Genome archeology leading to the characterization and classification of transport proteins

Curr Opin Microbiol. 1999 Oct;2(5):555-61. doi: 10.1016/s1369-5274(99)00016-8.


In the study of transmembrane transport, molecular phylogeny provides a reliable guide to protein structure, catalytic and noncatalytic transport mechanisms, mode of energy coupling and substrate specificity. It also allows prediction of the evolutionary history of a transporter family, leading to estimations of its age, source, and route of appearance. Phylogenetic analyses, therefore, provide a rational basis for the characterization and classification of transporters. A universal classification system has been described, based on both function and phylogeny, which has been designed to be applicable to all currently recognized and yet-to-be discovered transport proteins found in living organisms on Earth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Carrier Proteins / classification*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Genome, Archaeal*
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Phylogeny*


  • Carrier Proteins