Towards understanding promiscuity in multidrug efflux pumps

Kelvin Wong, Jerome Ma, Alice Rothnie, Philip C. Biggin, Ian D. Kerr*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Drug export from cells is a major factor in the acquisition of cellular resistance to antimicrobial and cancer chemotherapy, and poses a significant threat to future clinical management of disease. Many of the proteins that catalyse drug efflux do so with remarkably low substrate specificity, a phenomenon known as multidrug transport. For these reasons we need a greater understanding of drug recognition and transport in multidrug pumps to inform research that attempts to circumvent their action. Structural and computational studies have been heralded as being great strides towards a full elucidation of multidrug recognition and transport. In this review we summarise these advances and ask how close we are to a molecular understanding of this remarkable phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-16
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Biochemical Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date6 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • ABC transporter
  • antibiotic resistance
  • chemotherapy
  • drug resistance
  • MATE transporter
  • MFS transporter
  • P-glycoprotein
  • RND transporter
  • SMR transporter


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