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Crit Rev Microbiol. 1986;13(1):1-62.

Outer-membrane permeability of bacteria.


Gram-negative bacteria evolved to survive under the conditions in which a number of hazardous compounds are abundant. The outer membrane which protects the cell interior acts as a barrier against such hazardous agents, yet the cells must incorporate the chemicals that are essential for the cellular activity. The devices that Gram-negative bacteria developed to incorporate such essence are the transmembrane pores. These pores could be subdivided into three categories: (1) pore made of porins has a weak solute selectivity; (2) pore made of lamB protein and tsx proteins hold intermediate solute specificity. and (3) pores for the diffusion of vitamin B12 and ferric ion-chelator complexes have a tight solute specificity. Porins are identified from a number of Gram-negatives and from the outer membrane of mitochondria of various sources. Studies on the diffusion properties of these outer-membrane proteins provided essential information to understand membrane transports.

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