Résumé : The multidrug transporter LmrP, member of the major facilitator superfamily (MFS), confers L. lactis and recombinant E. coli cells resistance to an array of cytotoxic compounds including antibiotics. LmrP mediates drug extrusion from the plasma membrane by an electrogenic proton/drug exchange reaction, whereby a positively charged substrate may move towards the external medium in exchange for two or more protons moving towards the cytoplasm. Recent studies have suggested that MFS transporters require phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) for function and proper topology. However, the specificity of the PE requirement, as well as the contribution of the electrochemical gradient (the driving force of the substrate transport) to this lipid requirement was not addressed. Here we report a new approach for addressing PE specific requirement for the function and the structure of membranes transporters. We used methyl-PE and dimethyl-PE analogs of PE to show that only replacement of the three hydrogens by methyl moieties leads to changes in the biochemical and biophysical properties of the reconstituted protein. This suggests that LmrP does not depend on the bulk properties of the phospholipids tested but solely on the hydrogen bonding ability of the headgroup. We then show that a single point mutation in LmrP, D68C, is sufficient to recapitulate precisely every biochemical and biophysical effect observed when PE is replaced by phosphatidylcholine (PC) ( including energy transfer between the protein tryptophan residues and the lipid headgroups). We conclude that the negatively charged Asp-68 is likely to participate in the interaction with PE and that such interaction is required for proton gradient sensing, substrate binding, and transport. Because Asp-68 belongs to a highly conserved motif in the Major Facilitator Superfamily (which includes LacY and EmrD), this interaction might be a general feature of these transporters that is involved in proton gradient sensing and lipid dependence.