Assembly of beta-barrel proteins into bacterial outer membranes

Joel Pearson Selkrig, Denisse Lorena Leyton, Chaille Webb, Trevor James Lithgow

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63 Citations (Scopus)


Membrane proteins with a beta-barrel topology are found in the outer membranes of Gram-negative bacteria and in the plastids and mitochondria of eukaryotic cells. The assembly of these membrane proteins depends on a protein folding reaction (to create the barrel) and an insertion reaction (to integrate the barrel within the outer membrane). Experimental approaches using biophysics and biochemistry are detailing the steps in the assembly pathway, while genetics and bioinformatics have revealed a sophisticated production line of cellular components that catalyze the assembly pathway in vivo. This includes the modular BAM complex, several molecular chaperones and the translocation and assembly module (the TAM). Recent screens also suggest that further components of the pathway might remain to be discovered. We review what is known about the process of beta-barrel protein assembly into membranes, and the components of the beta-barrel assembly machinery. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Protein trafficking and secretion in bacteria. Guest Editors: Anastassios Economou and Ross Dalbey.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1542 - 1550
Number of pages9
JournalBBA Molecular Cell Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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