Membrane Homeostasis in Bacteria upon pH Challenge
Bacteria are frequently exposed to acid stress. In order to survive these unfavorable conditions, they have evolved a set of resistance mechanisms, which include the pumping of protons out of the cytoplasm, the production of ammonia, proton-consuming decarboxylation reactions, and modifications of the membrane lipid composition. In this chapter, I will discuss the changes in membrane composition that have been described in bacteria to be part of the adaptation to acid stress conditions. The cytoplasmic membrane is a major barrier to proton influx in acid-treated cells. However, there is no single one membrane adaptation used by all bacteria in response to acid stress. Rather, different bacteria seem to use different strategies to adjust their membrane lipid composition in response to an increase in proton concentration.
Work in the laboratory was supported by grants to C.S. from SEP-CONACyT (237713) and PAPIIT-UNAM (IN202413, IN208116).
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