Outer-membrane vesicles from Gram-negative bacteria: biogenesis and functions

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2015 Oct;13(10):605-19. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3525.


Outer-membrane vesicles (OMVs) are spherical buds of the outer membrane filled with periplasmic content and are commonly produced by Gram-negative bacteria. The production of OMVs allows bacteria to interact with their environment, and OMVs have been found to mediate diverse functions, including promoting pathogenesis, enabling bacterial survival during stress conditions and regulating microbial interactions within bacterial communities. Additionally, because of this functional versatility, researchers have begun to explore OMVs as a platform for bioengineering applications. In this Review, we discuss recent advances in the study of OMVs, focusing on new insights into the mechanisms of biogenesis and the functions of these vesicles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane Structures / physiology*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / physiology
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / pathogenicity
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / physiology*
  • Organelle Biogenesis*