ATP-binding cassette subfamily B member 10 (Abcb10) is a mitochondrial ABC transporter that complexes with mitoferrin1 and ferrochelatase to enhance heme biosynthesis in developing red blood cells. Reductions in Abcb10 levels have been shown to reduce mitoferrin1 protein levels and iron import into mitochondria resulting in reduced heme biosynthesis. As an ABC transporter, Abcb10 binds and hydrolyzes ATP, but its transported substrate is unknown. Here, we determined that decreases in Abcb10 did not result in protoporphyrin IX accumulation in morphant treated zebrafish embryos nor in differentiated Abcb10-specific shRNA murine Friend erythroleukemia (MEL) cells in which Abcb10 was specifically silenced with shRNA. We also found that the ATPase activity of Abcb10 is necessary for hemoglobinization in MEL cells, suggesting that the substrate transported by Abcb10 is important in mediating increased heme biosynthesis during erythroid development. Inhibition of 5-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALA-D, EC 220.127.116.11) with succinylacetone resulted in both ALA accumulation in control and Abcb10-specific shRNA MEL cells, demonstrating that reductions in Abcb10 do not affect ALA export from mitochondria and indicating that Abcb10 does not transport ALA. Abcb10 silencing resulted in an alteration in the heme biosynthesis transcriptional profile due to repression by the transcriptional regulator Bach1, which could be partially rescued by overexpression of Alas2 or Gata1, providing a mechanistic explanation for why Abcb10-shRNA MEL cells exhibit reduced hemoblobinization. In conclusion, our findings rule out that Abcb10 transports ALA and indicate that Abcb10 ATP-hydrolysis activity is critical for hemoglobinization and that the substrate transported by Abcb10 provides a signal that optimizes hemoglobinization.