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Mar. Drugs 2014, 12(2), 1023-1042; doi:10.3390/md12021023

The Lipopolysaccharide Export Pathway in Escherichia coli: Structure, Organization and Regulated Assembly of the Lpt Machinery

*  and
Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 2, 20126 Milan, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 January 2014 / Revised: 22 January 2014 / Accepted: 28 January 2014 / Published: 17 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Lipopolysaccharides)
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The bacterial outer membrane (OM) is a peculiar biological structure with a unique composition that contributes significantly to the fitness of Gram-negative bacteria in hostile environments. OM components are all synthesized in the cytosol and must, then, be transported efficiently across three compartments to the cell surface. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a unique glycolipid that paves the outer leaflet of the OM. Transport of this complex molecule poses several problems to the cells due to its amphipatic nature. In this review, the multiprotein machinery devoted to LPS transport to the OM is discussed together with the challenges associated with this process and the solutions that cells have evolved to address the problem of LPS biogenesis.
Keywords: outer membrane; lipopolysaccharide transport; Escherichia coli outer membrane; lipopolysaccharide transport; Escherichia coli
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Polissi, A.; Sperandeo, P. The Lipopolysaccharide Export Pathway in Escherichia coli: Structure, Organization and Regulated Assembly of the Lpt Machinery. Mar. Drugs 2014, 12, 1023-1042.

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