MgrB mutations and altered cell permeability in colistin resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae

Polly Soo-Xi Yap, Wan-Hee Cheng, Sook-Keng Chang, Swee-Hua Erin Lim, Kok-Song Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


There has been a resurgence in the clinical use of polymyxin antibiotics such as colistin due to the limited treatment options for infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE). However, this last-resort antibiotic is currently confronted with challenges which include the emergence of chromosomal and plasmid-borne colistin resistance. Colistin resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae is commonly caused by the mutations in the chromosomal gene mgrB. MgrB spans the inner membrane and negatively regulates PhoP phosphorylation, which is essential for bacterial outer membrane lipid biosynthesis. The present review intends to draw attention to the role of mgrB chromosomal mutations in membrane permeability in K. pneumoniae that confer colistin resistance. With growing concern regarding the global emergence of colistin resistance, deciphering physical changes of the resistant membrane mediated by mgrB inactivation may provide new insights for the discovery of novel antimicrobials that are highly effective at membrane penetration, in addition to finding out how this can help in alleviating the resistance situation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2995
Number of pages11
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • colistin resistance
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • membrane permeability
  • mgrB
  • PhoP/PhoQ

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