Moraxella Catarrhallis M35 is a General Porin that is Important for Growth under Nutrient-Limiting Conditions and in the Nasopharynges of Mice

Donna Easton, Elke Maier, Roland Benz, Ruth Foxwell, Allan W. Cripps, Jennelle KYD

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Moraxella catarrhalis is a gram-negative respiratory pathogen that is an important causative agent for otitis media and exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We have previously predicted the outer membrane protein M35 to be a general porin, and in the current study, we have investigated the function of M35 and its importance for survival of M. catarrhalis in vivo. Lipid bilayer experiments reveal that refolded M35 functions as a channel that is typical of gram-negative bacterial porins. M35 forms wide and water-filled channels with a single-channel conductance of about 1.25 nS in 1 M KCl solution and has only a small selectivity for cations over anions. When the in vitro growth characteristics of two M35 deletion mutant strains of M. catarrhalis were compared to the wild-type parent isolates, the growth of the mutant strains was inhibited only under nutrient-poor conditions. This growth defect could be eliminated by additional glutamic acid, but not additional aspartic acid, glycine, sucrose, or glucose. The mutant strains compensated for the lack of M35 by enhancing their uptake of glutamic acid, and this enhanced rate of glutamic acid uptake was attributed to the compensatory upregulation of a protein of approximately 40 kDa. M35 was also found to be essential for nasal colonization of mice, demonstrating that its presence is essential for survival of M. catarrhalis in vivo. These results suggest that M35 is a general porin that is necessary for the uptake of important energy sources by M. catarrhalis and that it is likely that M35 is an essential functional protein for in vivo colonization
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7994-8002
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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