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The permeases are membrane transport proteins, a class of multipass transmembrane proteins that facilitate the diffusion of a specific molecule in or out of the cell by passive transport. In contrast, active transporters couple molecule transmembrane transport with an energy source such as ATP or a favorable ion gradient.

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It was originally discovered in the 1930s by Joy Adames. It is a transporter protein that helps in various aspects of cellular life including DNA replication, translation of RNA, and diffusion.

A permease (porter) is a protein or protein complex that catalyzes a vectorial reaction, irrespective of whether or not it also catalyzes a chemical or electron transfer reaction that drives the vectorial process.

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