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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2005 Oct;62(19-20):2204-27.

New mitochondrial carriers: an overview.

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Departamento de Biología Molecular, Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa UAM-CSIC, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma, 28049, Madrid, Spain.


The transport of metabolites, nucleotides and cofactors across the mitochondrial inner membrane is performed by members of mitochondrial carrier family (MCF). These proteins share marked structural features that have made feasible the functional characterization of numerous MCs in the last years. The MCs responsible for transport activities in mitochondria known for decades such as glutamate uptake or ATP-Mg/Pi exchange have recently been identified as well as novel carriers such as those involved in S-adenosylmethionine or thiamine pyrophosphate uptake. Here, after a brief review of the novel data on structural characteristics and import mechanisms of MCF members, we present an exhaustive compilation of human MC sequences, including previously characterized carriers, together with their respective Saccharomyces cerevisiae orthologues, ordered according to the phylogenetic analysis of el Moualij and co-workers [Yeast (1997) 13: 573-581]. We have detected the existence of at least 49 human MC sequences, including those of yet unknown function. An overview of novel MCF members functionally characterized in recent years in mammals and in yeast genomes is presented.

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