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Molecular mechanisms of multidrug transporters: from bacteria to man


Dr Hendrik W. van Veen - Group leader


Tel: +44 1223 765295/334073
Fax: +44 1223 334100



Research tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR), inhibition of antibiotic resistance mechanisms (ARM), Clare College, drug resistance, antibiotic resistance, anticancer drug resistance, membrane transporters, multidrug transporters, drug efflux, molecular basis of drug recognition, mechanisms of transport, bioenergetics, inhibitors, electrophysiological & biochemical/biophysical assays.

Investigator biography

Hendrik van Veen earned his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Biochemistry and PhD degree in Microbiology (supervisors Profs. Alex Zehnder and Wil Konings) cum laude at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. In 1996, his thesis on solute transport in bacteria was awarded the triennial Kluyver Award of the Netherlands Society of Microbiology. After post-doctoral work at the Universities of Groningen (Prof. Wil Konings) and Oxford (Prof. Chris Higgins), he received a research fellowship from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) to work on bacterial multidrug resistance at Groningen University. During this time, he obtained a Max Gruber Award in Biochemistry from the University of Groningen. In 2001 he became associated with the University of Cambridge, Department of Pharmacology, first as a University Lecturer and University Senior Lecturer, and currently as Reader in Molecular Pharmacology. He is a teaching fellow at Clare College, and leader of a research group aiming at the mechanisms of antibiotic and anticancer drug recognition and transport by multidrug transporters in pro- and eukaryotic cells. He was a member of the College of Experts of the Medical Research Council from 2004 to 2009, and serves on various editorial boards, and committees of funding agencies and societies. Click here for a citation overview of his publications, and here for a curriculum vitae.

Lab members


Selected publications

Van Veen, H.W., Venema, K., Bolhuis, B., Oussenko, I., Kok, J., Poolman, B., Driessen, A.J.M., and Konings, W.N. (1996) Multidrug resistance mediated by a bacterial homolog of the human drug transporter MDR1. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93: 10668-10672.

Van Veen, H.W., Callaghan, R., Soceneantu, L., Sardini, A., Konings, W.N., and Higgins, C.F. (1998) A bacterial antibiotic-resistance gene that complements the human multidrug-resistance P-glycoprotein gene. Nature 391: 291-295.

Van Veen, H.W., Margolles, A., Müller, M., Higgins, C.F., and Konings, W.N. (2000) The ATP-binding cassette transporter LmrA mediates multidrug transport by an alternating two-site (two-cylinder engine) mechanism. EMBO J. 19: 2503-2514.

Venter, H., Shilling, R., Velamakanni, S., Balakrishnan, L., and Van Veen, H.W. (2003) An ABC transporter with a secondary-active multidrug translocator domain. Nature 426: 866-869.

Barrera, N.P., Isaacson, S.C., Zhou, M., Bavro, V.N., Welch, A., Schaedler, T.A., Seeger, M.A., Miguel, R.N., Korkhov, V.M., van Veen, H.W., Venter, H., Walmsley, A.R., Tate, C.G., Robinson, C.V. (2009) Mass spectrometry of membrane transporters reveals subunit stoichiometry and interactions. Nature Methods 6(8):585-587.

Van Veen, H.W. (2010) Structural biology: Last of the multidrug transporters. Nature 467: 926-927.

Doshi, R., Ali, A., Shi, W., Freeman, E. V., Fagg, L.A., van Veen, H.W. (2013) Molecular disruption of the power stroke in the ATP-binding cassette transport protein MsbA. J Biol Chem. 288(10):6801-6813.

Choudhury*, H.G., Tong*, Z., Mathavan, I., Li, Y., Iwata, S., Zirah, S., Rebuffat, S., Van Veen, H.W., and Beis, K. (2014) Structure of an antibacterial peptide ATP-binding cassette transporter in a novel outward occluded state. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 111: 9145-9150. (* shared first authors)

Singh, H., Velamakanni, S., Deery, M.J., Howard, J., Wei, S.L., and Van Veen, H.W. (2016) ATP-dependent substrate transport by the ABC transporter MsbA is proton-coupled. Nature Commun. 7, 12387 doi: 10.1038/ncomms12387.

Fitzpatrick, A. W. P., Llabrés, S., Neuberger, A., Blaza, J. N., Bai, X. C., Okada, U., Murakami, S., van Veen, H. W., Zachariae, U., Scheres, S. H. W., Luisi, B. F., Du, D. (2017) Structure of the MacAB-TolC ABC-type tripartite multidrug efflux pump. Nature Microbiol. 2:17070. doi: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2017.70.

Okada, U., Yamashita, E., Neuberger, A., Morimoto, M., van Veen, H. W., Murakami, S. (2017) Crystal structure of tripartite-type ABC transporter MacB from Acinetobacter baumannii. Nature Commun. 8(1):1336.   doi: 10.1038/ s41467-017-01399-2.

Du, D., Wang-Kan, X., Neuberger, A., van Veen, H. W., Pos, K. M., Piddock, L. J. V., Luisi, B. F. (2018) Multidrug efflux pumps: structure, function and regulation. Nature Reviews Microbiol. doi: 10.1038/s41579-018-0048-6.

Agboh, K., Lau, C. H. F., Khoo, Y. S. K., Singh, H., Raturi, S., Nair, A. V., Howard, J., Chiapello, M., Feret, R., Deery, M. J., Murakami, S., van Veen, H. W. (2018) Powering the ABC multidrug exporter LmrA: How nucleotides embrace the ion-motive force. Science Advances 4, eaas9365.