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Trends Biochem Sci. 2000 Feb;25(2):39-43.

A structure-based mechanism for drug binding by multidrug transporters.

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Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR, USA.


Multidrug transporters bind chemically dissimilar, potentially cytotoxic compounds and remove them from the cell. How these transporters carry out either of these functions is unknown. On the basis of crystal structures of the multidrug-binding domain of the transcription activator BmrR and mutagenesis studies on the bacterial multidrug transporter MdfA, we propose a possible mechanism for the binding of cationic lipophilic drugs by multidrug transporters. The key element of this mechanism includes a conformational change in the transporter that exposes a buried charged residue in the substrate-binding pocket and allows access to this site by only those drugs that are its steric and electrostatic complements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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