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The Possible Role of Porins in Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance

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Laboratoire de Microbiologie Medicale, Université Pierre et Marie Curie; Paris, France

Ann Intern Med. 1984;101(4):554-557. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-101-4-554
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Antibiotic agents are thought to diffuse freely through the cell wall of gram-positive bacteria. However, in gram-negative bacteria the diffusion of a given antibiotic agent depends on the permeability of the outer membrane. This permeability is determined by the particular structure of the membrane, which is composed of proteins and an asymmetric lipid bilayer. The outer layer consists mainly of lipopolysaccharides and the inner layer of phospholipids (1). Some outer membrane proteins are attached to the underlying peptidoglycan. This membrane structure allows for different pathways of diffusion into the periplasmic space. Hydrophobic molecules are normally excluded, but may diffuse through


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