Lipopolysaccharide is transported to the cell surface by a membrane-to-membrane protein bridge

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Science  16 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6377, pp. 798-801
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar1886

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  • RE: Outer and Inner Membrane connection in Gram Negative bacteria

    Sherman, DJ et al. (Science February 16, 2018, p. 798) have described some beautiful work on the transport of LPS through the periplasmic space of Gram-negative bacteria. These studies provide novel targets for designing much needed new antibacterial drugs.

    There is one omission and misstatement “but the existence of such a bridge has not been established”. Professor Manfred H. Bayer, working at the Institute for Cancer Research in Fox Chase, Philadelphia, demonstrated the existence of these bridges, which have since the late seventies been called Bayer’s patches (1). Further elegant work demonstrating these patches was published by him in 1991 (2). A search on the internet for Bayer’s patches describes it as “The points of adhesion between the outer and cytoplasmic membranes of Gram-negative bacteria”.

    I did not want to let Professor Bayer’s work go unreferenced. If still alive, he would have celebrated the biochemical confirmation of what he had physically demonstrated several decades ago.

    Prabhavathi Fernandes, Ph.D.
    Chapel Hill, NC

    1. M.E. Bayer, p. 167. In M. Inouye (ed) Bacterial Outer Membranes. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York. (1979)
    2. M. E. Bayer and M.H. Bayer. J. Bacteriol. 173:141 (1991).

    Competing Interests: None declared.

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