The ABC of ABCS: a phylogenetic and functional classification of ABC systems in living organisms

Res Microbiol. 2001 Apr-May;152(3-4):211-29. doi: 10.1016/s0923-2508(01)01194-9.


ATP binding cassette (ABC) systems constitute one of the most abundant superfamilies of proteins. They are involved not only in the transport of a wide variety of substances, but also in many cellular processes and in their regulation. In this paper, we made a comparative analysis of the properties of ABC systems and we provide a phylogenetic and functional classification. This analysis will be helpful to accurately annotate ABC systems discovered during the sequencing of the genome of living organisms and to identify the partners of the ABC ATPases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / chemistry
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / classification*
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / physiology
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Humans
  • Phylogeny
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Substrate Specificity


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters