Gram negative bacteria have evolved many mechanisms of attaching to and invading host epithelial and immune
cells. In particular, many outer membrane proteins (OMPs) are involved in this initial interaction between the
pathogen and their host. The outer membrane (OM) of Gram-negative bacteria performs the crucial role of providing an
extra layer of protection to the organism without compromising the exchange of material required for sustaining life. The
OM, therefore, represents a sophisticated macromolecular assembly, whose complexity has yet to be fully elucidated. This
review will summarize the structural information available for porins, a class of OMP, and highlight their role in bacterial
pathogenesis and their potential as therapeutic targets.
The functional role of porins in microbe-host interactions during various bacterial infections has emerged only during the
last few decades, and their interaction with a variety of host tissues for adhesion to and invasion of the cell and for evasion
of host-defense mechanisms have placed bacterial porins at the forefront of research in bacterial pathogenesis. This review
will discuss the role that porins play in activating immunological responses, in inducing signaling pathways and their influence
on antibiotic resistance mechanisms that involve modifications of the properties of the OM lipid barrier.
Keywords: Porin, bacteria, immunobiology, signaling pathways, structure, Infectious diseases, Gram negative bacteria, toxic compounds, OMPs, BACTERIAL ENVELOPES
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