Structural basis for maintenance of bacterial outer membrane lipid asymmetry.Abellon-Ruiz, J., Kaptan, S.S., Basle, A., Claudi, B., Bumann, D., Kleinekathofer, U., van den Berg, B.
(2017) Nat Microbiol 2: 1616-1623
- PubMed: 29038444
- DOI: 10.1038/s41564-017-0046-x
- Primary Citation of Related Structures:
- PubMed Abstract:
The Gram-negative bacterial outer membrane (OM) is a unique bilayer that forms an efficient permeation barrier to protect the cell from noxious compounds 1,2 . The defining characteristic of the OM is lipid asymmetry, with phospholipids comprising th ...
The Gram-negative bacterial outer membrane (OM) is a unique bilayer that forms an efficient permeation barrier to protect the cell from noxious compounds 1,2 . The defining characteristic of the OM is lipid asymmetry, with phospholipids comprising the inner leaflet and lipopolysaccharides comprising the outer leaflet 1-3 . This asymmetry is maintained by the Mla pathway, a six-component system that is widespread in Gram-negative bacteria and is thought to mediate retrograde transport of misplaced phospholipids from the outer leaflet of the OM to the cytoplasmic membrane 4 . The OM lipoprotein MlaA performs the first step in this process via an unknown mechanism that does not require external energy input. Here we show, using X-ray crystallography, molecular dynamics simulations and in vitro and in vivo functional assays, that MlaA is a monomeric α-helical OM protein that functions as a phospholipid translocation channel, forming a ~20-Å-thick doughnut embedded in the inner leaflet of the OM with a central, amphipathic pore. This architecture prevents access of inner leaflet phospholipids to the pore, but allows outer leaflet phospholipids to bind to a pronounced ridge surrounding the channel, followed by diffusion towards the periplasmic space. Enterobacterial MlaA proteins form stable complexes with OmpF/C 5,6 , but the porins do not appear to play an active role in phospholipid transport. MlaA represents a lipid transport protein that selectively removes outer leaflet phospholipids to help maintain the essential barrier function of the bacterial OM.
Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, The Medical School, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HH, UK.