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Polymyxin and LPS

  1. Dec 9, 2003 #1
    Does anyone know the exact mechanism by which polymyxin arrives at the outer cell membrane after binding to LPS? The best source I have states that "it first binds to the outer membrane of E. coli or Salmonella typhimurium, presumably by binding to LPS, and then goes through the outer membrane by dsirupting this membrane barrier". That was published in 1987. Another source I have states that "Polymyxin B, similarly, disorganizes the OM" (outer membrane) "but this it does by binding to the LPS. The actual site of action is the cytoplasmic membrane to which it gets bound through its affinity for phospholipids". This was published in 1994, and no, that sentence isn't a typo (on my part anyway). My last source says "these antibiotics insert into bacterial membranes by interacting with lipopolysaccharides and the phospholipids in the outer membrane, producing increased cell permeability and eventual cell death." This was published in 2002. I can't find a conclusive mechanism here. Any thoughts on some literature that might help clarify this? Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2003 #2


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    It's what i found: Polymyxins "affect the cell membrane by detergent action" and I found this

    From there http://www.tadpromotion.com/defmech.htm [Broken]

    From what i read polymyxins appears to disrupt the ctoplasmic membrane.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  4. Dec 9, 2003 #3
    Thank you Ian. Your input is always very much appreciated.:smile: I have just been looking for the detailed mechanism of the antibiotic on the membrane itself and can't find exactly what I am looking for.
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