Architecture and roles of periplasmic adaptor proteins in tripartite efflux assemblies

Martyn F Symmons, Robert L Marshall, Vassiliy N Bavro

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31 Citations (Scopus)
220 Downloads (Pure)


Recent years have seen major advances in the structural understanding of the different components of tripartite efflux assemblies, which encompass the multidrug efflux (MDR) pumps and type I secretion systems. The majority of these investigations have focused on the role played by the inner membrane transporters and the outer membrane factor (OMF), leaving the third component of the system - the Periplasmic Adaptor Proteins (PAPs) - relatively understudied. Here we review the current state of knowledge of these versatile proteins which, far from being passive linkers between the OMF and the transporter, emerge as active architects of tripartite assemblies, and play diverse roles in the transport process. Recognition between the PAPs and OMFs is essential for pump assembly and function, and targeting this interaction may provide a novel avenue for combating multidrug resistance. With the recent advances elucidating the drug efflux and energetics of the tripartite assemblies, the understanding of the interaction between the OMFs and PAPs is the last piece remaining in the complete structure of the tripartite pump assembly puzzle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number513
Number of pages20
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2015


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