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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2005 Jul;3(7):566-72.

Do physiological roles foster persistence of drug/multidrug-efflux transporters? A case study.

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Department of Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA.


Drug and multidrug resistance have greatly compromised the compounds that were once the mainstays of antibiotic therapy. This resistance often persists despite reductions in the use of antibiotics, indicating that the proteins encoded by antibiotic-resistance genes have alternative physiological roles that can foster such persistence in the absence of selective pressure by antibiotics. The recent observations that Tet(L), a tetracycline-efflux transporter, and MdfA, a multidrug-efflux transporter, both confer alkali tolerance offer a striking case study in support of this hypothesis.

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