Talk by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kleinekathöfer

On Wednesday, June 26th 2019, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kleinekathöfer will hold a talk as part of our “Distinguished Speaker Series” about the topic of “Transport across bacterial membranes: Insights from molecular simulations”.


Channels in the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria provide essential pathways for the controlled and unidirectional transport of ions, nutrients and metabolites into the cell. At the same time the outer membrane serves as a physical barrier for the penetration of noxious substances such as antibiotics into the bacteria. In this presentation the simulation of ion and substrate transport across such bacterial channels will be detailed. To this end we employ molecular dynamics simulations and determine, for example, the transport of ions and compare to electrophysiology experiments. Due to electroosmosis the ion transport can have a significant on the translocation of neutral substrates such as cyclodextrins. The transport of neutral as well as charged substrates and especially antibiotics molecules through membrane pores will be discussed. Moreover, an example of a pore in an asymmetric lipopolysaccharide membrane will be reported. In addition, we will briefly touch upon the topic of active transporters such as the efflux pump AcrB of E. coli and a TonB-dependent starch uptake system of human gut bacteria.