New structure model for the ATP-binding cassette multidrug transporter LmrA

Biochem Pharmacol. 2007 Sep 1;74(5):672-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2007.05.015. Epub 2007 May 24.


Multidrug resistance of pathogenic microorganisms and mammalian tumors can be associated with the overexpression of multidrug transporters. These integral membrane proteins are capable of extruding a wide range of structurally unrelated compounds from the cell. Among the different classes of multidrug transporters are the ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters, which are dependent on the binding and hydrolysis of ATP. In the past five years, many researchers have built homology models of ABC extrusion systems using the atomic coordinates of crystallized MsbA, a lipopolysaccharide transporter in Gram-negative bacteria. Likewise, we have previously used the Vibrio cholera MsbA structure as a template in the modeling of the multidrug transporter LmrA from Lactococcus lactis. In view of the recently discovered inaccuracies in the MsbA structure, we have remodelled LmrA using the atomic coordinates of the MsbA homologue Sav1866 from Staphylococcus aureus. To compare and test our MsbA-based and Sav1866-based LmrA models we performed cysteine cross-linking at three key positions in LmrA. The pattern of cross-linking at these positions was consistent with the overall topology of transmembrane helices in Sav1866, suggesting that its crystal structure might be physiologically relevant. We recently identified E314 as a residue important in proton conduction by LmrA. The predicted location of this residue at the interface between the two half-transporters in the Sav1866-based homodimer, within the inner leaflet of the phospholipid bilayer, provides a new structural basis for the role of E314 in LmrA-mediated transport.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / chemistry
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Lactococcus lactis / drug effects
  • Lactococcus lactis / metabolism
  • Models, Molecular
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / chemistry*
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Conformation
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / metabolism
  • Static Electricity
  • Vibrio cholerae / drug effects
  • Vibrio cholerae / metabolism


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • LmrA protein, Lactococcus lactis
  • MsbA protein, Bacteria
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins