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Nat Commun. 2015 Aug 6;6:7995. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8995.

Structural basis for the blockade of MATE multidrug efflux pumps.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, Illinois 60064, USA.


Multidrug and toxic compound extrusion (MATE) transporters underpin multidrug resistance by using the H(+) or Na(+) electrochemical gradient to extrude different drugs across cell membranes. MATE transporters can be further parsed into the DinF, NorM and eukaryotic subfamilies based on their amino-acid sequence similarity. Here we report the 3.0 Å resolution X-ray structures of a protonation-mimetic mutant of an H(+)-coupled DinF transporter, as well as of an H(+)-coupled DinF and a Na(+)-coupled NorM transporters in complexes with verapamil, a small-molecule pharmaceutical that inhibits MATE-mediated multidrug extrusion. Combining structure-inspired mutational and functional studies, we confirm the biological relevance of our crystal structures, reveal the mechanistic differences among MATE transporters, and suggest how verapamil inhibits MATE-mediated multidrug efflux. Our findings offer insights into how MATE transporters extrude chemically and structurally dissimilar drugs and could inform the design of new strategies for tackling multidrug resistance.

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