The first water channel protein (WCP) was discovered in the 1980s during studies of the human red blood cell membrane. In the 1990s it became obvious that WCPs constitute a large family of membrane proteins that are present in all kingdoms of life: plants, microorganisms (archaea, bacteria, yeast, and protozoa), and animals including humans. WCPs exist in three subfamilies: (1) aquaporins (AQPs) that are mainly water channels; (2) aquaglyceroporins (and glycerol facilitators) that convey water and/or other small molecules across membranes; and (3) S-aquaporins “superaquaporins” or subcellular AQPs.
Second World Congress on Water Channel Proteins
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