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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 1993 Aug;5(4):701-7.

Bacterial porins: structure and function.

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Institut für Organische Chemie und Biochemie, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany.


Within the class of integral membrane proteins, the bacterial porins display a remarkable resistance to denaturants and proteases. This stability is probably crucial for the formation of highly ordered, three-dimensional crystals. Structural analysis of these crystals has been possible in atomic detail. This analysis has revealed interesting features, such as the aromatic girdles, and has helped to explain several observations, including the porins' ability to discriminate between polar and non-polar solutes. Recent research has thus improved our understanding of the porins in a qualitative fashion.

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