Selective sorting of cargo proteins into bacterial membrane vesicles

M. Florencia Haurat, Joseph Aduse-Opoku, Minnie Rangarajan, Loredana Dorobantu, Murray R. Gray, Michael A. Curtis, Mario F. Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

145 Scopus citations


In contrast to the well established multiple cellular roles of membrane vesicles in eukaryotic cell biology, outer membrane vesicles (OMV) produced via blebbing of prokaryotic membranes have frequently been regarded as cell debris or microscopy artifacts. Increasingly, however, bacterial membrane vesicles are thought to play a role in microbial virulence, although it remains to be determined whether OMV result from a directed process or from passive disintegration of the outer membrane. Here we establish that the human oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis has a mechanism to selectively sort proteins into OMV, resulting in the preferential packaging of virulence factors into OMV and the exclusion of abundant outer membrane proteins from the protein cargo. Furthermore, we show a critical role for lipopolysaccharide in directing this sorting mechanism. The existence of a process to package specific virulence factors into OMV may significantly alter our current understanding of host-pathogen interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1269-1276
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 14 2011
Externally publishedYes

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    Haurat, M. F., Aduse-Opoku, J., Rangarajan, M., Dorobantu, L., Gray, M. R., Curtis, M. A., & Feldman, M. F. (2011). Selective sorting of cargo proteins into bacterial membrane vesicles. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286(2), 1269-1276.