U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Harris Bernstein

 Contact Info

Tel: 301-402-4770
Email: harris_bernstein@nih.gov

 Select Experience

  • Ph.D.Massachusetts Institute of Technology1987
  • B.A.Harvard University1980

 Related Links


Harris D. Bernstein, Ph.D.

Section Chief, Protein Biogenesis SectionGenetics and Biochemistry Branch
  • Microbiology/Infectious diseases (non-viral)
  • Molecular Biology/Biochemistry

​Research Images

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Outer membrane protein (OMP) biogenesis in Gram-negative bacteria.

Outer membrane protein (OMP) biogenesis in Gram-negative bacteria. OMPs are synthesized in the cytoplasm and transported across the inner membrane through the Sec complex. They are then maintained in an insertion-competent conformation in the periplasm (the space between the inner and outer membranes) by molecular chaperones including Skp and SurA. Subsequently they are targeted in the barrel assembly machinery (Bam) complex, a heterooligomer that catalyzes their insertion into the outer membrane by an unknown mechanism. Although it is unclear if OMPs fold before or after they interact with the Bam complex, they reside in the outer membrane in a “β barrel” (closed cylindrical) conformation.

A graphic which depicts outer membrane protein (O M P) biogenesis in Gram-negative bacteriaEnlarge