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J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2004 Feb;36(1):5-15.

Insights into ABC transport in archaea.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, University of Groningen, Kerklaan 30, 9751 NN Haren, The Netherlands.


In archaea, ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters play a crucial role in substrate uptake, export, and osmoregulation. Archael substrate-binding-protein-dependent ABC transporters are equipped with a very high affinity for their cognate substrates which provide these organisms with the ability to efficiently scavenge substrates from their environment even when present only at low concentration. Further adaptations to the archaeal way of life are especially found in the domain organization and anchoring of the substrate-binding proteins to the membrane. Examination of the signal peptides of binding proteins of 14 archael genomes showed clear differences between euryarchaeotes and crenarchaeotes. Furthermore, a profiling and comparison of ABC transporters in the three sequenced pyrococcal strains was performed.

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