Direct measurement of the association of a protein with a family of membrane receptors

J Mol Biol. 1996 Feb 2;255(4):559-63. doi: 10.1006/jmbi.1996.0047.


A specific receptor is a requirement for most protein toxins and OmpF, a trimeric porin, was previously considered to be the unique membrane-receptor for colicin N. We show by qualitative in vivo analysis that the related porins OmpC or PhoE act as much less effective receptors. To elucidate receptor function, the in vitro binding of the 42 kDa toxin to each of the 120 kDa porin trimers was determined quantitatively using isothermal titration calorimetry. Colicin N binds to OmpF with Ka approximately 5 x 10(5) M-1 and a stoichiometry consistent with about three per trimer but it also binds to PhoE and OmpC with surprisingly similar affinities and stoichiometry. However, thermodynamic analysis of these hitherto unmeasured interactions suggests an unexpected entropic difference between these protein import receptors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Calorimetry
  • Colicins / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Porins / metabolism*
  • Thermodynamics


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Colicins
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Porins
  • PhoE protein, E coli