Send to

Choose Destination
J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 1999 Aug;1(1):107-25.

The RND permease superfamily: an ancient, ubiquitous and diverse family that includes human disease and development proteins.

Author information

Department of Biology, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0116, USA.


A previous report identified and classified a small family of gram-negative bacterial drug and heavy metal efflux permeases, now commonly referred to as the RND family (TC no. 2.6). We here show that this family is actually a ubiquitous superfamily with representation in all major kingdoms. We report phylogenetic analyses that define seven families within the RND superfamily as follows: (1) the heavy metal efflux (HME) family (gram negative bacteria), (2) the hydrophobe/amphiphile efflux-1 (HAE1) family (gram negative bacteria), (3) the nodulation factor exporter (NFE) family (gram negative bacteria), (4) the SecDF protein-secretion accessory protein (SecDF) family (gram negative and gram positive bacteria as well as archaea), (5) the hydrophobe/amphiphile efflux-2 (HAE2) family (gram positive bacteria), (6) the eukaryotic sterol homeostasis (ESH) family, and (7) the hydrophobe/amphiphile efflux-3 (HAE3) family (archaea and spirochetes). Functionally uncharacterized proteins were identified that are members of the RND superfamily but fall outside of these seven families. Some of the eukaryotic homologues function as enzymes and receptors instead of (or in addition to) transporters. The sizes and topological patterns exhibited by members of all seven families are shown to be strikingly similar, and statistical analyses establish common descent. Multiple alignments of proteins within each family allow derivation of family-specific signature sequences. Structural, functional, mechanistic and evolutionary implication of the reported results are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center