A novel ompC mutation of Escherichia coli K-12 that reduces OmpC and OmpF levels in the outer membrane

Mol Microbiol. 1993 Dec;10(5):1029-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1993.tb00973.x.


A novel ompC mutation was isolated that not only lowered the amount of its own product, OmpC27, but also reduced the level of OmpF present in the outer membrane. ompC27 codes for a mutant OmpC protein that contains two non-native cysteine residues. The ompC27 allele confers phage resistance by lowering the level of OmpC present in the outer membrane. This effect on OmpC27 was manifested at the level of assembly as a result of disulphide bond formation between the two cysteine residues. This disulphide bonding in OmpC27 also produced a novel phenotype by specifically influencing OmpF levels. The effect of OmpC27 on OmpF was partly a result of a lowering of ompF transcription, and partly a result of an effect at the post-transcription level. The transcriptional effect is likely to be brought about by a defective membrane as a result of the insertion of the disulphide bond containing OmpC27. The post-transcriptional effect of OmpC27 on OmpF could be due to interference at the assembly level. In a dsbA::kan1 background where the in vivo disulphide bonding ability was dramatically reduced, the OmpC27-mediated effects were also curtailed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Codon / genetics
  • Coliphages / physiology
  • Cysteine / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / virology
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Mutation


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Codon
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Cysteine