Membrane-derived oligosaccharides affect porin osmoregulation only in media of low ionic strength

O. Geiger, F. D. Russo, T. J. Silhavy, E. P. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Gram-negative bacteria grown under conditions of low osmolarity accumulate significant amounts of periplasmic glucans, membrane-derived oligosaccharides (MDO) in Escherichia coli and cyclic glucans in members of the family Rhizobiaceae. It was reported previously (W. Fiedler and H. Rotering, J. Biol. Chem. 263:14684-14689, 1988) that mdoA mutants unable to synthesize MDO show a number of altered phenotypes, among them a decreased expression of OmpF and an increased expression of OmpC, when grown in a Bacto Peptone medium of low osmolarity and low ionic strength. Although we confirm the findings of Fiedler and Rotering, we find that the regulation of OmpF and OmpC expression in mdoA mutants is normal in cells grown on other low- osmolarity media, eliminating the possibility that MDO itself might control porin expression. Our data suggest that a certain minimal ionic strength in the periplasm is needed for normal porin regulation. In media containing very low levels of salt, this may be contributed by anionic MDO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1410-1413
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology


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