Diversity in ABC transporters: Type I, II and III importers

Austin J. Rice, Aekyung Park, Heather W. Pinkett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


ATP-binding cassette transporters are multi-subunit membrane pumps that transport substrates across membranes. While significant in the transport process, transporter architecture exhibits a range of diversity that we are only beginning to recognize. This divergence may provide insight into the mechanisms of substrate transport and homeostasis. Until recently, ABC importers have been classified into two types, but with the emergence of energy-coupling factor (ECF) transporters there are potentially three types of ABC importers. In this review, we summarize an expansive body of research on the three types of importers with an emphasis on the basics that underlie ABC importers, such as structure, subunit composition and mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-437
Number of pages12
JournalCritical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • ABC transporters
  • Accessory domain
  • ECF
  • Importers
  • Micronutrient and metal transport
  • Nucleotide binding domain
  • Regulatory domain
  • Type I
  • Type II
  • Type III

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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