Antibiotics have been used extensively during several decades and we are now facing the emergence of multidrug resistant strains. It has become a major public concern, urging the need to discover new strategies to combat them. Among the different ways used by bacteria to resist antibiotics, the active efflux is one of the main mechanisms. In Gram-negative bacteria the efflux pumps are comprised of three components forming a long edifice crossing the complete cell wall from the inside to the outside of the cell. Blocking these pumps would permit the restoration of the effectiveness of the current antibiotherapy which is why it is important to increase our knowledge on the different proteins involved in these complexes. A tremendous number of experiments have been performed on the inner membrane protein AcrB from Escherichia coli
and, to a lesser extent, the protein partners forming the AcrAB-TolC pump, but less information is available concerning the efflux pumps from other virulent Gram-negative bacteria. The present review will focus on the OprM outer membrane protein from the MexAB-OprM pump of Pseudomonas aeruginosa
, highlighting similarities and differences compare to the archetypal AcrAB-TolC in terms of structure, function, and assembly properties.
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