Persister-promoting bacterial toxin TisB produces anion-selective pores in planar lipid bilayers

FEBS Lett. 2012 Jul 30;586(16):2529-34. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2012.06.021. Epub 2012 Jun 21.


We studied membrane activity of the bacterial peptide TisB involved in persister cell formation. TisB and its analogs form multi-state ion-conductive pores in planar lipid bilayers with all states displaying similar anionic selectivity. TisB analogs differing by ±1 elementary charges show corresponding changes in selectivity. Probing TisB pores with poly-(ethylene glycol)s reveals only restricted partitioning even for the smallest polymers, suggesting that the pores are characterized by a relatively small diameter. These findings allow us to suggest that TisB forms clusters of narrow pores that are essential for its mechanism of action.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Toxins / chemistry*
  • Bacterial Toxins / pharmacology
  • Biofilms
  • Electrophysiology / methods
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / chemistry
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Ions
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Proton-Motive Force


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Ions
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Peptides
  • Polymers
  • TisB toxin, E coli
  • Polyethylene Glycols