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Dual function of OmpM as outer membrane tether and nutrient uptake channel in diderm Firmicutes

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Augustinas SilaleORCiD, Dr Yiling Zhu, Dr Satya Bhamidimarri, Dr Arnaud Basle



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023, The Author(s). The outer membrane (OM) in diderm, or Gram-negative, bacteria must be tethered to peptidoglycan for mechanical stability and to maintain cell morphology. Most diderm phyla from the Terrabacteria group have recently been shown to lack well-characterised OM attachment systems, but instead have OmpM, which could represent an ancestral tethering system in bacteria. Here, we have determined the structure of the most abundant OmpM protein from Veillonella parvula (diderm Firmicutes) by single particle cryogenic electron microscopy. We also characterised the channel properties of the transmembrane β-barrel of OmpM and investigated the structure and PG-binding properties of its periplasmic stalk region. Our results show that OM tethering and nutrient acquisition are genetically linked in V. parvula, and probably other diderm Terrabacteria. This dual function of OmpM may have played a role in the loss of the OM in ancestral bacteria and the emergence of monoderm bacterial lineages.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Silale A, Zhu Y, Witwinowski J, Smith RE, Newman KE, Bhamidimarri SP, Basle A, Khalid S, Beloin C, Gribaldo S, van den Berg B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nature Communications

Year: 2023

Volume: 14

Online publication date: 06/11/2023

Acceptance date: 16/10/2023

Date deposited: 20/11/2023

ISSN (electronic): 2041-1723

Publisher: Springer Nature


DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-42601-y


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Funder referenceFunder name
214222/Z/18/ZWellcome Trust
French National Research Agency (ANR)
Fir-OM ANR-16-CE12-0010
Institut Pasteur Programmes Transversaux de Recherche
French government Investissement d’Avenir Program, Laboratoire d’Excellence Integrative Biology of Emerging Infectious Diseases
PTR 39-16