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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2005 Dec;49(12):4876-83.

Channel formation by CarO, the carbapenem resistance-associated outer membrane protein of Acinetobacter baumannii.

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UMR 6522, CNRS, PBM, Plate-forme Protéomique IFRMP 23, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Rouen, F76821 Mont Saint Aignan Cedex, France.


It has been recently shown that resistance to both imipenem and meropenem in multidrug-resistant clinical strains of Acinetobacter baumannii is associated with the loss of a heat-modifiable 25/29-kDa outer membrane protein, called CarO. This study aimed to investigate the channel-forming properties of CarO. Mass spectrometry analyses of this protein band detected another 25-kDa protein (called Omp25), together with CarO. Both proteins presented similar physicochemical parameters (M(w) and pI). We overproduced and purified the two polypeptides as His-tagged recombinant proteins. Circular dichroism analyses demonstrated that the secondary structure of these proteins was mainly a beta-strand conformation with spectra typical of porins. We studied the channel-forming properties of proteins by reconstitution into artificial lipid bilayers. In these conditions, CarO induced ion channels with a conductance value of 110 pS in 1 M KCl, whereas the Omp25 protein did not form any channels, despite its suggested porin function. The pores formed by CarO showed a slight cationic selectivity and no voltage closure. No specific imipenem binding site was found in CarO, and this protein would rather form unspecific monomeric channels.

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