Infection and Drug Resistance (Aug 2017)

Exploring bacterial outer membrane barrier to combat bad bugs

  • Ghai I,
  • Ghai S

Journal volume & issue
Vol. Volume 10
pp. 261 – 273


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Ishan Ghai,1 Shashank Ghai2 1School of Engineering and Life Sciences, Jacobs University, Bremen, 2Leibniz University, Hannover, Germany Abstract: One of the main fundamental mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in Gram-negative bacteria comprises an effective change in the membrane permeability to antibiotics. The Gram-negative bacterial complex cell envelope comprises an outer membrane that delimits the periplasm from the exterior environment. The outer membrane contains numerous protein channels, termed as porins or nanopores, which are mainly involved in the influx of hydrophilic compounds, including antibiotics. Bacterial adaptation to reduce influx through these outer membrane proteins (Omps) is one of the crucial mechanisms behind antibiotic resistance. Thus to interpret the molecular basis of the outer membrane permeability is the current challenge. This review attempts to develop a state of knowledge pertinent to Omps and their effective role in antibiotic influx. Further, it aims to study the bacterial response to antibiotic membrane permeability and hopefully provoke a discussion toward understanding and further exploration of prospects to improve our knowledge on physicochemical parameters that direct the translocation of antibiotics through the bacterial membrane protein channels. Keywords: antibiotics, Gram-negative bacteria, cell envelope, protein channels, nanopores, influx, antibiotic resistance