Cracking outer membrane biogenesis

Randi L. Guest, Thomas J. Silhavy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The outer membrane is a distinguishing feature of the Gram-negative envelope. It lies on the external face of the peptidoglycan sacculus and forms a robust permeability barrier that protects extracytoplasmic structures from environmental insults. Overcoming the barrier imposed by the outer membrane presents a significant hurdle towards developing novel antibiotics that are effective against Gram-negative bacteria. As the outer membrane is an essential component of the cell, proteins involved in its biogenesis are themselves promising antibiotic targets. Here, we summarize key findings that have built our understanding of the outer membrane. Foundational studies describing the discovery and composition of the outer membrane as well as the pathways involved in its construction are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number119405
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


  • General secretion system
  • Lipopolysaccharide transport
  • Lipoprotein transport
  • Outer membrane
  • Phospholipid transport
  • beta-barrel protein assembly machine


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