The mitochondrial transport protein superfamily

J Bioenerg Biomembr. 1993 Oct;25(5):435-46. doi: 10.1007/BF01108401.


The ADP/ATP, phosphate, and oxoglutarate/malate carrier proteins found in the inner membranes of mitochondria, and the uncoupling protein from mitochondria in mammalian brown adipose tissue, belong to the same protein superfamily. Established members of this superfamily have polypeptide chains approximately 300 amino acids long that consist of three tandem related sequences of about 100 amino acids. The tandem repeats from the different proteins are interrelated, and probably have similar secondary structures. The common features of this superfamily are also present in nine proteins of unknown functions characterized by DNA sequencing in various species, most notably in Caenorhabditis elegans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The high level expression in Escherichia coli of the bovine oxoglutarate/malate carrier, and the reconstitution of active carrier from the expressed protein, offers encouragement that the identity of superfamily members of known sequence but unknown function may be uncovered by a similar route.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Biological Transport
  • Carrier Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Intracellular Membranes / chemistry*
  • Ion Channels
  • Membrane Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins*
  • Mitochondria / chemistry*
  • Mitochondrial ADP, ATP Translocases / chemistry
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Uncoupling Protein 1


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Ion Channels
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Uncoupling Protein 1
  • oxoglutarate translocator
  • Mitochondrial ADP, ATP Translocases