9 Mycobacterial Porins

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Mycobacteria devote a large part of the coding capacity of its genome to fatty acid biosynthesis. Porins of induce actin nucleation in the host cell, suggesting a role in cell actin reorganization, which might influence the invasive ability of the bacteria. The growth and nutritional requirements of mycobacteria have been intensely studied since the discovery of . Nutrient uptake mechanisms obviously depend on the permeability barriers imposed by the cell envelope. Mycobacteria have evolved a complex cell wall, comprising a peptidoglycan-arabinogalactan polymer with covalently bound mycolic acids of considerable size (up to 90 carbon atoms), a variety of extractable lipids, and pore-forming proteins. The unique mycolic acid bilayer is an extremely efficient permeability barrier protecting the cell from toxic compounds and is generally thought to be the major determinant of the intrinsic resistance of mycobacteria to most common antibiotics, chemotherapeutic agents and chemical disinfectants. The susceptibility of both BCG and to zwitterionic β-lactam antibiotics was substantially enhanced by MspA, decreasing the minimal inhibitory concentration up to 16-fold. The accelerated growth of BCG on expression of MspA identified slow nutrient uptake as one of the determinants of slow growth in mycobacteria.

Citation: Niederweis M. 2008. 9 Mycobacterial Porins, p 153-165. In Daffé M, Reyrat J, Avenir G (ed), The Mycobacterial Cell Envelope. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815783.ch9
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Image of Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Transport processes across the mycobacterial cell envelope. A simplified schematic representation of the mycobacterial cell envelope is shown. Adapted from Niederweis, ( ). This representation is based on the model proposed by Minnikin ( ). According to this model, the inner leaflet of the asymmetric outer membrane (OM) is composed of mycolic acids (MA), which are covalently linked to the arabinogalactan (AG)-peptidoglycan (PG) copolymer. A variety of extractable lipids presumably form the outer leaflet of the outer membrane. Surface layers such as a capsule ( ) were omitted from this figure for clarity.

Citation: Niederweis M. 2008. 9 Mycobacterial Porins, p 153-165. In Daffé M, Reyrat J, Avenir G (ed), The Mycobacterial Cell Envelope. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815783.ch9
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Image of Figure 2.
Figure 2.

Functions of porins of gram-negative bacteria in pathogenesis. See the text for references.

Citation: Niederweis M. 2008. 9 Mycobacterial Porins, p 153-165. In Daffé M, Reyrat J, Avenir G (ed), The Mycobacterial Cell Envelope. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815783.ch9
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Image of Figure 3.
Figure 3.

MspA, a general porin of . (A) Side view of MspA integrated into a lipid bilayer. (B) Electrostatic potential of MspA in top view. The electrostatic potential is represented by the Gasteiger charges for the atoms in the surface of MspA. These figures are based on the crystal structure of MspA ( ). Panels A and B were created with the visualization software PyMol (DeLano Scientific LLC) and ViewerLight (Accelrys), respectively. (.)

Citation: Niederweis M. 2008. 9 Mycobacterial Porins, p 153-165. In Daffé M, Reyrat J, Avenir G (ed), The Mycobacterial Cell Envelope. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815783.ch9
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Generic image for table
Table 1.

Mycobacterial porins of the MspA family

Citation: Niederweis M. 2008. 9 Mycobacterial Porins, p 153-165. In Daffé M, Reyrat J, Avenir G (ed), The Mycobacterial Cell Envelope. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815783.ch9
Generic image for table
Table 2.

Kinetic parameters and permeability coefficients P of mycobacteria and for glucose

Citation: Niederweis M. 2008. 9 Mycobacterial Porins, p 153-165. In Daffé M, Reyrat J, Avenir G (ed), The Mycobacterial Cell Envelope. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815783.ch9

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