Towards the molecular mechanism of prokaryotic and eukaryotic multidrug transporters

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2001 Jun;12(3):239-45. doi: 10.1006/scdb.2000.0249.


Due to their ability to extrude structurally dissimilar cytotoxic drugs out of the cell, multidrug transporters are able to reduce the cytoplasmic drug concentration, and, hence, are able to confer drug resistance on human cancer cells and pathogenic microorganisms. This review will focus on the molecular properties of two bacterial multidrug transporters, the ATP-binding cassette transporter LmrA and the proton motive force-dependent major facilitator superfamily transporter LmrP, which each represent a major class of multidrug transport proteins encountered in pro- and eukaryotic cells. In spite of the structural differences between LmrA and LmrP, the molecular bases of their drug transport activity may turn out to be more similar than might currently appear.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / metabolism
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / physiology
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple* / genetics*
  • Eukaryotic Cells / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / physiology
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins*
  • Prokaryotic Cells / chemistry


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • LmrA protein, Lactococcus lactis
  • LmrP protein, Lactococcus lactis
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins