Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nature. 1990 Sep 27;347(6291):402-6.

High specificity of a phosphate transport protein determined by hydrogen bonds.

Author information

  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.


Transport of the essential nutrient phosphorus--primarily in the form of orthophosphate--into cells and organelles is highly specific. This is exemplified by the uptake of phosphate or its close analogue arsenate by bacterial cells by way of a high affinity active transport system dependent on a phosphate-binding protein; this system is unable to recognize other inorganic oxyanions and is, moreover, distinct from the one for sulphate transport. The phosphate-binding protein is a member of a family of periplasmic proteins acting as initial high-affinity receptors for the osmotic shock-sensitive active transport systems or permeases for various sugars, amino acids, oligopeptides, and oxyanions. We report here the highly refined 1.7 A resolution X-ray structure of the liganded form of the phosphate-binding protein. The structure reveals the atomic features responsible for phosphate selectivity, either in monobasic or dibasic form, and the exclusion of sulphate. These features are fundamental to understanding phosphate transport systems and molecular recognition of charged substrates or ions in other biological processes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk