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Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
Vol. xx, No.
xx, 2014; Pages: xxx-xxx

Diversity of membrane transport proteins for vitamins in bacteria and archaea

Michael Jaehme, Dirk Jan Slotboom

Department of Biochemistry, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands.



All organisms use cofactors to extend the catalytic capacities of proteins. Many bacteria and archaea can synthesize cofactors from primary metabolites, but there are also prokaryotes that do not have the complete biosynthetic pathways for all essential cofactors. These organisms are dependent on the uptake of cofactors, or at least their precursors that cannot be synthesized, from the environment. Even in those organisms that contain complete biosynthetic pathways membrane transporters are usually present, because the synthesis of cofactors is more costly than uptake.

Scope of review

Here we give an overview of bacterial and archaeal transport systems for B-type vitamins, which are either cofactors or precursors thereof.

Major conclusions

Prokaryotic vitamin transporters are extremely diverse, and found in many families of transporters. A few of these transport systems have been characterized in detail, but for most of them mechanistic insight is lacking.

General significance

The lack of structural and functional understanding of bacterial vitamin transporters is unfortunate because they may be targets for new antibiotics. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Structural biochemistry and biophysics of membrane proteins. 


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