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J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2001 Apr;3(2):255-64.

Multidrug efflux pumps and antimicrobial resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and related organisms.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic human pathogen characterized by an innate resistance to multiple antimicrobial agents. A major contribution to this intrinsic multidrug resistance is provided by a number of broadly-specific multidrug efflux systems, including MexAB-OprM and MexXY-OprM. In addition, these and two additional tripartite efflux systems, MexCD-OprJ and MexEF-OprN, promote acquired multidrug resistance as a result of mutational hyperexpression of the efflux genes. In addition to antibiotics, these pumps promote export of numerous dyes, detergents, inhibitors, disinfectants, organic solvents and homoserine lactones involved in quorum sensing. The efflux pump proteins are highly homologous and consist of a cytoplasmic membrane-associated drug-proton antiporter of the Resistance-Nodulation-Division (RND) family, an outer membrane channel-forming protein [sometimes called outer membrane factor (OMF)] and a periplasmic membrane fusion protein (MFP). Homologues of these systems have been described in Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Burkholderia cepacia, Burkholderia pseudomallei and the non-pathogen Pseudomonas putida, where they play a role in export of and resistance to multiple antimicrobial agents and/or organic solvents. Although the natural function of these multidrug efflux systems is largely unknown, their contribution to antibiotic resistance and their conservation in a number of important human pathogens makes them logical targets for therapeutic intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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