The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 252, Issue 4–5, pp 465–481 | Cite as

Function and Regulation of Acid Resistance Antiporters

  • Eva-Maria KrammerEmail author
  • Martine PrévostEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Membrane and Receptor Dynamics


Bacterial pathogens are a major cause of foodborne diseases and food poisoning. To cope with the acid conditions encountered in different environments such as in fermented food or in the gastric compartment, neutralophilic bacteria have developed several adaptive mechanisms. One of those mechanisms, the amino acid dependent system, consumes intracellular protons in biochemical reactions. It involves an antiporter that facilitates the exchange of external substrate amino acid for internal product and a cytoplasmic decarboxylase that catalyzes a proton-consuming decarboxylation of the substrate. So far, four acid resistance antiporters have been discovered, namely the glutamate-γ-aminobutyric acid antiporter GadC, the arginine-agmatine antiporter AdiC, the lysine-cadaverine antiporter CadB, and the ornithine-putrescine antiporter PotE. The 3D structures of AdiC and GadC, reveal an inverted-repeat fold of two times 5 transmembrane helices, typical of the amino acid-polyamine-organocation (APC) superfamily of transporters. This review summarizes our current knowledge on the transport mechanism, the pH regulation and the selectivity of these four acid resistance antiporters. It also highlights that AdiC is a paradigm for eukaryotic amino acid transporters of the APC superfamily as structural models of several of these transporters built using AdiC structures were exploited to unveil their mechanisms of amino acid recognition and translocation.


Acid resistance APC transporter Molecular simulation Foodborne disease Transport mechanism pH regulation 



M.P. is a senior research associate and E.M.K. is a postdoctoral researcher of the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique de Belgique (F.R.S.-F.R.N.S.), Belgium. This work was supported by an ARC Grant (AUWB 2010-15-2) from the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles and by the Fonds National de La Recherche Scientifique (PDR T.1107.15).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Structure et Fonction des Membranes BiologiquesUniversité Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)BrusselsBelgium

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