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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. Nov 1988; 32(11): 1636–1639.
PMCID: PMC175943

Outer membrane permeability in Pseudomonas cepacia: diminished porin content in a beta-lactam-resistant mutant and in resistant cystic fibrosis isolates.


Since beta-lactam resistance is a feature of Pseudomonas cepacia isolates causing pulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis (CF), this study was undertaken to determine whether alterations in beta-lactam permeability mediate drug resistance in this species. A beta-lactam-susceptible non-CF isolate (strain 75-26), a resistant mutant derived from 75-26 by selection for cross-resistance to ciprofloxacin and ceftazidime, and two resistant CF isolates of P. cepacia were used. Permeability constants were calculated from the rate of nitrocefin hydrolysis in intact bacterial cells. Qualitative changes in outer membrane proteins were determined electrophoretically. The permeability constants of the mutant and the resistant CF isolates were lower than the value for the reference strain, 75-26. Whereas the lipopolysaccharide side chains were present in the test and reference strains, the resistant mutant and the CF isolates contained reduced amounts of the 36-kilodalton (kDa) outer membrane protein and failed to express the 27-kDa outer membrane protein. These observations suggest that the 27-kDa outer membrane protein may be a major porin or a major protein component of the porin complex in P. cepacia and that decreased expression of the 36-kDa outer membrane and loss of the 27-kDa porin are associated with high-level beta-lactam resistance in some CF isolates of P. cepacia.

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Selected References

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