Characterization of porins isolated from the outer membrane of Serratia liquefaciens

Yeshayahu Nitzan, Kira Orlovsky, Isabella Pechatnikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A major outer membrane protein with an apparent molecular weight of 42 kDa was purified from Serratia liquefaciens grown on Brain Heart Infusion medium. The same protein was obtained when the cells were grown on a synthetic medium supplemented with 2% glucose. The amino acid composition of this protein revealed it to be hydrophilic. The pore-forming ability of the 42-kDa protein was determined by the liposome swelling assay. This assay demonstrated that the protein forms nonspecific channels with a diameter between 1.16 and 1.6 nm. An additional protein with a molecular weight of 47 kDa was obtained on synthetic medium supplemented with maltose. This protein exhibited specific pore-forming ability to maltose and maltodextrins, but was also permeable to other compounds, according to their size. When bacteria were grown on Nutrient Broth medium, two outer membrane proteins with molecular weights of 41 kDa and 42 kDa were produced by the bacteria. All three types of proteins represent monomers of respective oligomers. The monomers did not exhibit pore-forming ability when incorporated into liposomes. We, therefore, propose that the oligomer is the functional unit of a porin capable of forming permeability channels in the outer membrane of Serratia liquefaciens. These results indicate that S. liquefaciens contains several porins exhibiting specific osmoregulation or that are induced by a specific nutrient, where the 42-kDa outer membrane protein of this bacterium is certainly a major porin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1999


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