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EcoSal Plus

Domain 2: Cell Architecture and Growth

Outer Membrane Vesicles

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  • Authors: Amanda J. McBroom1, and Meta J. Kuehn
  • Editor: James M. Slauch
  • VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biochemistry, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3711, Durham, NC 27710
  • Received 08 December 2004 Accepted 15 February 2005 Published 12 May 2005
  • Address correspondence to Meta J. Kuehn mkuehn@biochem.duke.edu
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  • Abstract:

    Outer membrane vesicles (blebs) are produced by , , and all other gram-negative bacteria both in vitro and in vivo. Most of the research in the field has focused on the properties of vesicles derived from pathogenic bacteria and their interactions with eukaryotic cells. These data indicate that vesicles are able to contribute to pathogenesis. Thus, it appears that pathogenic gram-negative bacteria have co-opted vesicles for the dissemination of virulence determinants. However, the role of vesicle production by nonpathogenic bacteria is less obvious. This section reviews the data demonstrating the mechanistic and physiological basis of outer membrane vesicle production by bacteria. Vesiculation can be seen as a mechanism for cells to react to conditions in the surrounding environment by carrying away unnecessary components and allowing rapid modification of the outer membrane composition. In addition, vesicles can transmit biological activities distant from the originating cell. Vesicles could act to bind and deplete host immune factors at the site of infection that would otherwise attack the bacteria. Vesicles in the area surrounding the cell may also provide the cell protection inside a human or animal host. The concept of vesicles as virulence factors has received considerable attention, and they are likely to play a significant role in the pathogenesis of gram-negative bacteria. By analysis of their composition, mechanism of formation, regulation, and physiological function, progress is being made in understanding the ubiquitous nature of outer membrane vesicles produced by gram-negative bacteria.

  • Citation: McBroom A, Kuehn M. 2005. Outer Membrane Vesicles, EcoSal Plus 2005; doi:10.1128/ecosal.2.2.4

Key Concept Ranking

Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
0.41205615
Outer Membrane Proteins
0.40987545
Shiga Toxin 1
0.35314906
0.41205615

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/content/journal/ecosalplus/10.1128/ecosal.2.2.4
2005-05-12
2017-03-29

Abstract:

Outer membrane vesicles (blebs) are produced by , , and all other gram-negative bacteria both in vitro and in vivo. Most of the research in the field has focused on the properties of vesicles derived from pathogenic bacteria and their interactions with eukaryotic cells. These data indicate that vesicles are able to contribute to pathogenesis. Thus, it appears that pathogenic gram-negative bacteria have co-opted vesicles for the dissemination of virulence determinants. However, the role of vesicle production by nonpathogenic bacteria is less obvious. This section reviews the data demonstrating the mechanistic and physiological basis of outer membrane vesicle production by bacteria. Vesiculation can be seen as a mechanism for cells to react to conditions in the surrounding environment by carrying away unnecessary components and allowing rapid modification of the outer membrane composition. In addition, vesicles can transmit biological activities distant from the originating cell. Vesicles could act to bind and deplete host immune factors at the site of infection that would otherwise attack the bacteria. Vesicles in the area surrounding the cell may also provide the cell protection inside a human or animal host. The concept of vesicles as virulence factors has received considerable attention, and they are likely to play a significant role in the pathogenesis of gram-negative bacteria. By analysis of their composition, mechanism of formation, regulation, and physiological function, progress is being made in understanding the ubiquitous nature of outer membrane vesicles produced by gram-negative bacteria.

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Figures

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Figure 1

Arrows point to vesicles of various sizes. Bars indicate 200 nm. Photos courtesy of Alice Dohnalkova, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Wash.

Citation: McBroom A, Kuehn M. 2005. Outer Membrane Vesicles, EcoSal Plus 2005; doi:10.1128/ecosal.2.2.4
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Figure 2

The irregular surface appearance of the bacteria and vesicles is an artifact of sample drying. Apparent size is increased due to flattening upon adhesion to the imaging substrate. (B) Scanning electron microscopy of producing vesicles (arrows). Bars indicate size.

Citation: McBroom A, Kuehn M. 2005. Outer Membrane Vesicles, EcoSal Plus 2005; doi:10.1128/ecosal.2.2.4
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Figure 3

(A) Vesicle production occurring at a site of sparse outer membrane-peptidoglycan linkages. Particular outer membrane proteins may accumulate at these sites (diamonds), resulting in their enrichment in vesicles. Outer membrane (OM), peptidoglycan (PG), and inner membrane (IM) are indicated. (B) Vesicle production occurring at a site where the outer membrane-peptidoglycan linkages are broken. Recruitment of specific outer membrane proteins (diamonds) to that site before release may result in enrichment of those proteins in vesicles. (C) Vesicle production occurring due to turgor pressure exerted by a buildup of periplasmic material (circles). This may occur at loosely attached sites of the OM enriched in particular OM proteins, as depicted in panel A.

Citation: McBroom A, Kuehn M. 2005. Outer Membrane Vesicles, EcoSal Plus 2005; doi:10.1128/ecosal.2.2.4
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Tables

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Table 1

Characteristics of selected outer membrane vesicles

Citation: McBroom A, Kuehn M. 2005. Outer Membrane Vesicles, EcoSal Plus 2005; doi:10.1128/ecosal.2.2.4

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