, Volume 62, Issue 19-20, pp 2204-2227
Date: 29 Aug 2005

New mitochondrial carriers: an overview

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The transport of metabolites, nucleotides and cofactors across the mitochondrial inner membrane is performed by members of mitochondrial carrier family (MCF). These proteins share marked structural features that have made feasible the functional characterization of numerous MCs in the last years. The MCs responsible for transport activities in mitochondria known for decades such as glutamate uptake or ATP-Mg/Pi exchange have recently been identified as well as novel carriers such as those involved in S-adenosylmethionine or thiamine pyrophosphate uptake. Here, after a brief review of the novel data on structural characteristics and import mechanisms of MCF members, we present an exhaustive compilation of human MC sequences, including previously characterized carriers, together with their respective Saccharomyces cerevisiae orthologues, ordered according to the phylogenetic analysis of el Moualij and co-workers [Yeast (1997) 13: 573–581]. We have detected the existence of at least 49 human MC sequences, including those of yet unknown function. An overview of novel MCF members functionally characterized in recent years in mammals and in yeast genomes is presented.

Received 10 May 2005; received after revision 8 June 2005; accepted 22 June 2005