Release of outer membrane vesicles by Gram-negative bacteria is a novel envelope stress response.
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Conditions that impair protein folding in the Gram-negative bacterial envelope cause stress. The destabilizing effects of stress in this compartment are recognized and countered by a number of signal transduction mechanisms. Data presented here reveal another facet of the complex bacterial stress response, release of outer membrane vesicles. Native vesicles are composed of outer membrane and periplasmic material, and they are released from the bacterial surface without loss of membrane integrity. Here we demonstrate that the quantity of vesicle release correlates directly with the level of protein accumulation in the cell envelope. Accumulation of material occurs under stress, and is exacerbated upon impairment of the normal housekeeping and stress-responsive mechanisms of the cell. Mutations that cause increased vesiculation enhance bacterial survival upon challenge with stressing agents or accumulation of toxic misfolded proteins. Preferential packaging of a misfolded protein mimic into vesicles for removal indicates that the vesiculation process can act to selectively eliminate unwanted material. Our results demonstrate that production of bacterial outer membrane vesicles is a fully independent, general envelope stress response. In addition to identifying a novel mechanism for alleviating stress, this work provides physiological relevance for vesicle production as a protective mechanism.
Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
DNA Transposable Elements
Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
Escherichia coli Proteins
Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1111/j.1365-2958.2006.05522.x
Publication InfoKuehn, Margarethe Joanna; & McBroom, AJ (2007). Release of outer membrane vesicles by Gram-negative bacteria is a novel envelope stress response. Mol Microbiol, 63(2). pp. 545-558. 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2006.05522.x. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/10658.
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Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) causes traveler's diarrhea and infant mortality in underdeveloped countries, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen for immunocompromised patients. Like all gram negative bacteria studied to date, ETEC and P. aeruginosa produce small outer membrane vesicles that can serve as delivery "bombs" to host tissues. Vesicles contain a subset of outer membrane and soluble periplasmic proteins and lipids. In tissues and sera of infected hosts,