Three's company: component structures bring a closer view of tripartite drug efflux pumps.
- Bacterial multidrug resistance is a serious clinical problem and is commonly conferred by tripartite efflux 'pumps' in the prokaryotic cell envelope. Crystal structures of the three components of a drug efflux pump have now been solved: the outer membrane TolC exit duct in the year 2000, the inner membrane AcrB antiporter in 2002 and the periplasmic adaptor MexA in 2004. These structures have enhanced our understanding of the principles underlying pump assembly and operation, and present pumps as new drug targets.
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