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TonB-Dependent Transport Across the Bacterial Outer Membrane

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Augustinas SilaleORCiD



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


TonB-dependent transporters (TBDTs) are present in all gram-negative bacteria and mediate energy-dependent uptake of molecules that are too scarce or large to be taken up efficiently by outer membrane (OM) diffusion channels. This process requires energy that is derived from the proton motive force and delivered to TBDTs by the TonB-ExbBD motor complex in the inner membrane. Together with the need to preserve the OM permeability barrier, this has led to an extremely complex and fascinating transport mechanism for which the fundamentals, despite decades of research, are still unclear. In this review, we describe our current understanding of the transport mechanism of TBDTs, their potential role in the delivery of novel antibiotics, and the important contributions made by TBDT-associated (lipo)proteins.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Silale A, van den Berg B

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annual Review of Microbiology

Year: 2023

Volume: 77

Pages: 67-88

Print publication date: 01/09/2023

Online publication date: 21/03/2023

Acceptance date: 29/11/2022

ISSN (print): 0066-4227

ISSN (electronic): 1545-3251


DOI: 10.1146/annurev-micro-032421-111116

PubMed id: 36944260