Understanding the structural requirements for activators of the Kef bacterial potassium efflux system.
The potassium efflux system, Kef, protects bacteria against the detrimental effects of electrophilic compounds via acidification of the cytoplasm. Kef is inhibited by glutathione (GSH) but activated by glutathione-S-conjugates (GS-X) formed in the presence of electrophiles. GSH and GS-X bind to overlapping sites on Kef, which are located in a cytosolic regulatory domain. The central paradox of this activation mechanism is that GSH is abundant in cells (at concentrations of ∼10-20 mM), and thu...Expand abstract
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