The bacterial outer membrane (OM) is an exceptional biological structure with a unique composition that contributes significantly to the resiliency of Gram-negative bacteria. Since all OM components are synthesized in the cytosol, the cell must efficiently transport OM-specific lipids and proteins across the cell envelope and stably integrate them into a growing membrane. In this review, we discuss the challenges associated with these processes and detail the elegant solutions that cells have evolved to address the topological problem of OM biogenesis. Special attention will be paid to the Bam machine, a highly conserved multiprotein complex that facilitates OM β-barrel folding.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology
- Bam complex
- Outer membrane biogenesis