Encyclopedia of Signaling Molecules

2018 Edition
| Editors: Sangdun Choi


  • Víctor SorribasEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67199-4_101880


Historical Background

All living beings need inorganic phosphate for many essential functions, including metabolism (high-energy bonds, signal transduction, pH control, etc.) and molecular components (membrane phospholipids, nucleotides, minerals, etc.). Because Pi is a polyprotic acid, it is ionized at life-compatible pHs with one or two negative charges, a characteristic that impairs the free entrance to the cell through lipid membranes. Therefore, all cells and living beings need Pi transporters in their plasma membranes, requiring energy to overcome the transmembrane potential (negative inside). The universal need of Piexplains the presence of the solute carrier family 20 (Slc20) of phosphate in all organisms, from bacteria and plants to fungi and animals, using either proton or sodium gradients as driving forces. A detailed evolutionary description of the Slc20 family can be found...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular ToxicologyUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain