ABC transporters involved in the transport of plant secondary metabolites

FEBS Lett. 2006 Feb 13;580(4):1183-91. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2005.12.009. Epub 2005 Dec 12.


Plants produce a large number of secondary metabolites, such as alkaloids, terpenoids, polyphenols, quinones and many further compounds having combined structures of those groups. Physiological roles of those metabolites for plants are still under investigation, but they play, at least in part, important functions as protectants for plant bodies against herbivores and pathogens, as well as from physical stresses like ultraviolet light and heat. In order to accomplish these functions, biosyntheses and accumulation of secondary metabolites are highly regulated in a temporal and spatial manner in plant organs, where they can appropriately accumulate. In this mini-review, I introduce the mechanism of accumulation and membrane transport of these metabolites, in particular, focusing on ATP-binding cassette transporters involved.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / physiology*
  • Alkaloids / metabolism
  • Biological Transport
  • Phenol / metabolism
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Terpenes / metabolism


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Alkaloids
  • Terpenes
  • Phenol