Structural advances for the major facilitator superfamily (MFS) transporters

Nieng Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

289 Scopus citations


The major facilitator superfamily (MFS) is one of the largest groups of secondary active transporters conserved from bacteria to humans. MFS proteins selectively transport a wide spectrum of substrates across biomembranes and play a pivotal role in multiple physiological processes. Despite intense investigation, only seven MFS proteins from six subfamilies have been structurally elucidated. These structures were captured in distinct states during a transport cycle involving alternating access to binding sites from either side of the membrane. This review discusses recent progress in MFS structure analysis and focuses on the molecular basis for substrate binding, co-transport coupling, and alternating access.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Biochemical Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


  • 3-TM (transmembrane segments) repeat
  • Alternating access
  • Major facilitator superfamily
  • Structure


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