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Microb Cell. 2017 Mar 1;4(3):69-73. doi: 10.15698/mic2017.03.560.

Transceptors as a functional link of transporters and receptors.

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Department of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimioupolis 15784, Athens, Greece.


Cells need to communicate with their environment in order to obtain nutrients, grow, divide and respond to signals related to adaptation in changing physiological conditions or stress. A very basic question in biology is how cells, especially of those organisms living in rapidly changing habitats, sense their environment. Apparently, this question is of particular importance to all free-living microorganisms. The critical role of receptors, transporters and channels, transmembrane proteins located in the plasma membrane of all types of cells, in signaling environmental changes is well established. A relative newcomer in environment sensing are the so called transceptors, membrane proteins that possess both solute transport and receptor-like signaling activities. Now, the transceptor concept is further enlarged to include micronutrient sensing via the iron and zinc high-affinity transporters of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Interestingly, what seems to underline the transport and/or sensing function of receptors, transporters and transceptors is ligand-induced conformational alterations recognized by downstream intracellular effectors.


PKA pathway; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; conformational change; endocytosis; evolution; fungi; signaling

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest: I declare no conflict of interest in the preparation of this work.

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