Drug efflux proteins are widespread amongst microorganisms, including pathogens. They can contribute to both natural insensitivity to antibiotics and to emerging antibiotic resistance and so are potential targets for the development of new antibacterial drugs. The design of such drugs would be greatly facilitated by knowledge of the structures of these transport proteins, which are poorly understood, because of the difficulties of obtaining crystals of quality. We describe a structural genomics approach for the amplified expression, purification and characterisation of prokaryotic drug efflux proteins of the Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS) of transport proteins from Helicobacter pylori, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillus subtilis, Brucella melitensis, Campylobacter jejuni, Neisseria meningitides and Streptomyces coelicolor. The H. pylori putative drug resistance protein, HP1092, and the S. aureus QacA proteins are used as detailed examples. This strategy is an important step towards reproducible production of transport proteins for the screening of drug binding and for optimisation of crystallisation conditions to enable subsequent structure determination.
Keywords: Membrane transport, transport protein, drug resistance, antibiotic resistance, multidrug resistance, gene expression, protein production, membrane protein
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