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Recent developments in nucleobase cation symporter-1 (NCS1) family transport proteins from bacteria, archaea, fungi and plants

DOI: 10.1007/s12038-018-9780-3 DOI Help

Authors: Simon G. Patching (University of Leeds)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of Biosciences , VOL 101

State: Published (Approved)
Published: July 2018

Abstract: The nucleobase cation symporter-1 (NCS1) family of secondary active transport proteins comprises over 2500 sequenced members from bacteria, archaea, fungi and plants. NCS1 proteins use a proton or sodium gradient to drive inward cellular transport of purine and pyrimidine nucleobases and nucleosides, hydantoins and related compounds. The structural organization, substrate binding residues and molecular mechanism of NCS1 proteins are defined by crystal structures of sodium-coupled hydantoin transporter, Mhp1. Plant proteins are most closely related to bacterial/archaeal proteins and the distinct Fur-type and Fcy-type fungal proteins and plant proteins originated through independent horizontal transfers from prokaryotes. Analyses of 25 experimentally characterized proteins reveal high substrate specificity in bacterial proteins, distinct non-overlapping specificities in Fur-type and Fcy-type fungal proteins and broad specificity in plant proteins. Possible structural explanations are identified for differences in substrate specificity between bacterial proteins, whilst specificities of other proteins cannot be predicted by simple sequence comparisons. Specificity appears to be species specific and determined by combinations of effects dictated by multiple residues in the major substrate binding site and gating domains. This is an exploratory research review of evolutionary relationships, function and structural organization, molecular mechanism and origins of substrate specificity in NCS1 proteins and avenues of future direction.

Journal Keywords: Evolutionary relationships; Mhp1; molecular mechanism; NCS1; substrate specificity; transport proteins

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials

Instruments: B23-Circular Dichroism