Structure and function of ABC transporters to understand persistence of global marine pollutants
NIEHS Grant: R01ES021985
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego are working to better understand why some chemicals persist in the marine environment and accumulate in organisms, leading to human exposure through contaminated food from the sea. Multidrug resistance transporters, belonging to the ATP binding cassette (ABC) family, are major biological determinants of intracellular chemical accumulation. The investigators are identifying and purifying sea urchin multidrug efflux transporter proteins, developing assays for their interaction with major marine pollutants, and working to determine their high-resolution structures. This project is providing a detailed molecular framework for understanding the structure and function of important molecular transporters found in sea urchins and other marine organisms to predict bioaccumulation and toxicity of marine pollutants.