Molecular and General Genetics MGG

, Volume 158, Issue 1, pp 23–33 | Cite as

Pleiotropic transport mutants of Escherichia coli lack porin, a major outer membrane protein

  • Patrick Bavoil
  • Hiroshi Nikaido
  • Kaspar von Meyenburg


Four “pleiotropic transport” mutants of Escherichia coli B/r with decreased affinity for the uptake of most nutrients were found to lack a major outer membrane protein of 36,500 daltons (“porin”) previously shown to produce transmembrane diffusion channels in in vitro reconstitution experiments. Consequent decrease in outer membrane permeability was confirmed by measuring the transmembrane diffusion rate of 6-aminopenicillanic acid. Quantitative considerations on the porin-dependent permeability of the outer membrane show that (a) there may be very large differences in the actual rates of penetration, even among the “permeable” substances and (b) the numbers of porin molecules present in wild type cells is several orders of magnitude higher than that necessary for the uptake of rapidly diffusing substrates such as glocose from ordinary culture media. The absence of porin and the pleiotropic transport defect were always contransduced, and the mutation was mapped at 73.7 min between aroB and malT by P1 transduction. When “revertants” able to grow on low concentrations of lactose were selected, in addition to true revertants “suppressor” strains with increased amounts of non-porin membrane proteins were isolated.


Escherichia Coli Permeability Lactose Outer Membrane Wild Type Cell 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Bavoil
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Nikaido
    • 1
  • Kaspar von Meyenburg
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Bacteriology and ImmunologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Department of BacteriologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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