Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 154, Issue 5, pp 475–482 | Cite as

Glutathione-gated K+ channels of Escherichia coli carry out K+ efflux controlled by the redox state of the cell

  • Jean Meury
  • Aline Robin
Original Papers


The kinetics of K+ efflux across the membranes of i) wild-type Escherichia coli poisoned by the thiol reagent N-ethylmaleimide, ii) K+ retention mutants and iii) glutathione-deficient mutants, have revealed a common “K+ leaky phenotype”; it is characterized by a very high rate of K+ efflux. The results suggest that the products of kefB and kefC genes could encode two K+ channels, both gated by glutathione. The possible function of these K+ channels seems to be a K+ exit controlled by the redox state of the cell; indeed, it can be inferred from the effects of several oxidants and reductants that turning on and off of the K+ efflux mediated by the channels can be correlated with the redox state of glutathione.

Key words

K+ exit Glutathione Escherichia coli 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean Meury
    • 1
  • Aline Robin
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut Jacques MonodParis CedexFrance

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