Hydrocarbon compounds are known to passively diffuse across bacterial cytoplasmic membranes, and this may be the primary mechanism of hydrocarbon entry into most bacteria. The participation of active transport systems has been suggested in some bacterial strains, but solid evidence for active transport of hydrocarbons is currently lacking. In contrast, many active transport systems have been identified for the energy-dependent uptake of aromatic acids in both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. In addition, Gram-negative bacteria often harbor specific inducible outer membrane channels that allow entry of various aromatic hydrocarbon substrates.
Research in the Parales and Ditty laboratories has been supported by the National Science Foundation (awards MCB 0627248 (REP), MCB 0919930 (REP and JLD), MCB 1022362 (REP)).
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