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Special Issue "Structure, Function, and Regulation of Bacterial Efflux Proteins in Metal Homeostasis and Antimicrobial Resistance"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 November 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Simon G Patching
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Biomedical Sciences and Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
Interests: Membrane Proteins; Transport Proteins; Bacterial Efflux Proteins; Multidrug Efflux Pumps; Antimicrobial Resistance; Infectious Diseases; Protein Structure and Function; Chemistry; Biophysics; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Bacterial cell membranes contain transport proteins that export metals and potentially harmful compounds (antibiotics, antiseptics, biocides, other xenobiotics) from the cell membrane or cytoplasm to the external environment. The efflux of metal ions by these proteins is important for controlling metal homeostasis and for heavy metal detoxification and providing bacteria with resistance to metals. Other individual efflux proteins may be highly specialized for one compound or they may transport a broad range of structurally dissimilar compounds. The latter property is demonstrated by multidrug efflux pumps, which provide a major mechanism of antimicrobial resistance; they remove harmful compounds from bacteria before reaching their intracellular target. Based on amino acid sequence similarity, substrate specificity, and the energy source used to export their substrates, there are seven major families of distinct bacterial multidrug efflux proteins: ABC, RND, MFS, SMR, MATE, PACE, and AbgT. Such multidrug efflux proteins are abundant in pathogenic bacteria and therefore have serious implications in the health and disease of humans, animals, and plants. Efflux proteins also have roles in biofilm formation, quorum sensing, and in bacterial pathogenicity and virulence.

Because of the potential global threat of pathogenic bacteria that use efflux proteins for resistance to metals and antimicrobial compounds (e.g., in hospital-acquired infections), it is important to understand the molecular structures and mechanisms of efflux proteins, how they interact with substrates, and how they are regulated. Such information can be used to assist the discovery or design of novel inhibitors of bacterial efflux proteins in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. For many membrane proteins, it is challenging to express, solubilize, purify, and reconstitute sufficient quantities of natively folded and stable bacterial efflux proteins to successfully apply methods for high-resolution structure determination (X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, NMR spectroscopy). By their very nature, it is also challenging to perform experimental measurements of substrate transport on bacterial efflux proteins and to apply chemical, biochemical, and biophysical methods for investigating their structure, function, and regulation.

This Special Issue will bring together works on identifying novel efflux proteins and on developing and applying novel experimental and computational methods for elucidating their high-resolution structures and molecular mechanisms, and for investigating their regulation, dynamics, and interactions with substrates and potential inhibitors. Contributions could address any of the following:

  • Identification of genes for novel bacterial efflux proteins, especially in pathogenic organisms, using genomics and transcriptomics.
  • Gene cloning and amplified expression (in E. coli) of bacterial efflux proteins.
  • Preparation of high-quality membranes and strategies for the solubilization, purification, and reconstitution of natively folded active and stable bacterial efflux proteins.
  • Development and application of assays of substrate binding and transport, ligand screening, and inhibitor binding by bacterial efflux proteins.
  • High-resolution structure determination of bacterial efflux proteins.
  • Investigation of structure–function relationships, molecular mechanisms, regulation, and dynamics of bacterial efflux proteins using chemical, biochemical, biophysical, and computational methods.

Prof. Dr. Simon G Patching
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Bacterial efflux proteins
  • Metal homeostasis and detoxification
  • Antibiotic efflux pumps
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Protein expression, solubilization, and purification
  • Chemical, biochemical, biophysical, and computational methods
  • Structure and function
  • Ligand and drug interactions
  • Molecular mechanism
  • Regulation and dynamics

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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