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J Antimicrob Chemother. 1986 Nov;18(5):557-63.

Polymyxin B and polymyxin B nonapeptide alter cytoplasmic membrane permeability in Escherichia coli.


The effects of polymyxin B and polymyxin B nonapeptide (PMBN) on the permeability of the Escherichia coli cytoplasmic membrane were investigated. Both compounds caused loss of free amino acids, uracil and K+ from E. coli. The rates of loss promoted by polymyxin B were one and a half to two-fold greater than those caused by PMBN. Although PMBN mediated loss of low molecular weight substances from E. coli, it was not bactericidal. In contrast, polymyxin B treated E. coli lysed and rapidly lost viability. We suggest that the bactericidal activity of polymyxin B may be related to its previously reported ability to release cytoplasmic proteins from bacteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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