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Eur J Cell Biol. 2012 Apr;91(4):311-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcb.2011.02.008. Epub 2011 May 10.

Receptor-transporter interactions of canonical ATP-binding cassette import systems in prokaryotes.

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Institut für Biologie, AG Bakterienphysiologie, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Chausseestr. 117, D-10115 Berlin, Germany.


ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transport systems mediate the translocation of solutes across biological membranes at the expense of ATP. They share a common modular architecture comprising two pore-forming transmembrane domains and two nucleotide binding domains. In prokaryotes, ABC transporters are involved in the uptake of a large variety of chemicals, including nutrients, osmoprotectants and signal molecules. In pathogenic bacteria, some ABC importers are virulence factors. Canonical ABC import systems require an additional component, a substrate-specific receptor or binding protein for function. Interaction of the liganded receptor with extracytoplasmic loop regions of the transmembrane domains initiate the transport cycle. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on receptor-transporter interplay provided by crystal structures as well as by biochemical and biophysical means. In particular, we focus on the maltose/maltodextrin transporter of enterobacteria and the transporters for positively charged amino acids from the thermophile Geobacillus stearothermophilus and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium.

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