Transport of lipopolysaccharide across the cell envelope: the long road of discovery

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2009 Sep;7(9):677-83. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2184. Epub 2009 Jul 27.


Intracellular lipid transport is poorly understood. Genetic studies to identify lipid-transport factors are complicated by the essentiality of many lipids, whereas biochemical and cell biology approaches aiming to determine localization and mechanisms of lipid transport are often challenged by the lack of adequate technology. Here, we review the epic history of how different approaches, technological advances and ingenuity contributed to the recent discovery of a multi-protein pathway that transports lipopolysaccharide across the envelope of Gram-negative bacteria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Models, Biological


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Membrane Transport Proteins