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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 May 3;1562(1-2):6-31.

Protein-translocating outer membrane porins of Gram-negative bacteria.

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Division of Biology 0116, 9500 Gilman Drive, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0116, USA.


Five families of outer membrane porins that function in protein secretion in Gram-negative bacteria are currently recognized. In this report, these five porin families are analyzed from structural and phylogenetic standpoints. They are the fimbrial usher protein (FUP), outer membrane factor (OMF), autotransporter (AT), two-partner secretion (TPS) and outer membrane secretin (Secretin) families. All members of these families in the current databases were identified, and all full-length homologues were multiply aligned for structural and phylogenetic analyses. The organismal distribution of homologues in each family proved to be unique with some families being restricted to proteobacteria and others being widespread in other bacterial kingdoms as well as eukaryotes. The compositions of and size differences between subfamilies provide evidence for specific orthologous relationships, which agree with available functional information and intra-subfamily phylogeny. The results reveal that horizontal transfer of genes encoding these proteins between phylogenetically distant organisms has been exceptionally rare although transfer within select bacterial kingdoms may have occurred. The resultant in silico analyses are correlated with available experimental evidence to formulate models relevant to the structures and evolutionary origins of these proteins.

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