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Seminar: A final piece in the puzzle of Gram-negative cell envelope biogenesis

20 November 2013, 12.00pm-1.00pm, room GLT3, Warwick Medical School Building, University of Warwick



Professor Ian Henderson, Professor of Microbial Biology, Director, Institute of Microbiology and Infection, Royal Society of Edinburgh/BBSRC Enterprise Fellow,University of Birmingham


The Gram-negative outer membrane is an asymmetric lipid bilayer composed of lipopolysaccharide and phospholipid decorated with integral outer membrane proteins and peripheral lipoproteins. The lipopolysaccharide and protein components are synthesised in the cytoplasm and trafficked to the outer membrane by known, dedicated systems. However, how phospholipid is trafficked to the outer membrane has remained recalcitrant to elucidation. Through whole genome mutagenesis approaches we have identified a conserved outer membrane lipoprotein required for the maintenance of the integrity of the Gram-negative outer membrane and for virulence of Gram-negative pathogens. Structural and genetic approaches reveal this protein to bind phospholipid and we present a new model for trafficking of phospholipd to and from the outer membrane. The discovery of this protein provides a new target for developing antimicrobial therapies.


 ian henderson