Encyclopedia of Cancer

2011 Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab


  • Hermann LageEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_13



ABC (ATP-binding cassette)-transporters are membrane-embedded proteins with a characteristic ABC domain that utilize the energy from ATP hydrolysis for the transport of their substrates across a cellular membrane.


The superfamily of ABC-transporters comprises one of the most abundant protein families in nature. These transporters are believed to date back in evolutionary time more than 3 billion years and are distributed in all three kingdoms of living organisms, archaea, eubacteria, and eukaryotes. ABC-transporters have to be distinguished from ABC-proteins. Both types of proteins are defined by the presence of a highly conserved ∼215 amino acids consensus sequence designated as ABC domain or nucleotide-binding domain (NBD). The domain contains two short peptide motifs, a glycine-rich Walker A and a hydrophobic Walker B motif, both involved in ATP binding and...
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PathologyBerlinGermany