Diverse physiological functions of cation proton antiporters across bacteria and plant cells

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Membrane intrinsic transport systems play an important role in maintaining ion and pH homeostasis and forming the proton motive force in the cytoplasm and cell organelles. In most organisms, cation/proton antiporters (CPAs) mediate the exchange of K+, Na+ and Ca2+ for H+ across the membrane in response to a variety of environmental stimuli. The tertiary structure of the ion selective filter and the regulatory domains of Escherichia coli CPAs have been determined and a molecular mechanism of cation exchange has been proposed. Due to symbiogenesis, CPAs localized in mitochondria and chloroplasts of eukaryotic cells resemble prokaryotic CPAs. CPAs primarily contribute to keeping cytoplasmic Na+ concentrations low and controlling pH, which promotes the detoxification of electrophiles and formation of proton motive force across the membrane. CPAs in cyanobacteria and chloroplasts are regulators of photosynthesis and are essential for adaptation to high light or osmotic stress. CPAs in organellar membranes and in the plasma membrane also participate in various intracellular signal transduction pathways. This review discusses recent advances in our understanding of the role of CPAs in cyanobacteria and plant cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4566
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun


  • Bacteria
  • Cation proton antiporter
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Ion transporter
  • Plant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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