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In humans, there are more than 50 types of amino acid transporters, which are responsible for the cellular uptake of amino acids and for regulating the intra- and extra-cellular balance of these molecules. Mutations in these transporters are associated with a variety of diseases. However, in spite of the importance of these molecules, little is known about how they work. Scientists at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) have now characterised the structure of a member of the LAT family.
LATs form a family that includes various kinds of amino acid transporters, and are even present in some types of bacteria. Mutated LATs are associated with conditions as diverse as autism, age-related hearing loss, cystinuria and lysinuric protein intolerance.
Nature - Communications - Study - BasC - LAT
Published in the journal Nature Communications, this study has focused on BasC, a LAT present in bacteria. "We have used BasC as a model because it shows structural and functional similarity to LATs in humans," explains Manuel Palacín, head of the Amino Acid Transporters and Disease Lab at IRB Barcelona.
By analysing the structure...
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