Structural insights into eukaryotic aquaporin regulation

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Aquaporin-mediated water transport across cellular membranes is an ancient, ubiquitous mechanism within cell biology. This family of integral membrane proteins includes both water selective pores (aquaporins) and transport facilitators of other small molecules such as glycerol and urea (aquaglyceroporins). Eukaryotic aquaporins are frequently regulated post-translationally by gating, whereby the rate of flux through the channel is controlled, or by trafficking, whereby aquaporins are shuttled from intracellular storage sites to the plasma membrane. A number of high-resolution X-ray structures of eukaryotic aquaporins have recently been reported and the new structural insights into gating and trafficking that emerged from these studies are described. Basic structural themes reoccur, illustrating how the problem of regulation in diverse biological contexts builds upon a limited set of possible solutions.


External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
Research areas and keywords


  • Aquaporin, Membrane protein structural biology, X-ray diffraction
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2580-2588
Number of pages9
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes