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The DedA protein family is a highly conserved and ancient family of membrane proteins with representatives in most sequenced genomes, including those of bacteria, archaea, and eukarya. The functions of the DedA family proteins remain obscure. However, recent genetic approaches have revealed important roles for certain bacterial DedA family members in membrane homeostasis. Bacterial DedA family mutants display such intriguing phenotypes as cell division defects, temperature sensitivity, altered membrane lipid composition, elevated envelope-related stress responses, and loss of proton motive force. The DedA family is also essential in at least two species of bacteria: Borrelia burgdorferi and Escherichia coli. Here, we describe the phylogenetic distribution of the family and summarize recent progress toward understanding the functions of the DedA membrane protein family. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.

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Journal of Bacteriology

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