The channel in transporters is formed by residues that are rare in transmembrane helices

Olga V. Kalinina, Vsevolod J. Makeev, Roman A. Sutormin, Mikhail S. Gelfand, Aleksandra B. Rakhmaninova

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Transmembrane transport is an essential component of the cell life. Many genes encoding known or putative transport proteins are found in bacterial genomes. In most cases their substrate specificity is not experimentally determined and only approximately predicted by comparative genomic analysis. Even less is known about the 3D structure of transporters. Nevertheless, the published experimental data demonstrate that channel-forming residues determine the substrate specificity of secondary transporters and analysis of these residues would provide better understanding of the transport mechanism. We developed a simple computational method for identification of channel-forming residues in transporter sequences. It is based on the analysis of amino acids frequencies in bacterial secondary transporters. We applied this method to a variety of transmembrane proteins with resolved 3D structure. The predictions are in sufficiently good agreement with the real protein structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalIn Silico Biology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacteria
  • Functional sites
  • Membrane proteins
  • Statistical analysis
  • Transporters


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