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Review
, 67, 221-42

Structure and Operation of Bacterial Tripartite Pumps

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Review

Structure and Operation of Bacterial Tripartite Pumps

Philip Hinchliffe et al. Annu Rev Microbiol.

Abstract

In bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli, tripartite membrane machineries, or pumps, determine the efflux of small noxious molecules, such as detergents, heavy metals, and antibiotics, and the export of large proteins including toxins. They are therefore influential in bacterial survival, particularly during infections caused by multidrug-resistant pathogens. In these tripartite pumps an inner membrane transporter, typically an ATPase or proton antiporter, binds and translocates export or efflux substrates. In cooperation with a periplasmic adaptor protein it recruits and opens a TolC family cell exit duct, which is anchored in the outer membrane and projects across the periplasmic space between inner and outer membranes. Assembled tripartite pumps thus span the entire bacterial cell envelope. We review the atomic structures of each of the three pump components and discuss how these have allowed high-resolution views of tripartite pump assembly, operation, and possible inhibition.

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