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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1991 Jan 3;1056(1):76-84.

Effect of osmotic pressure on membrane energy-linked functions in Escherichia coli.

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Laboratoire des Biomembranes, CNRS, URA. 1116, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France.


Osmotic upshock of E. coli cells in NaCl or sucrose medium resulted in a large decrease in the cytoplasmic volume and the inhibition of growth, of the electron transfer chain and of four different types of sugar transport system: the lactose proton symport, the glucose phosphotransferase system, the binding-protein dependent maltose transport system and the glycerol facilitator. In contrast to NaCl and sucrose, the permeant solute glycerol had no marked effect. These inhibitions could be partially relieved by glycine betaine. Despite these inhibitions, the internal pH, the protonmotive force and the ATP pool were maintained. It is concluded that inhibition of electron transfer and of sugar transport is the consequence of conformational changes caused by the deformation of the membrane. It is also concluded that the arrest of growth observed upon osmotic upshock is not due to energy limitations and that it cannot be explained by the inhibition of carbohydrate transport.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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