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Uptake of monoaromatic hydrocarbons during biodegradation by FadL channel-mediated lateral diffusion

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-20126-y DOI Help

Authors: Kamolrat Somboon (University of Southampton) , Anne Doble (Newcastle University) , David Bulmer (Newcastle University) , Arnaud Basle (Newcastle University) , Syma Khalid (University of Southampton) , Bert Van Den Berg (Newcastle University)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Nature Communications , VOL 11

State: Published (Approved)
Published: December 2020

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: In modern societies, biodegradation of hydrophobic pollutants generated by industry is important for environmental and human health. In Gram-negative bacteria, biodegradation depends on facilitated diffusion of the pollutant substrates into the cell, mediated by specialised outer membrane (OM) channels. Here we show, via a combined experimental and computational approach, that the uptake of monoaromatic hydrocarbons such as toluene in Pseudomonas putida F1 (PpF1) occurs via lateral diffusion through FadL channels. Contrary to classical diffusion channels via which polar substrates move directly into the periplasmic space, PpF1 TodX and CymD direct their hydrophobic substrates into the OM via a lateral opening in the channel wall, bypassing the polar barrier formed by the lipopolysaccharide leaflet on the cell surface. Our study suggests that lateral diffusion of hydrophobic molecules is the modus operandi of all FadL channels, with potential implications for diverse areas such as biodegradation, quorum sensing and gut biology.

Journal Keywords: Cellular microbiology; Computational biology and bioinformatics; Permeation and transport; X-ray crystallography

Diamond Keywords: Biodegradation; Bacteria

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Biology and Bio-materials

Instruments: I02-Macromolecular Crystallography


Discipline Tags:

Organic Chemistry Earth Sciences & Environment Desertification & Pollution Life Sciences & Biotech Structural biology Chemistry Biochemistry

Technical Tags:

Diffraction Macromolecular Crystallography (MX)