Structures of the wild-type MexAB–OprM tripartite pump reveal its complex formation and drug efflux mechanism

Kenta Tsutsumi, Ryo Yonehara, Etsuko Ishizaka-Ikeda, Naoyuki Miyazaki, Shintaro Maeda, Kenji Iwasaki, Atsushi Nakagawa & Eiki Yamashita

In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, MexAB–OprM plays a central role in multidrug resistance by ejecting various drug compounds, which is one of the causes of serious nosocomial infections. Although the structures of the components of MexAB–OprM have been solved individually by X-ray crystallography, no structural information for fully assembled pumps from P. aeruginosa were previously available. In this study, we present the structure of wild-type MexAB–OprM in the presence or absence of drugs at near-atomic resolution. The structure reveals that OprM does not interact with MexB directly, and that it opens its periplasmic gate by forming a complex. Furthermore, we confirm the residues essential for complex formation and observed a movement of the drug entrance gate. Based on these results, we propose mechanisms for complex formation and drug efflux.

Read the full article in Nature Communications

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