Outer membrane proteins (Omps) of Gram-negative bacteria represent porins involved in a wide range of virulence- and pathogenesis-related cellular processes, including transport, adhesion, penetration, and the colonization of host tissues. Most outer membrane porins share a specific spatial structure called the β-barrel that provides their structural integrity within the membrane lipid bilayer. Recent data suggest that outer membrane proteins from several bacterial species are able to adopt the amyloid state alternative to their β-barrel structure. Amyloids are protein fibrils with a specific spatial structure called the cross-β that gives them an unusual resistance to different physicochemical influences. Various bacterial amyloids are known to be involved in host-pathogen and host-symbiont interactions and contribute to colonization of host tissues. Such an ability of outer membrane porins to adopt amyloid state might represent an important mechanism of bacterial virulence. In this work, we investigated the amyloid properties of the OmpC and OmpF porins from two species belonging to Enterobacteriaceae family, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella enterica. We demonstrated that OmpC and OmpF of E. coli and S. enterica form toxic fibrillar aggregates in vitro. These aggregates exhibit birefringence upon binding Congo Red dye and show characteristic reflections under X-ray diffraction. Thus, we confirmed amyloid properties for OmpC of E. coli and demonstrated bona fide amyloid properties for three novel proteins: OmpC of S. enterica and OmpF of E. coli and S. enterica in vitro. All four studied porins were shown to form amyloid fibrils at the surface of E. coli cells in the curli-dependent amyloid generator system. Moreover, we found that overexpression of recombinant OmpC and OmpF in the E. coli BL21 strain leads to the formation of detergent- and protease-resistant amyloid-like aggregates and enhances the birefringence of bacterial cultures stained with Congo Red. We also detected detergent- and protease-resistant aggregates comprising OmpC and OmpF in S. enterica culture. These data are important in the context of understanding the structural dualism of Omps and its relation to pathogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15522
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number21
StatePublished - 24 Oct 2023

ID: 111819232