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Mol Microbiol. 2001 Mar;39(6):1494-503.

Sugar transport in Sulfolobus solfataricus is mediated by two families of binding protein-dependent ABC transporters.

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Department of Microbiology, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, University of Groningen, Kerklaan 30, 9751 NN Haren, The Netherlands.


The extreme thermoacidophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus grows optimally at 80 degrees C and pH 3 and uses a variety of sugars as sole carbon and energy source. Glucose transport in this organism is mediated by a high-affinity binding protein-dependent ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter. Sugar-binding studies revealed the presence of four additional membrane-bound binding proteins for arabinose, cellobiose, maltose and trehalose. These glycosylated binding proteins are subunits of ABC transporters that fall into two distinct groups: (i) monosaccharide transporters that are homologous to the sugar transport family containing a single ATPase and a periplasmic-binding protein that is processed at an unusual site at its amino-terminus; (ii) di- and oligosaccharide transporters, which are homologous to the family of oligo/dipeptide transporters that contain two different ATPases, and a binding protein that is synthesized with a typical bacterial signal sequence. The latter family has not been implicated in sugar transport before. These data indicate that binding protein-dependent transport is the predominant mechanism of transport for sugars in S. solfataricus.

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