Functional Analysis of Novel Multidrug Transporters from Human Pathogens

Shira Ninio, Dvir Rotem, Shimon Schuldiner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Proteins of the Smr family are the smallest multidrug transporters, about 110 amino acids long, that extrude various drugs in exchange with protons, thereby rendering bacteria resistant to these compounds. One of these proteins, EmrE, is an Escherichia coli protein, which has been cloned based on its ability to confer resistance to ethidium and methyl viologen and which has been extensively characterized. More than 60 genes coding for Smr proteins have been identified in several bacteria based on amino acid sequence similarity to the emrE gene. In this work we have analyzed the sequence similarity among these homologues and identified some distinct signature sequence elements and several fully conserved residues. Five of these homologues, from human pathogens Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Bordetella pertussis, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and from Escherichia coli, were cloned into an E. coli expression system. The proteins were further characterized and show varying degrees of methyl viologen uptake into proteoliposomes and [3H]TPP binding in solubilized membranes. The homologues can also form mixed oligomers with EmrE that exhibit intermediate binding characteristics. A comparative study of various homologous proteins provides a tool for deciphering structure-function relationship and monomer-monomer interaction in multidrug transporters and in membrane proteins in general.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)48250-48256
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number51
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2001


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