A novel pathway for outer membrane protein biogenesis in Gram-negative bacteria

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  • Lawson Tait Professor of Gynaecological Cancer, School of Cancer Sciences, Vincent Drive, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom. Electronic address: s.t.kehoe@bham.ac.uk.

Abstract

The understanding of the biogenesis of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is of critical importance due to the emergence of bacteria that are becoming resistant to available antibiotics. A problem that is most serious for Gram-negative bacteria, with essentially few antibiotics under development or likely to be available for clinical use in the near future. The understanding of the Gram-negative bacterial outer membrane is therefore critical to developing new antimicrobial agents, as this membrane makes direct contact with the external milieu, and the proteins present within this membrane are the instruments of microbial warfare, playing key roles in microbial pathogenesis, virulence and multidrug resistance. To date, a single outer membrane complex has been identified as essential for the folding and insertion of proteins into the outer membrane, this is the β-barrel assembly machine (BAM) complex, which in some cases is supplemented by the Translocation and Assembly Module (TAM). In this issue of Molecular Microbiology, Dunstan et al. have identified a novel pathway for the insertion of a subset of integral membrane proteins into the Gram-negative outer membrane that is independent of the BAM complex and TAM.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-611
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Volume97
Issue number4
Early online date17 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2015