Involvement of the gonococcal MtrE protein in the resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to toxic hydrophobic agents

Microbiology. 1997 Jul;143 ( Pt 7):2127-33. doi: 10.1099/00221287-143-7-2127.


Low-level resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to toxic hydrophobic agents (HAs), including some antibiotics, is chromosomally mediated via the multiple transferable resistance (mtr) efflux system. The gene encoding the 48:3 kDa outer-membrane protein MtrE, which is associated with the mtr phenotype, was identified and is homologous to export-associated outer-membrane proteins, including the OprM (formerly OprK) lipoprotein of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Insertional inactivation of the mtrE gene in N. gonorrhoeae strain FA19 resulted in the loss o the outer-membrane protein, with concomitant hypersusceptibility of the mutant strain to a range of HAs. The properties of this mutant confirmed the role of MtrE in multidrug resistance mediated by an active efflux mechanism. Secondary structure predictions for MtrE indicated a largely hydrophilic protein with a single alpha-helical transmembrane region. A transposon-like element, similar to that found downstream of the region containing the promoters for mtrR and mtrC in Neisseria meningitidis, was identified 63 bp downstream of the mtrE gene.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acid Transport Systems, Neutral*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / toxicity*
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / drug effects
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis


  • Amino Acid Transport Systems, Neutral
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • MtrE protein, Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Associated data

  • GENBANK/L23839
  • GENBANK/U38944
  • GENBANK/X95635
  • SWISSPROT/P02930
  • SWISSPROT/P11092
  • SWISSPROT/P13509
  • SWISSPROT/P15727
  • SWISSPROT/P23598
  • SWISSPROT/P24126
  • SWISSPROT/P24145
  • SWISSPROT/Q03027