In Gram-negative bacteria, the envelope is a sophisticated barrier protecting the cell against external toxic compounds. Membrane transporters, e.g., porins or efflux pumps, are main filters regulating the internal accumulation of various hydrophilic molecules. Regarding bacterial susceptibility towards antibacterial agents, membrane permeability is part of the early bacterial defense. The bacterium manages the translocation process, influx and efflux, to control the intracellular concentration of various molecules. Antibiotics and biocides are substrates of these mechanisms and the continuing emergence of multidrug resistant isolates is a growing worldwide health concern. Different strategies could be proposed to bypass the bacterial membrane barrier, comprising influx and efflux mechanisms, in order to restore the activity of antibiotics against resistant bacteria.
Copyright © 2011 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.