For immune compromised individuals, like those living with AIDS, cancer, and burn wounds, and for cystic fibrosis patients, Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause serious or even fatal infections. Why is it so devastating? One of the essential elements of P. aeruginosa’s virulence is a slick coating of goo on the cell surface: lipopolysaccharide (LPS). But despite the importance of LPS, scientists still don’t know the ins and outs of how LPS is made.
A new study released by mBio shines a light on the inner membrane protein factories that make LPS by mapping the complete inner membrane topology of the enzymes. The results reveal previously unknown transmembrane and loop domains and point to their potential significance in the stepwise biogenesis of B-band LPS.