Encyclopedia of Molecular Pharmacology

Living Edition
| Editors: Stefan Offermanns, Walter Rosenthal

ABC Transporters

  • Markus GrubeEmail author
  • Gabriele Jedlitschky
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21573-6_174-1



The ABC transporters represent one of the largest families of transmembrane proteins in most organisms including plants, bacteria, and eukaryotic cells. They perform numerous key physiological processes directly coupled with the hydrolysis of ATP. From the pharmacological point of view, ABC transporters are of special interest because of their relevance in transmembrane transport of various drugs, thereby modifying intracellular concentrations and hence effects of these compounds. Furthermore, they represent potential target structures to interfere with (patho-)physiological processes in which they are involved.

Basic Characteristics

ATP-binding cassette (ABC) proteins are present in plants, bacteria, and eukaryotic organisms including mammalians. In humans the ABC gene superfamily comprises about 50 members, which are organized in 7 subfamilies called ABCA to ABCG on the basis of their domain organization and phylogenetic...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Center of Drug Absorption and TransportUniversity Medicine GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany