Assembling the Outer Membrane

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Science  14 May 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5980, pp. 831-832
DOI: 10.1126/science.1190507

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Transmembrane proteins with β-barrel structure are characteristic of the outer membranes of Gram-negative bacteria, mitochondria, and chloroplasts (1). β-Barrel membrane proteins typically include a central pore that is lined by multiple antiparallel β strands. The functions of these proteins range from protein transport to metabolite flux. On page 890 of this issue, Hagan et al. (2) report a major step toward a molecular understanding of β-barrel membrane insertion and folding.