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ATP-binding cassette(ABC) transporters are one of the largest protein families in organisms, with important effects in regulating plant growth and development, root morphology, transportation of secondary metabolites and resistance of stress. Environmental stress promotes the biosynthesis and accumulation of secondary metabolites, which determines the quality of medicinal plants. Therefore, how to improve the accumulation of secondary metabolites has been a hotspot in studying medicinal plants. Many studies have showed that ABC transporters are extremely related to the transportation and accumulation of secondary metabolites in plants. Recently, with the great development of genomics and transcriptomic sequencing technology, the regulatory mechanisms of ABC transporters on secondary metabolites have attached great attentions in medicinal plants. This paper reviewed the mechanisms of different groups of ABC transporters in transporting secondary metabolites through cell membranes. This paper provided key theoretical basis and technical supports in studying the mechanisms of ABC transporters in medicinal plant, and promoting the accumulation of secondary metabolites, in order to improve the quality of medicinal plants.


Ning Liu, Hai Sun, Zheng-Bo Liu, Cai Shao, Lin-Lin Zhang. Progress of studies on ATP-binding cassette transporters and transportation of secondary metabolites in medicinal plants]. Zhongguo Zhong yao za zhi = Zhongguo zhongyao zazhi = China journal of Chinese materia medica. 2021 Jan;46(1):52-56

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PMID: 33645051

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