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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Porin channels in intact cells of Escherichia coli are not affected by Donnan potentials across the outer membrane.

Donnan potential (interior negative) across the outer membrane of Escherichia coli was measured by the distribution of [14C]choline in a mutant with a deletion through the genes for the active transport of choline. Calculation showed that the presence of membrane-derived oligosaccharides in the periplasm could quantitatively explain the magnitude of the Donnan potential and the periplasmic volume. By measuring the permeability of porin channels in intact cells suspended in solutions of widely different ionic strengths, it was shown that changing Donnan potential from 5 mV to approximately 100 mV had no effect on the permeability of either OmpF or OmpC porin channel toward a zwitterionic compound, cephaloridine. Thus, the "voltage-dependent gating" of porin channel, previously reported from another laboratory, is likely to be an artifact of in vitro reconstitution. The influx of negatively charged compounds, however, was affected by the Donnan potential as expected from the electrolyte diffusion theory.[1]


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