Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes

, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 349–357 | Cite as

Transport ATPases: Structure, Motors, Mechanism and Medicine: A Brief Overview

  • Peter L. Pedersen


Today we know there are four different types of ATPases that operate within biological membranes with the purpose of moving many different types of ions or molecules across these membranes. Some of these ions or molecules are transported into cells, some out of cells, and some in or out of organelles within cells. These ATPases span the biological world from bacteria to eukaryotic cells and have become most simply and commonly known as “transport ATPases.” The price that each cell type pays for transport work is counted in molecules of hydrolyzed ATP, a metabolic currency that is itself regenerated by a transport ATPase working in reverse, i.e., the ATP synthase. Four major classes of transport ATPases, the P, V, F, and ABC types are now known. In addition to being involved in many different types of biological/physiological processes, mutations in these proteins also account for a large number of diseases. The purpose of this introductory article to a mini-review series on transport ATPases is to provide the reader with a very brief and focused look at this important area of research that has an interesting history and bears significance to cell physiology, biochemistry, immunology, nanotechnology, and medicine, including drug discovery. The latter involves potential applications to a whole host of diseases ranging from cancer to those that affect bones (osteoporosis), ears (hearing), eyes (macromolecular degeneration), the heart (hypercholesterolemia/cardiac arrest,), immune system (immune deficiency disease), kidney (nephrotoxicity), lungs (cystic fibrosis), pancreas (diabetes and cystic fibrosis), skin (Darier disease), and stomach (ulcers).

Key Words

Transport ATPase P-type ATPase F-type ATPase V-type ATPase ABC transporters cancer cancer therapy heart disease cystic fibrosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological ChemistryJohns Hopkins University, School of MedicineBaltimore

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