Inner membrane efflux components are responsible for beta-lactam specificity of multidrug efflux pumps in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.J Bacteriol. 1997 Dec; 179(24):7875-81.JB
A major feature of the MexAB-OprM multidrug efflux pump which distinguishes it from the MexCD-OprJ and MexEF-OprN multidrug efflux systems in Pseudomonas aeruginosa is its ability to export a wide variety of beta-lactam antibiotics. Given the periplasmic location of their targets it is feasible that beta-lactams exit the cell via the outer membrane OprM without interaction with MexA and MexB, though the latter appear to be necessary for OprM function. To test this, chimeric MexAB-OprJ and MexCD-OprM efflux pumps were reconstituted in delta mexCD delta oprM and delta mexAB delta oprJ strains, respectively, and the influence of the exchange of outer membrane components on substrate (i.e., beta-lactam) specificity was assessed. Both chimeric pumps were active in antibiotic efflux, as evidenced by their contributions to resistance to a variety of antimicrobial agents, although there was no change in resistance profiles relative to the native pumps, indicating that OprM is not the determining factor for the beta-lactam specificity of MexAB-OprM. Thus, one or both of inner membrane-associated proteins MexA and MexB are responsible for drug recognition, including recognition of beta-lactams.