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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. Dec 1986; 30(6): 923–926.
PMCID: PMC180620

Involvement of outer membrane of Pseudomonas cepacia in aminoglycoside and polymyxin resistance.


Pseudomonas cepacia was found to be resistant to the outer membrane-permeabilizing effects of aminoglycoside antibiotics, polymyxin B, and EDTA. Permeabilization of P. cepacia to the fluorescent probe 1-N-phenylnaphthylamine was not achieved at concentrations 100- to 1,000-fold above those required to permeabilize Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Furthermore, in contrast to P. aeruginosa cells, intact cells of P. cepacia did not bind the fluorescent probe dansyl-polymyxin. However, purified lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from P. cepacia bound dansyl-polymyxin with approximately the same affinity as did LPS from P. aeruginosa. Also, binding of dansyl-polymyxin to P. cepacia (and P. aeruginosa) LPS was inhibited by polymyxin B, streptomycin, gentamicin, and Mg2+. These data suggest that P. cepacia does not utilize the self-promoted pathway for aminoglycoside uptake and that the outer membrane is arranged in a way that conceals or protects cation-binding sites on LPS which are capable of binding polycations such as aminoglycosides or polymxyin.

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Selected References

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