Transport of lipopolysaccharide to the Gram-negative bacterial cell surface

Florian Putker, Martine P Bos, J.P.M. Tommassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are major lipidic components of the outer membrane of most Gram-negative bacteria. They form a permeability barrier that protects these bacteria from harmful compounds in the environment. In addition, they are important signaling molecules for the innate immune system. The mechanism of transport of these molecules to the bacterial cell surface has remained enigmatic for a long time. However, intense research during the last decade, particularly in Escherichia coli and Neisseria meningitidis, has led to the identification of the machinery that mediates LPS transport. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of the LPS transport machinery and provide an overview of the distribution of the components of this machinery among diverse bacteria, even organisms that don't produce LPS. We also discuss the current insights in the regulation of LPS biosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-1002
Number of pages18
JournalFEMS Microbiology Reviews
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


  • ABC transporter
  • lipid A
  • lipopolysaccharide
  • Lpt machinery
  • outer membrane
  • translocon


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