Structure-Function Studies of the Major Outer Membrane Porin
The major outer membrane porin (PorB) expressed by plays multiple roles during infection, in addition to its function as an outer membrane pore. We have generated a panel of mutants of strain FA1090 expressing a variety of mutant porB genes that all function as porins. We identified multiple regions of porin that are involved in its binding to the complement regulatory factors C4b-binding protein and factor H and confirmed that the ability to bind at least one factor is required for FA1090 to survive the bactericidal effects of human serum. We tested the ability of these mutants to inhibit both apoptosis and the oxidative burst in polymorphonuclear leukocytes but were unable to identify the porin domains required for either function. This study has identified nonessential porin domains and some potentially essential portions of the protein and has further expanded our understanding of the contribution of the porin domains required for complement regulation.