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Trends Biochem Sci. 1998 Dec;23(12):476-81.

Sugar transporters from bacteria, parasites and mammals: structure-activity relationships.

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  • 1Division of Infection and Immunity, University of Glasgow, UK.


Sugar transport across the plasma membrane is one of the most important transport processes. The cloning and expression of cDNAs from a superfamily of related sugar transporters that all adopt a 12-membrane-spanning-domain structure has opened new avenues of investigation, including presteady-state kinetic analysis. Structure-function analyses of mammalian and bacterial sugar transporters, and comparisons of these transporters with those of parasitic trypanosomatids, indicate that different environmental pressures have tailored the evolution of the various members of the sugar-transporter superfamily. Subtle distinctions in the function of these proteins can be related to particular amino acid residue substitutions.

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