The past decade has seen a remarkable surge in structural characterization of ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters, which have spurred a more focused functional analysis of these elaborate molecular machines. As a result, it has become increasingly apparent that there is a substantial degree of mechanistic variation between ABC transporters that function as importers, which correlates with their physiological roles. Here, we summarize recent advances in ABC importers' structure-function studies and provide an explanation as to the origin of the different mechanisms of action.
Keywords: ABC transporter; ATP hydrolysis; membrane protein; structure–function; substrate-binding protein.
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