Uncoupler-resistant mutants of bacteria

Terry A. Krulwich, Philip G. Quirk, Arthur A. Guffanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The chemiosmotic model of energy transduction offers a satisfying and widely confirmed understanding of the action of uncouplers on such processes as oxidative phosphorylation; the uncoupler, by facilitating the transmembrane movement of protons or other compensatory ions, reduces the electrochemical proton gradient that is posited as the energy intermediate for many kinds of bioenergetic work. In connection with this formulation, uncoupler-resistant mutants of bacteria that neither exclude nor inactivate these agents represent a bioenergetic puzzle. Uncoupler-resistant mutants of aerobic Bacillus species are, in fact, membrane lipid mutants with bioenergetic properties that are indeed challenging in connection with the chemiosmotic model. By contrast, uncoupler-resistant mutants of Escherichia coli probably exclude uncouplers, sometimes only under rather specific conditions. Related phenomena in eucaryotic and procaryotic systems, as well as various observations on uncouplers, decouplers, and certain other membrane-active agents, are also briefly considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-65
Number of pages14
JournalMicrobiological Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Uncoupler-resistant mutants of bacteria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this