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Bacterial outer membrane: Wikis


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Structure of gram-negative cell envelope

The bacterial outer membrane is found in Gram-negative bacteria. Its composition is distinct from that of the cytoplasmic membrane - among other things, the outer leaflet of the membrane include a complex lipopolysaccharide whose lipid portion acts as an endotoxin - and it is linked to the cell's peptidoglycan by Braun's lipoprotein.

Porins can be found in this layer.[1]

Clinical significance

If lipid A, part of the LPS, enters the circulatory system it causes a toxic reaction by activating TLR 4. Lipid A is very immunogenic and causes an aggressive response by the immune system. The sufferer will have a high temperature and respiration rate and a low blood pressure. This may lead to endotoxic shock, which may be fatal.


  1. ^ van der Ley P, Heckels JE, Virji M, Hoogerhout P, Poolman JT (September 1991). "Topology of outer membrane porins in pathogenic Neisseria spp". Infection and immunity 59 (9): 2963–71. PMID 1652557. PMC 258120. 


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