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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1989 May 19;981(1):8-14.

Molecular basis of porin selectivity: membrane experiments with OmpC-PhoE and OmpF-PhoE hybrid proteins of Escherichia coli K-12.

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Lehrstuhl für Biotechnologie, Universität Würzburg, F.R.G.


Lipid bilayer experiments were performed with one OmpF-PhoE and several OmpC-PhoE hybrid porins of Escherichia coli K-12. All hybrid pores had approximately the same pore-forming activity, which indicated that the structure of the pores remained essentially unchanged by the genetic manipulation. This result was supported by single-channel experiments because all pores had similar single-channel conductances in potassium chloride. Measurements with other salts indicated a drastic change in the ionic selectivity when the fusion site in the ompC-phoE hybrid genes passed along the sequence of the porins from the N-terminal to the C-terminal end. Selectivity measurements using zero-current membrane potentials showed that the selectivity suddenly changed from anion to cation selectivity when a relatively short portion from the N-terminal end of PhoE was replaced by the corresponding part of OmpC. The replacement of increasing portions led to an increase in the cation selectivity until that of OmpC was reached. The change in the anion to cation selectivity is correlated with exchange of lysine-18 and serine-28 by aspartic acids. The anion selectivity of the phosphate starvation-inducible PhoE porin is closely related to the presence of several lysines spread along the primary sequence of the polypeptide chain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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