding site conformation (K(d) = 131 +/- 32 nM) did not occur until release of phosphate from the posthydrolysis P-gp-Mg-ADP-P(i). complex. Our results suggest that alteration of the affinity of the vinblastine binding site involves only one nucleotide binding domain per transport cycle. The binding of ATP provides the signal to instigate this change, while release of phosphate post-ATP hydrolysis returns the transporter to its original state to complete the cycle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / chemistry*
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / metabolism*
  • Adenosine Diphosphate / metabolism
  • Adenosine Monophosphate / metabolism
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / analogs & derivatives*
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Azides / metabolism
  • Binding Sites
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • CHO Cells
  • Catalysis
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cricetinae
  • Hydrolysis
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Radioligand Assay / methods
  • Tritium / metabolism
  • Vinblastine / metabolism*


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • Azides
  • Tritium
  • Adenosine Monophosphate
  • 8-azidoadenosine 5'-triphosphate
  • Vinblastine
  • Adenosine Diphosphate
  • Adenosine Triphosphate