The MATE proteins as fundamental transporters of metabolic and xenobiotic organic cations

Hiroshi Omote, Miki Hiasa, Takuya Matsumoto, Masato Otsuka, Yoshinori Moriyama

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Multidrug and toxic compound extrusion (MATE) proteins, comprising the most recently designated family of multidrug transporter proteins, are widely distributed in all kingdoms of living organisms, although their function is far from understood. The bacterial MATE-type transporters that have been characterized function as exporters of cationic drugs, such as norfloxacin and ethidium, through H+ or Na+ exchange. Plant MATE-type transporters are involved in the detoxification of secondary metabolites, including alkaloids. Mammalian MATE-type transporters are responsible for the final step in the excretion of metabolic waste and xenobiotic organic cations in the kidney and liver through electroneutral exchange of H+. Thus, we propose that members of the MATE family are organic cation exporters that excrete metabolic or xenobiotic organic cations from the body.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-593
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology

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