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Secondary active transporters move molecules across cell membranes by coupling this process to the energetically favourable downhill movement of ions or protons along an electrochemical gradient. They function by the alternating access model of transport in which, through conformational changes, the substrate binding site alternately faces either side of the membrane. Owing to the difficulties in obtaining the crystal structure of a single transporter in different conformational states, relatively little structural information is known to explain how this process occurs. Here, the structure of the sodium-benzylhydantoin transporter, Mhp1, from Microbacterium liquefaciens, has been determined in three conformational states; from this a mechanism is proposed for switching from the outward-facing open conformation through an occluded structure to the inward-facing open state.

Original publication

DOI

10.1107/S0909049510032449

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Synchrotron Radiat

Publication Date

01/2011

Volume

18

Pages

20 - 23

Keywords

Actinomycetales, Binding Sites, Hydantoins, Ion Transport, Sodium, Symporters