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Periplasmic binding protein-dependent transport systems are multicomponent, consisting of several inner membrane-associated proteins and a periplasmic component. The membrane-associated components of different systems are related in organization and function suggesting that, despite different substrate specificities, each transport system functions by a common mechanism. Current understanding of these components is reviewed. The nature of energy coupling to periplasmic transport systems has long been debated. Recent data now demonstrate that ATP hydrolysis is the primary source of energy for transport. The ATP-binding transport components are the best characterized of a family of closely related ATP-binding proteins believed to couple ATP hydrolysis to a variety of different biological processes. Intriguingly, systems closely related to periplasmic binding protein-dependent transport systems have recently been identified in several Gram-positive organisms (which lack a periplasm) and in eukaryotic cells. This class of transport system appears to be widespread in nature, serving a variety of important and diverse functions.

Original publication




Journal article


Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci

Publication Date





353 - 364


Adenosine Triphosphate, Bacteria, Biological Transport, Active, Carrier Proteins, Cell Membrane, Membrane Proteins