Single-protein diffusion in the periplasm of Escherichia coli

Buu Minh Tran, Christiaan Michiel Punter, Dmitrii Linnik, Aditya Iyer, Bert Poolman*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

1 Citaat (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


The width of the periplasmic space of Gram-negative bacteria is only about 25 - 30 nm along the long axis of the cell, which affects free diffusion of (macro)molecules. We have performed single-particle displacement measurements and diffusion simulation studies to determine the impact of confinement on the apparent mobility of proteins in the periplasm of Escherichia coli. The diffusion of a reporter protein and of OsmY, an osmotically regulated periplasmic protein, is characterized by a fast and slow component regardless of the osmotic conditions. The diffusion coefficient of the fast fraction increases upon osmotic upshift, in agreement with a decrease in macromolecular crowding of the periplasm, but the mobility of the slow (immobile) fraction is not affected by the osmotic stress. We observe that the confinement created by the inner and outer membranes results in a lower apparent diffusion coefficient, but this can only partially explain the slow component of diffusion in the particle displacement measurements, suggesting that a fraction of the proteins is hindered in its mobility by large periplasmic structures. Using particle-based simulations, we have determined the confinement effect on the apparent diffusion coefficient of the particles for geometries akin the periplasmic space of Gram-negative bacteria.

Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftJournal of Molecular Biology
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
Vroegere onlinedatum22-dec.-2023
StatusPublished - 15-feb.-2024


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