Multiple facets of bacterial porins

Authors

  • Wafa Achouak,

    Corresponding author
    1. CEA/Cadarache-DSV-DEVM, Laboratoire d'Ecologie Microbienne de la Rhizosphère, UMR 163 CNRS-CEA, F-13108 Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance Cedex, France
      *Corresponding author. Tel.: +33 (442) 254961; Fax: +33 (442) 256648, E-mail: wafa.achouak@cea.fr
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  • Thierry Heulin,

    1. CEA/Cadarache-DSV-DEVM, Laboratoire d'Ecologie Microbienne de la Rhizosphère, UMR 163 CNRS-CEA, F-13108 Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance Cedex, France
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  • Jean-Marie Pagès

    1. Enveloppe bactérienne, Antibiotiques et Colonisation, CJF 96-06 INSERM, Faculté de Médecine, Université de la Mediterrannée, 27 boulevard Jean-Moulin, F-13385 Marseille Cedex 05, France
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*Corresponding author. Tel.: +33 (442) 254961; Fax: +33 (442) 256648, E-mail: wafa.achouak@cea.fr

Abstract

Porins form channels allowing the transport of molecules across lipid bilayer membranes. Their structure, location and large number on the bacterial surface lend them multiple functions. Porin loops are potential targets for adhesion to other cells and binding of bactericidal compounds to the surface of Gram-negative bacteria. Variation of the loop structure as a mechanism to escape immune pressure, or modulation of the porin expression in response to the presence of antibiotics, are survival strategies developed by some pathogenic bacteria. Porins may play a significant role as pathogenesis effectors.

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