Biophysical methods toolbox to study ABC exporter structure and function

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ABC exporters are highly dynamic membrane proteins that span a huge spectrum of different conformations. A detailed integrated approach of cellular, biochemical and biophysical characterization of these ‘open’, ‘closed’ and other intermediate states is central to understanding their function. Almost 40 years after the discovery of the first ABC transporter, thanks to the enormous development in methodologies, a picture is slowly emerging to visualize how these fascinating molecules transport their substrates. This mini review summarizes some of the biophysical tools that have made a major impact in understanding the function of the ABC exporters.

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